Mount St. Helens area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

West and North side via State Highway 504

The massive landslide and blast of the 1980 eruption traveled north and west from the mountain. Visitor centers and trails let visitors explore the rebirth.


View From Johnston Ridge Observatory View From Johnston Ridge Observatory



East side via National Forest Roads 25 and 99

This more remote side of the mountain illustrates the stark line between old growth forest and the Blast Zone. This area provides the closest view of the crater accessible by car.

Norway Pass Over Spirit Lake
View from Norway Pass, overlooking Spirit Lake


South side via State Route 503 and Forest Roads 90 and 83

Much of the south side forest was untouched in the 1980 eruption. This is the place for winter recreation, climbing and more.

Plains of Abraham overlooking Ape Canyon
Plains of Abraham overlooking Ape Canyon


Explore Mount Margaret Backcountry

This special area has 5,000' jagged peaks home to mountain goats, elk and a multitude of wildlife. You must obtain a permit to stay overnight in the Mount Margaret Backcountry.

Lakes Trail 211 overlooking Panhandle Lake in the Mt. Margaret Backcountry
Lakes Trail 211 overlooking Panhandle Lake in the Mount Margaret Backcountry

At a Glance

Current Conditions: State Route 504 to Johnston Ridge Observatory is open. Forest Road 81 & 83 are open. Forest Road 25 is open.  Forest Road 99 to Windy Ridge is open.
Operational Hours:
  • Johnston Ridge Observatory on State Route 504: Open daily, 10am- 6pm through Oct. 28.
  • Ape Headquarters: Open daily, 10am- 5pm through Sept. 23.
  • Pine Creek Info Station: Open daily, 8am- 3pm through Sept. October 1- 15, open Th.-Sun. 
  • Cascade Peaks Info Station (FR 99) open weekends, 10am- 3:30pm.
  • Science & Learning Center open for registered school groups & special events until Nov. 3.
  • Mount St. Helens Visitor Center: Daily, 9 am to 4 pm. Milepost 5 on State Route 504, exit 49 off  I-5.
  • Mount St. Helens Monument office in Amboy is open Mon- Fri., 8am- 4pm, closed federal holidays. We do not have a view of the mountain and are not a Visitor Center, but offer info, maps, permits and passes. Commercial Forest Product Permits (i.e. mushrooms, bear grass, salal) are sold at the Amboy office from 8:00am- 3:30pm.



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Camping & Cabins

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Other Activities

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Areas & Activities



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