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Mount St. Helens area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

West and North side via State Route 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 State Route 504


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 gated for the winter at milepost 45 just past Coldwater Lake and the Hummocks Trail. Be prepared for possible snow and ice at higher elevations. Forest Road 83 gated at Marble Mountain Sno-Park for the winter. Forest Road 81 gated on the west side just past Kalama Horse Camp, and on the east side at Cougar Sno-Park. Forest Road 99 gated just past Wakepish Sno-Park. Forest Road 25 gated on the north at the 25/99 junction and on the south 4 miles north of the 25/90 junction.
Operational Hours:
  • Coldwater Science & Learning Center open weekends only, 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Johnston Ridge Observatory on State Route 504 closed for the winter season. Road gated at milepost 45.2, just past the Hummocks Trail for the season.
  • Ape Headquarters: Closed for the season. Ape Cave open year-round.
  • Pine Creek Info Station and Cascade Peaks Information Station (Forest Road 99) closed for the season.
  • 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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