Windy Ridge Interpretive Site

Area Status: Unreachable
Ladder, Mount St. Helens, Parking lot

Located just five miles from Mount St. Helens, Windy Ridge Interpretive Site provides a close-up view of the volcano's crater and a breathtaking panorama of a landscape radically changed during the 1980 eruption and landslide. Below you lies Spirit Lake, with its floating log mat of huge trees swept into it during the eruption. Beyond, view a plain of pumice and ash and denuded hills, still fairly barren but greening with vegetation. Climb a 368 step sand ladder for a higher view. Read interpretive signs to learn about the events and people of the eruption. During summer, join an interpretive program presented at the site's amphitheater. The site is accessible and memorable for all.

Windy Ridge Interpretive Site provides access to Truman Trail #207 and Willow Springs Trail #207A.

For information about accessible recreation opportunities in Pacific Northwest National Forests, visit

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 04/18/2024: Even though technically the area opens legally around April 1st, access to the area is heavily dependent on snow levels. At this time, the trail is unreachable due to snow levels on Forest Road 25 and Forest Road 99. This area will be accessible sometime in May when the snow melts out. At this time, due to the closure on Forest Road 25 between Clearwater Overlook and Elk Pass Trailhead, Windy Ridge Interpretive Site is only accessible from the North via Forest Road 25 from Randle, WA. Learn More.
Fees: An America the Beautiful Pass or Northwest Forest Pass is honored. The site has a fee tube where onsite payment of $5, cash or check, can be made.
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Busiest Season: Summer
  • Off trail travel prohibited.
  • Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • No stock.
  • Day-use only.
  • Bicycles are prohibited within the restricted area.
Closest Towns: Randle, WA
Passes: America the Beautiful or Northwest Forest Pass accepted.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


From Randle, WA travel south on State Route (SR) 131 until the road forks (1 mile). Stay to the right on State Route 131 which becomes Forest Road 25. Travel south on Forest Road 25 for 19 miles to Forest Road 99. Turn right on Forest Road 99 and drive 16 miles until it terminates at Windy Ridge.

Alert: Forest Roads in this area are winding and many have surface debris and steep drop-offs on either side. Always drive with caution, drive defensively, and expect wildlife. Motorcyclists should be especially careful. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking


Viewing Scenery

Interpretive Areas

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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