Mount St. Helens area

Area Status: Open

Visit Mount St. Helens area from any direction! 

MAP: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (.pdf)

  • Mount St. Helens West

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    From I-5, drive into the heart of the blast zone. Spectacular crater views, visitor centers, picnic areas and hikes await.

  • Mount St. Helens East

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    This summer and fall route offers views of the crater and Spirit Lake, interpretive sites, and easy or rugged hiking. 

  • Mount St. Helens South

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    Lava flows, waterfalls, caves, and lush forest abound. Plenty of year-round recreation options.

  • Mount Margaret Backcountry

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    Rugged, steep trails and amazing landscapes typify the Mt. Margaret Backcountry. Permits required for overnight camping.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 06/07/2023
  • Both lanes of State Route 504 have been blocked by a significant landslide in the vicinity of Coldwater Lake near milepost 51. There is no estimated time of reopening for the road or for Johnston Ridge Observatory. Updates will be made as they are available.
  • Forest Road 83: Forest Road 83 is open to Marble Mountain Sno-Park. 
  • Forest Road 81 is open to Kalama Horse Camp, expect snow and ice at higher elevations.
  • Forest Road 81-830 to Climber's Bivouac is closed due to snow.
  • Forest Road 25: Due to a significant landslide at milepost (MP) 26, Forest Road 25 will be closed as a through-route until further notice. The road is currently closed at the seasonal gates due to snow. The closure will shift as snow melts. Those wanting to access Forest Road 99 to Windy Ridge will be able to do so from Randle, once snow melts in July. Randle and Forest Road 99 will be inaccessible from Cougar this summer. Learn more.
  • Forest Road 99 to Windy Ridge closed due to snow.
  • Forest Road 26 is closed due to snow.
Operational Hours: View current office hours
Reservations: Teachers CornerField trips to Mount St. Helens start here
Permit Info:
Information Center:

General Information


Johnston Ridge Observatory: From Castle Rock, WA take State Route 504 east for 52 miles to Johnston Ridge Observatory at the end of State Route 504.

Windy Ridge Interpretive Site: 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.

Vicinity map showing key site locationsMount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (.pdf)

General Notes:
  • Mount St. Helens 1980 Eruption & Aftermath

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    On the morning of May 18, 1980, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake triggered the collapse of the summit and north flank of Mount St. Helens and formed the largest landslide in recorded history. In 1982 Congress designated the 110,000-acre Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The following decades have offered insight into the biological recovery of ravaged landscapes.


Campground Camping

Areas for Campground Camping at Mount St. Helens area

Mountain Climbing

Mount St Helens RimClimb and explore one of the best lunch spots in the Northwest, but, you will have to work for it! A 4 to 6 hour climb up will reward you with spectacular panoramic views from the rim of Mount St. Helens. On a clear day you can see Spirit Lake, the crater, Mount Rainer, Mount Adams and Mount Hood.

Review all information about Climbing Mount St. Helens.

Reservation required?: Y
Permit required?: Y

Areas for Mountain Climbing at Mount St. Helens area

Day Hiking

Areas for Day Hiking at Mount St. Helens area


Areas for Backpacking at Mount St. Helens area

OHV Trail Riding

Areas for OHV Trail Riding at Mount St. Helens area

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Areas for XC Skiing/Snowshoeing at Mount St. Helens area


Areas for Snowmobiling at Mount St. Helens area

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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