Lahar Viewpoint Interpretive Site

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This 1980 mudflow area offers an outstanding view of Mount St. Helen’s (non-crater) south side. The v-notch on the mountain once held Shoestring Glacier, which was liquified along with the surrounding mountain snow from the heat of the eruption. Water mixed with rock and ash, creating a giant lahar (destructive mudflow originating on a volcano) which swept down St. Helens at 100 miles per hour. It raced through the forest and across this location, shearing off most trees and debarking others as far as 30 feet up. A variety of trees, plants and wildlife now inhabit this once-barren mudflow.

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At a Glance

Current Conditions: 06/05/2020: Open for 2020 season.
Fees $5/vehicle/day or valid Recreation Pass. See Mount St. Helens Map for fee and payment sites.
Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Water: No
Restroom: No
Passes: America the Beautiful or Northwest Forest Pass accepted.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


From Woodland, WA take State Route 503, becoming Forest Road 90, east to the well-signed junction with Forest Road 83. Lahar is 10.5 miles east of the junction of Forest Roads 83 and 90.


This site and trail are accessible and offer a wide variety of visitors access to outstanding views.

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  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2900 - 3200