Mount St Helens

Mount St Helens

On a clear day, a drive to Mt. St. Helens makes a great day trip from Portland. The snow-covered Mt. St. Helens looks like a giant ice-cream cone in the distant sky.

The famous volcano erupted on May 18, 1980 and remnants of the devastation can still be seen twenty-five years later. Although wildlife has returned to the area and trees and flowers are growing anew, many tree stumps and broken trees remain as a reminder.

Since September 2004, after years of no activity, Mt. St. Helens is rumbling to life again, with small earthquakes and dome-building activity. On occasion, the mountain spews clouds of ash and steam into the air, and brings tourists to the viewpoints hoping to catch the mountain "letting off steam".

The best view of the crater can be seen at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, a 2 ½ hour drive from Portland on State Route 504. This is the closest viewpoint - just 5 ½ miles from the crater!