Johnston Ridge Observatory

Washington Cascades

Situated at the end of Hwy 504 and looking directly into the mouth of the Mt St Helens crater, the observatory has exhibits that depict the geologic events surrounding the 1980 blast and how they advanced the science of volcano forecasting and monitoring. The paved 1-mile round-trip Eruption Trail offers once-in-a-lifetime views toward the crater.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Washington Cascades attractions

1. Coldwater Lake

2.49 MILES

Coldwater Lake, 43 miles east of Castle Rock, was created in 1980 when water backed up behind a dam caused by debris left behind by the Mt St Helens…

2. Windy Ridge Viewpoint

4.23 MILES

Windy Ridge Viewpoint is a highlight of the remote eastside entrance to Mt St Helens. Here visitors get a palpable, if eerie, sense of the destruction…

3. Mt St Helens Forest Learning Center

8.86 MILES

Situated at Mile 33 on Hwy 504, the learning center is basically a showcase for the lumber industry (it was built by timber company Weyerhaeuser), though…

4. Ape Cave

11.46 MILES

Ape Cave is a 2-mile-long lava tube formed 2000 years ago by a lava flow that followed a deep watercourse. It's the longest lava tube in the western…