“Enjoy beautiful, unobstructed views of Mt. St. Helens (and her crater!) from Johnston Ridge.”
— Emily Roeben
Birding · Views · Wildflowers
The observatory at the trailhead is great for kids, and seeing the scale of a volcano's destruction is sure to impress.
The road up to Johnston Observatory is closed seasonally, check conditions here
$8 per adult fee is required to hike this trail.
Your scenic adventure will begin on the way to the trail, with many viewpoints of Mt. St. Helens and the blast zone along Spirit Lake Highway.
This relaxing paved trail is less than one mile one-way. People visiting Johnston Ridge Observatory can take this trail and either connect to the parking area, or connect to other trails in the area.
The trail includes interpretive signs, kiosks, and incredible views of Mount St. Helens and the blast zone that surrounds the mountain. Through the informational signs, you learn about and see pictures of the mountain before, during, and after the eruption.
The farther along the trail you go, the better the angle becomes for seeing the crater.
America the Beautiful passes are accepted.
Road Conditions: fs.usda.gov/recarea/gifford…
Mountain Cam: fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/…
Please be advised that no pets are allowed in the national monument EXCEPT in designated areas.
Flora & Fauna
Seasonally, wildflowers cover the landscape. Please be sure to stay on the trail to protect the vegetation. Another feature is the fallen tree trunks from the 1980 eruption, which all lay in the same direction, away from the mountain.