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Enjoy beautiful, unobstructed views of Mt. St. Helens (and her crater!) from Johnston Ridge.


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Map Key

0.5

Miles

0.8

KM

Point to Point

4,310' 1,314 m

High

4,190' 1,277 m

Low

82' 25 m

Up

121' 37 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (4°)

11%

Max Grade (6°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly 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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Emily R

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 7 votes

#8638

Overall
  4.3 from 7 votes
5 Star
57%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
29%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#392

in Washington

#8,638

Overall
2 Views Last Month
1,289 Since May 12, 2017
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

50%
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38%
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Photos

Memorial on Eruption Trail for those who died during the 1980 eruption.
Jun 12, 2019 near Morton, WA
Mt. St. Helens as seen from the Johnston Ridge Overlook.
Feb 12, 2022 near Morton, WA

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Check-Ins

Sep 11, 2021
Jamie F
Aug 4, 2019
Connor White
Amazing views! 0.5mi
Jul 24, 2019
Steven Farnham II
Jun 14, 2019
Jim C
Starting our hike. Boundary trail to Truman — 3h 55m
Jun 9, 2019
Brian Harrison
Warm day, but awesome views.
Sep 3, 2018
C. R. Houston
Aug 25, 2018
Joe Bussiere
0.5mi
Aug 17, 2018
Savannah Sanford
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