Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens
5
About
While access to the still-steaming crater is forbidden, tourists flock to see what remains of this famous volcano.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • MarcMis96
    Arab, Alabama199 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very Educational Place to Visit
    This is a must stop for anybody traveling through the area. The visitor center at the entrance to the park is nice. It has clean bathrooms, a nice gift shop, interesting displays, and helpful staff. Parts of the park were closed, but we were able to go to the science and learning center. There is a wonderful view on the backside of the building. There is also a short video that you can watch that is great. It has lots of info and images about the eruption. There is also a small gift ship located inside the science and learning center.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 22 July 2023
  • Elizabeth H
    5 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Viewing of Mount St. Helens.
    Very interesting to visit. See the film that is at the first visitor center. The learning center down the road 40 miles has interesting information as well. The observatory is closed due to a mud slide. We had a great day, so could see most of the mountain. Pretty drive, windy. Incredible what happened and how it altered the landscape.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 October 2023
  • Free Karma
    Illinois193 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spring is best time to avoid crowds.
    Actual visit was in July 2020. Many changes happened that were government -related handling of Federal parks during the previous year that were not in the best interest of Nature, or planet Earth for that matter. Having said that, it is really important to have people that care about our National Parks and planet to be in government offices making decisions for parks, humans, wildlife. Just an opinion/recommendation. Beautiful scenery and place to photograph.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 25 February 2024
  • West-Ky-Travelers
    Kirksey, Kentucky244 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mostly Inaccessible Until 2026!
    You may want to wait a couple of years to visit this awesome place. The Johnson Ridge Observatory will be inaccessible for a few years due to a bridge/road being washed out by a 2023 flood. There are still some pretty good views from overlooks and the discovery center on that side of the mountain. The "back side" and the Lava Canyon / Ape Cave areas are nice; however, when we were there, Lava Canyon and Climbers Bivouac were still snowed in and we were told that Lava Canyon trails were closed until some major trail maintenance could be done. Also, I believe the suspension bridge is closed limiting trail options. Ape Caves were fun but be aware that you are now required to obtain a timed entry permit ($2.00) online. You have a two-hour window in which to arrive at the Caves parking area. The permit doesn't guarantee you a parking spot - just to opportunity to use one if you find it. I suggest you go early and beat the crowds.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles511 reviews
Excellent
413
Very good
82
Average
13
Poor
1
Terrible
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Tyler
Orange County, CA4 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
This was our first time visiting Mt St Helens and glad we did it. Totally lucked out with beautiful, clear weather so everything was very visible. Think this is one of those places you have to visit if you're in the area and have time. However, doubt we will return. It was pretty. Interesting to see the sheared tree stumps still in the area and to read about the fateful day it erupted. Went during covid and so glad we did as there was very little traffic on the road, no buses, plenty of parking and lots of room on the paths. The first visitor center had someone there to answer questions and restrooms were available. Didn't realize how long of a drive it was going to be from that visitor center to the Johnston Ridge Observatory or that the observatory was still quite a distance from the actual mountain. Took us probably 45 min to drive it without traffic. Observatory buildings were closed, but we're not much for formal exhibits.
Came more for the views/experience and pulled up history on our phones so that was fine. A few paths around the area if you want to spend a little more time and get some exercise. During covid there were port-o-pots at the observatory location.
Written 29 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Abby
Alameda, CA173 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Family
We were in the area and visited for the day. We started with the main visitor center where we walked through the little museum, watched the 15 minute film about the 1980 eruption, and did the .5 mile nature walk. Then we drove an hour up to Coldwater and visited the visitor center there, which had the best views of the crater, and did a little hike around the lake. Currently Coldwater is the closest you can get due to a recent mudslide which they don’t know how long it’ll take to repair the road, potentially years.
Written 30 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FloridaLady
Summerfield, FL164 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Friends
Having watched this happening on TV more than 40 years ago and then getting to see it in person was quite an experience!! The museum offered a lot of information about the logistics of exactly how the explosion occurred and the weeks leading up to it. You can choose the easier trails to walk or the ones that are a bit more challenging. But everyone who is able should visit MSH at least once!
Written 8 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

West-Ky-Travelers
Kirksey, KY244 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
You may want to wait a couple of years to visit this awesome place. The Johnson Ridge Observatory will be inaccessible for a few years due to a bridge/road being washed out by a 2023 flood. There are still some pretty good views from overlooks and the discovery center on that side of the mountain. The "back side" and the Lava Canyon / Ape Cave areas are nice; however, when we were there, Lava Canyon and Climbers Bivouac were still snowed in and we were told that Lava Canyon trails were closed until some major trail maintenance could be done. Also, I believe the suspension bridge is closed limiting trail options. Ape Caves were fun but be aware that you are now required to obtain a timed entry permit ($2.00) online. You have a two-hour window in which to arrive at the Caves parking area. The permit doesn't guarantee you a parking spot - just to opportunity to use one if you find it. I suggest you go early and beat the crowds.
Written 7 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sumel2016
Kingston-upon-Hull, UK70 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
The talk outside by one of the rangers was excellent. We picked a day when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and even the drive up to it is breathtaking. The only downside was that the film show isn’t working but as it’s funded by donations we understood they can’t replace things immediately. Well worth a visit. You need to either take a picnic or use the one one food cart as there is nothing else when you get up there.
Written 23 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AdamG312312
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
Beautiful and accessible in just over an hour from Portland. Nice hikes available in the Park and the long mountain road to the visitor center and further to the viewing area nearer the crater is very scenic. Be aware they charge admission to the visitor center at the end of the road. Pray for a clear day to see the mountain.
Written 14 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cryptic_Tourist
Saint Louis, MO983 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
This was another bucket list item for my husband and I! We grew up hearing about the eruption, we were both born about a decade after it happened, but we were fascinated with the story and the history! We were not disappointed. If you get there right when the first visitor center opens it really isn’t that busy. There’s a lot of different merch options at all of the stops along the 504, when we went there was a recent mud slide that closed off the very last bit of the road but that didn’t matter, we still had excellent views and thoroughly enjoyed the stunning drive. All of the volunteers at the science learning center were so kind and wonderful. I can’t recommend this monument enough, it was so wonderful!
Written 12 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matthew C
Saint Louis, MO106 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Friends
This was a spectacular site! You definitely have to go all the way to the Johnston Observatory to get the best pictures. You can really get the feeling that you are in the blast zone once you are at Johnston. It really gives you the big picture on how massive this eruption was 41 years ago.
Written 26 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MstrViolinist
Seattle, WA403 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
The observatory is currently closed (July 2020) but the trails are open for hiking. Harry's Ridge is a great hike, about 10 miles roundtrip from the main parking area. Lots of views of the mountain and amazing vista at the end. On a clear day you can see Mount Adams, Mount Hood, and Spirit Lake. Be warned though, there's NO shade at all along the trail (since all the trees were washed away in the eruption) so bring sunscreen and lots of water.
Written 8 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelingAmos
New Jersey700 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We stopped here while driving between Seattle and Portland on I-5. It added an extra hour or two to the three-hour drive, but it is worth it if you have the time. Visitor centers were closed when we were there, but restrooms and gift shops were open. We went all the way up to Johnston Ridge. I expected better views, but it was still a good experience. Some of the bridges on the drive were quite stunning and a bit scary. Interesting fact - Mt. St. Helens was considered the Mt Fuji of America due to its symmetry before it erupted.
Written 8 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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MOUNT ST. HELENS (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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