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Johnston Ridge Observatory

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Address: , Toutle, WA
Phone Number: 360-274-2140
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Today
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Activities: Leisure education
Description: A small observatory poised dramatically on a cliff overlooking the debris...
A small observatory poised dramatically on a cliff overlooking the debris left over from the famous 1980 volcano explosion.
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$211*
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Private Tour: Mount St Helens Nature Walk and Ape...
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 172 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 137
    Excellent
  • 28
    Very good
  • 4
    Average
  • 3
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  • 0
    Terrible
The Ultimate Place To View Mt. St. Helens.

Great place to get a close up view and education about the volcano. Be sure to watch the movies. Take some of the trails too.

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 28, 2015
David P
,
Byron Center, Michigan
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172 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Byron Center, Michigan
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2015 NEW

Great place to get a close up view and education about the volcano. Be sure to watch the movies. Take some of the trails too.

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Ocean Shores, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015 NEW

Visited in August 2015 with family. Although the view of Mount St. Helens was partially obscured by smoke from the many fires burning in Washington State, it was still breathtaking. The movie and ranger talks were well worth the drive from Ocean Shores. Will visit again with out of state visitors.

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Hillsboro, Oregon
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015 NEW

Husband and I visited in late August. Beautiful drive with several scenic stops along the way. Gets you right up under the crater. You can hang out at the observatory, take a short walk to get an even better view, or do a long hike over to Spirit Lake. Saw a lot of elk herds down below. Stop at cold... More 

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Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015

Must go on a clear day. Do not go if cloudy, hazy or smokey from surrounding fires. The view is otherwise obscured.

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Spanaway, Washington
Level Contributor
50 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2015

The Johnston Ridge Observatory is the closest most people get to a live volcano. It's also the closest place you can go (without a permit) to the top of Mount St. Helens. The observatory offers a couple of films and they are decidedly worth watching. At the conclusion of the films, the curtains open and you are looking into the... More 

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Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Level Contributor
55 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

This is definitely destination place! I remember this happening 35 years ago and how blessed I am to be able to see where it all happened! Such a part of history! The video in the theater was great but when the curtain went up and there she stood, so very proud, was breath taking!

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Stuart, FL
Level Contributor
135 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

We picked up a tip from another reviewer and drove the 50 miles directly to Johnston Ridge and started our visit here. We beat most of the crowd and had morning clear sky views of Mt St Helens. Later in the day the clouds moved in. A couple good movies, gift shop and hiking trails. There is a snack bar... More 

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Hopewell, New Jersey
Level Contributor
82 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2015

The Rangers here are too notch and very willing to answer questions, in addition to their programs. Great views of Mt. Saint Helen and many hiking trails to choose from.

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
454 reviews
395 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 316 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

This is the ultimate goal for those seeking closeup views of the Mountain, without actually being mountaineers and hiking for miles. In getting here you will have perhaps travelled an hour north from Portland to Castle Hill, Washington, or travelled two hours south from Seattle to the same place. Exit 49 off of Interstate 5. From Castle Rock, you travel... More 

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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
40 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

This is 52 miles from I-5 so a bit of a drive, but the site and the staff were outstanding. The observation site is directly north of Mount St Helens, so the view of the blast site, damage and recovery is excellent. The on-site movies were informative, and the enthusiasm of the rangers is exhilarating. This natural phenomena is so... More 

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