We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Johnston Ridge Observatory

Toutle, WA
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 5 attractions in Toutle
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Tourist/ Visitor Centers
Activities: Leisure education
Description: A small observatory poised dramatically on a cliff overlooking the debris left over from the famous 1980 volcano explosion.
Write a Review

106 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    84
    18
    1
    3
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014 NEW

You cannot go wrong with a visit to the observatory. From the history of the mountain to the time lapse of watching nature come back after the eruption. The views from the observatory are second to none!!! The drive up is worth the trip.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Brit in Washington state
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 NEW

2 different "movies" that give info about the eruption and about the geology. Ranger talks and tours. Great free kids junior ranger program (I had 2 eleven year olds who got a kick out of it). Best option (if you have stable footing) is to park at the overlook just a short distance prior to Johnston's Ridge and hike the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Beaverton, Oregon
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
21 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 NEW

Decided it was time to see Mt Saint Helen's. Took a drive up from Portland Oregon and it was beautiful just driving through that forested land. All along the drive you can see parts of the valley and the devastation that the volcano let loose that day. Arriving at the observatory and seeing the amazing view was worth it hands... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Spokane Valley, Washington
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
26 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014 NEW

We brought the girls (10 and 13) for a visit to wrap up our tour of the Olympic Peninsula and were not disappointed. It's a good hour drive in and then back out but well worth the trip. We arrived about an hour before closing and sunset so the observatory was all locked up, but that was OK with me... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
18 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

I'll admit that I'm a science geek, but the displays, films, and interpretive discussions were all first-rate. And the view is indescribable. The magnitude of what happened there in May 1980 is still very much apparent.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Omaha, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
28 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

It cost $24 ($8 per adult) for admission for my family of four making it the most expensive NP site I've ever been to. Most NP sites charge $10 or $15 per car but this one charges per person. This cost almost two and a half times as much as Crater Lake. Was it two and half times better than... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

I've studied volcanoes since the eruption in 1980 and often check the webcam at St. Helens. You can't imagine the scope until you go out to the end of the road, east side and west, and look at the mountain and the devastation around it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

We drove in on a misty day so saw nothing of the mountain en route. Arrived as a young ranger outside the center gave a fascinating talk on the sequence of events of the fateful day, then paid the $8 each adult entry and went straight into the darkened auditorium to see the same illustrated story on a relatively small... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
McDonough, Georgia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

On our 5th visit to the Pacific Northwest we finally visited Mount Saint Helens and now we wish we had done it much sooner. It's an easy and very scenic two hour drive from Portland. There are three visitor centers along the way to the Johnston Ridge. We drove by the first but did stop by the next two and... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Portland, Oregon, United States
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2014

Some of the best views into Mt ST Helens crater and some very knowledgeable people to explain everything you are seeing. Try to get there on a clear day so you can be sure to see the mountain.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Johnston Ridge Observatory also viewed

 

Been to Johnston Ridge Observatory? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Johnston Ridge Observatory, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing