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 6 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

123 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    98
    20
    2
    3
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Everett, WA
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
62 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 NEW

We took family from Canada up to see the volcano and stand on Johnston Ridge. 34 years after the blast and the devastation is still quite obvious. It is also interesting how much wild life and vegetation has returned. It is definitely a worthwhile trip, even though it's more than a 2 hr drive from Seattle and there is a... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 NEW

Traveled up here this weekend (9/13) and had a great time. First time up near St. Helens and decided to chat to the rangers. All of them were quite helpful and informative on everything to do with the mountain and really put what i was seeing in to perspective. Was absolutely amazing and will be back.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Gilbert, Arizona
Top Contributor
161 reviews 161 reviews
44 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 NEW

We were Amazed at the Mt St. Helen's site....this experience is Top Notch☆ The films are very informative. ..the view deck is great....& there are several people positioned throughout the center to answer any & all questions you might have☆The theater design is WOW....you will be amazed at the end of the film!!!!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
14 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

I visited on a weekday an hour before their visitors center closed at 6:00 pm. There were very few people at the time of my visit, but I would imagine that the weekends are quite busy. They have a large parking area that should easily accommodate over one-hundred vehicles. There are bathrooms in the visitors center, but if you stay... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
60 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

The Johnston Ridge Observatory provides the closest and most direct views into the crater of Mt St Helens. It is high on a ridge directly in the path of the blast zone that blew out the top and north side of the mountain in the 1980 eruption. I have visited here a few times since the eruption and it is... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

To stand this close to an active volcano is amazing!! The views are wonderful. This is nature at it's best. The $8 admission is a great deal, because they provide you with a wealth of information, and all the staff answer all questions professionally and politely. I was surprised at how easy the drive was, the roads are well maintained... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

It was slightly eerie to be staring into the gaping crater of Mt. St. Helens, but the views from the visitors center were pretty incredible. We didn't make use of many of their exhibits (most seemed to be designed with kids in mind), the video was so-so, but the view was great! I don't know if it would have been... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
430 reviews 430 reviews
63 attraction reviews
231 helpful votes 231 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

We had explored the Toutle River area after the 1981 eruption buried houses and laid the trees out like matchsticks. We had visited the area south of Packwood, but we had not been to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Curious to see the changes in the landscape, we picked a day that was clear yet cool to drive Hwy 504. We... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
FLORIDA
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
46 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

Wow! So much more amazing in person that watching video coverage. And the 40 mi. drive in is every bit as fabulous with sev. information stations,and many view points with parking. It's a bit of a drive , but going early AM we avoided traffic, and were treated to watching the fog clear, and at times be below us as... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cardiff
Top Contributor
317 reviews 317 reviews
149 attraction reviews
225 helpful votes 225 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

I was headed to the Johnson Ridge Observatory from the west off I-5 on Highway 504, having stopped at the OR visitor center on a prior day. I continued along the beautiful scenic road for about 25 miles when I saw a sign for the "Forest Learning Center", so I turned off. WOW. What an amazing free center with wonderful... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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