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“Spectacular!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens
WA 98649
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Private Tour
and up
Private Tour: Mount St Helens Day Trip from...
Ranked #22 of 1,070 Attractions in Washington
Type: Mountains, Volcanos, Outdoors
Activities: Mountaineering, Hiking
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: While access to the still-steaming crater is forbidden, tourists flock to see what remains of this famous volcano.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Bakersfield, California
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

While on a 3 week vacation from California to Washington and Oregon, we went to Mt. Saint Helens. The visitor center videos were quite informative and the views were breath-taking. Inside the visitor center, you can create your own 'earthquake' on a seismograph. For those who are 62 and over, you can purchase a pass for $10.00 which will admit the pass holder and three guests for free. Normal adult admission price is $8.00. This pass is also good at other National Parks.

Visited August 2013
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183 reviews from our community

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Verona, Wisconsin
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Upper Ape Cave”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

This is not a hike for wimps! There are 27 lava rock piles, and these aren't just the kind of rock piles where you have to step over a few rocks and you're done. These are large piles...I repeat....large piles! Additionally, there is one 8-foot wall that has only one toe-hold in the adjacent wall....no ladder, no ropes, no rocks for help. Some will scale this wall easily while others will need a boost....and hopefully, there will be someone behind you willing to give you that boost.

There are some items you should not be without when you do the upper cave. They include good, sturdy shoes, long pants (jeans work), a sweatshirt (it's 42-degrees but after you get over the 5th pile of rocks you will be glad it's cool, and at the end your sweatshirt will be drenched in sweat), and leather gloves. I cannot stress how important those gloves will be!

Additionally, knee pads would help because falling (I know from experience) will result in bruises galore. (A football helmet and mouth guard to protect your teeth might be a good idea for those who shouldn't hike the upper cave, but do because they have a death wish!) (i.e. ME!)

If you can manage to grow an extra arm with a hand prior to doing the Upper Ape Cave, that would also help! You always need to have a flashlight trained on your next step....read that again because it's really important. You also need to know what's ahead of you, so don't volunteer to be the leader of the pack!

The upper cave is not for the faint of heart! (Read that again, too!). It is a difficult 1.5 miles and falling is not hard to do. (I know....4 times.). Would I do it again? Probably not because once is enough! Knowing what I know now, am I glad I did it? Ask me when the solid line of bruises from 4" above my left knee all the way to my ankle are gone, and the hairline fracture in my tibia has healed!

I'm proud of myself for having conquered Ape Cave, but I will admit that it conquered me when it comes to bumps, bruises and sore muscles. It took all the strength, both mental and physical, that I could muster, and thousands of years from now when someone discovers the DNA that I left behind in the cave, they will analyze it and be able to diagnose genetic insanity!

Visited August 2013
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Langley City, Canada
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Must see”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Spent about an 2 hours at the first and second visitors centre and about 20 minutes at the last viewing area. The first two are free and they want $8 dollars to see the mountain and go inside the centre. The few of the mountain was great the inside display was a waste of time.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensacola, FL
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Take the Western Approach for an easy road trip with astounding views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

We took the western approach to Mount St. Helens by getting off at exit 49 off I-5 and using route 504, Spirit Memorial Highway. It features wide roads with look outs to view the crater. We made it in less than a day and got a late morning start from Portland, returning by supper. We stopped at the St. Mount Helens Visitor center where we saw a short movie on the volcano, toured the small but informative museum, and made a purchase from a local artist selling jewelry. We also stopped at the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center for a few more museum exhibits and they offer a restaurant and restrooms, too. Don't miss the spectacular views off the back side. We stopped and visited the Coldwater lake and took some photos and then, ended the journey at Johnson Ridge Observatory for more incredible views of the park. It was a short, but rather steep incline up which I was able to make with a stroller, and they charged a nominal fee, $8 per person, I believe. This was an hour and a half drive from Portland, and the highlight of our vacation!

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
281 reviews 281 reviews
44 attraction reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“A view that you must see.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

I went here on the same day that I went to Mount Rainer. I could not believe the size of the "hole" that was left after the eruption. Mother Nature is powerful. It is a very beautiful and must see sight if you are in this part of the States. It was so huge, but yet so far away. It was breathtaking. I highly recommend going here for the history and scenery.

Visited November 2012
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