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“Must see”
Review of Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens
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$259.64*
and up
Private Mount Saint Helens Monument Day Trip
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$201.70*
and up
Small-Group Full-Day Tour of Mount St Helens Volcano from Seattle
Ranked #30 of 2,778 things to do in Washington
Certificate of Excellence
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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
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.

3  Thank mbabane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (363)
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261 - 265 of 363 reviews

Reviewed August 16, 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!

1  Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Thank Kyle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

We had just been to Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens was next on our itinerary. My only regret is not realizing how far from Rainier it was and how much time I wanted to spend. It's a long jaunt from Rainier, We departed from Paradise went through Longmire, over to Elbe, south to Morton, west to I-5 and down to Castle Rock. Headed east to Johnston Ridge. From Paradise to Castle Rock it took us about 2 3/4 hours, but we also stopped for a 15 min break at a waterfall and gassed up in Morton. The drive to Johnston from I-5 is long, steep and curvy, but sooo worth it. We stopped at the first VC, you can bypass that one. Stopped at the Forest Learning Center and looked around a bit (wish we would've spent more time here for sure) and made our way to the end. Took us about 1 3/4 hours for this too with our stops. Even if you drive straight through, you're looking about 1 1/2 hours depending on traffic.
We lucked out, beautiful day and the crowds weren't bad..even at 1:30 on a Sunday. Sun was shining and Mt St Helens was there in all her glory. Can't believe the devastation this caused and even after 30 years how it's till regrowing. But as the movie says "people see it as devastation, nature sees it as a chance for regrowth" or something like that. So true!
You pay $8/person (kids under 15 are free). This gets you in the building and access to trails.
We hiked some trails, just close ones, toured the building and watched both movies.
Like someone else mentioned, pictures just don't do this justice, you need to see it to believe it! It's breathtaking, inspiring, beautiful just to name a few. Words just can't do it.
I would've like to have seen the view from Windy Ridge, the observation point on the other side of the mountain, but there's no real good way to get from one to the other without a lot of driving, so maybe another time....
Plan to spend at least a full day here, I really wish we had. Being from the Upper Midwest, I see 52 miles on a map and I think to myself "I can do that in about 45 min". You forget mountain driving takes about twice as long. :)
I did enjoy the drive however, enough stops on the way with gas, food and bathrooms, so you didn't feel as if you were in the middle of nowhere. Roads were wider than what we saw at Rainier, and there were fewer bicyclists, so that was better too. It just makes me so nervous meeting a camper and a bicyclist on a steep curve.
As we left Mt St Helens we stopped at Coldwater Lake to hike a short trail there. Was absolutely beautiful. Like I said, I would love to go back and spend about 3 days here to take it all in, and that still wouldn't be enough. Wish I lived closer!
Take your time, understand it, appreciate it, take it in and never forget it. You will have wonderful memories to last your lifetime.

4  Thank earnhardt8carfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

My husband and I revisited mt St. Helens in July before attending a nearby wedding. Fantastic! We were SO glad we took the time to make the long drive to the Johnston Ridge observation center. We had gone in September two years ago and it was so cloudy we couldn't even see a mountain out there in the fog. This time, not only was the volcano in full view, the surrounding landscape was covered in a rainbow of wildflowers. It made for candy before our eyes and fun photography.
It was so beautiful outside that we skipped the inside exhibits but I remember them as being highly educational and a real asset to any visit but particularly welcoming on those gray days of poor visibility.

3  Thank pinehollowgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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