Mount St Helen's is a lesson in history, geology, nature and humanity. The Windy Ridge entrance to the park is less traveled, uncrowded and makes a great approach to those who like the road less traveled. You can order a DVD copy of the educational film to watch in advance of your visit to make up for the fact there is no visitor center. The interpretive signs and sites en route are well done. You are traveling through the blast zone here, so you will get a good solid education even if this is the only area you visit. Need a not-so-strenuous hike? Park at the Independence Pass trail head. You only need to hike in about a mile to get an outstanding view of Spirit Lake at the foot of the now exposed volcanic cone. If you enjoy a physical challenge, hike from the Norway Pass trail head. Scenery here may not be as "pretty" as other parks, but it's a real eye-opening experience. The terrain is ash and brush, so wear appropriate clothing and footwear. The roads are winding, curvy and even falling away in some places. Drivers beware.
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