Remember the Mount St. Helens eruption that shook the world 40 years ago. Get up close and see the shifting landscape of a volcano that erupted forever altering its corner of southwest Washington. Mount St. Helens is one of the most popular tourist destinations in our state, and Lewis County serves as the gateway to the mountain’s east and south sides.
Take the route through Randle to Windy Ridge for the rugged view that’s perfect for hikers, mountain bikers and the adventurous. Witness the sudden change in your surroundings as the green of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest becomes a seemingly deserted landscape, marking the entry into the blast zone. Put on your hiking shoes and explore the surrounding trails, and see life regenerate through plants and animals that now call the mountain’s shadow home.
Go through Toledo for the grand day tour that’s perfect for the entire family! Experience the volcano from Johnston Ridge, home to a major visitor’s center and a perfect spot from which to see the massive crater created in the 1980 eruption. Hear forest rangers talk about the history of the area and see the surrounding landscape up close, and hike some of the surrounding trails that tell the story of life’s regeneration.
Once the snow melts take the route through Randle to Windy Ridge for the rugged view that’s perfect for hikers, mountain bikers and the adventurous. Witness the sudden change in your surroundings as the green of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest becomes a seemingly deserted landscape, marking the entry into the blast zone. Put on your hiking shoes and explore the surrounding trails, and see life regenerate through plants and animals that now call the mountain’s shadow home.
The trip to Mount St. Helens is an awe-inspiring one, and is a must-do for the entire family.
WE’RE VOLCANO EXPERTS. ASK US ANYTHING ON REDDIT!
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Mt. St. Helens, scientists and volcano experts, primarily based in the Pacific Northwest, answered questions about the eruption using the online platform Reddit.
OMSI VIRTUAL SCIENCE PUB: MOUNT ST. HELENS ROCKED OUR WORLD!
Forty years ago, Mount St. Helens experienced a cataclysmic eruption. On May 18, 1980, the northern side of the volcano collapsed, triggering a forceful blast that raced across the landscape, an explosive eruption column that rose vertically in the air, pyroclastic flows that swept down the mountain, and a series of large mudflows that raced down river valleys toward the Columbia River. What did this eruption teach us about volcanic processes and management of volcanic crises? And most importantly, where do we go from here?
MOUNT ST. HELENS AND THE CASCADE RANGE VOLCANOSO
This program features four northwest scientists who will present a review of Cascadia Region tectonics, volcanoes, volcanic hazards, and a summary of how the science and monitoring has evolved over the last 40 years. It will also include first person accounts of the buildup to the May 18, 1980 eruption as experienced by University of Washington seismologist Steve Malone.
LEARN FROM HOME
The USGS Youth & Education in Science’s (YES) Learning From Home web page focuses on the 40th anniversary of the Mt. St. Helens eruption during the week of May 18th, 2020. www.usgs.gov/learnfromhome
VIRTUAL EXHIBIT – 40 YEARS LATER: THE ERUPTION OF MT. ST. HELENS AND THE USGS RESPONSE
This virtual exhibit commemorates the instrumental role USGS had in monitoring and responding to the eruption, the Bureau’s ongoing volcanic research, historical documentation, and information on USGS events marking this geological phenomenon.
SMITHSONIAN MOUNT ST. HELENS 40TH ANNIVERSARY PAGE
Mount St. Helens 40th Anniversary page: https://volcano.si.edu/projects/sthelens40/ Smithsonian events, resources, interviews, and other content prepared for the 40th anniversary of the 1980 eruption.
USGS LIBRARY PRESENTS “40 YEARS LATER: THE ERUPTION OF MT ST HELENS AND THE USGS RESPONSE”
The USGS Library has put together a virtual exhibit highlighting “40 Years Later: The Eruption of Mt St Helens and the USGS Response”. The online guide includes an extensive photo display, before and after map collections, USGS publications and authors, and interview transcripts of USGS scientists who were part of the agency response.
Experience the view of Mount St. Helens from as close as you can get by car! The eastern route to Mount St. Helens offers fantastic views of the mountain itself and other peaks in the Cascades, and connects to hiking trails that bring you up close and personal with the devastation and regeneration ongoing at the base of the recharging volcano. Discover Mount St. Helens from the eastern route!
Start your trip by driving Forest Road 25 from Randle, then make a turn up Forest Road 99. You’ll want to see each of these sites on your way up, so click or tap on one to learn more.
Toledo is known as the Gateway to Mount St. Helens, and the views from the Cowlitz Prairie just north of town paint a beautiful scene of the volcano in the distance with the peaceful setting of the prairie in the foreground. State Route 505 goes through Toledo on the way to linking up with the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, which leads to the mountain directly from the west side. It’s the shortest and most scenic route to the mountain’s most popular tourist areas from the north.
Start your trip by taking Exit 63 from Interstate 5, routing your trip through Toledo, and continuing on the highway until you hang a left at State Route 504.