Windy Ridge Viewpoint

Just six miles from the crater of the volcano that last erupted more than three decades ago, the Windy Ridge Viewpoint is the prime destination for those seeking to see Mount St. Helens from the east.

It's the closest you can get by car, so even if you never leave the driver's seat or any of the passenger seats, you're still greeted with a view of the massive mountain and the entire north side that slid off in the blast. But with so much to do at Windy Ridge, why wouldn't you want to venture outside?

You've probably been in the car for awhile at this point, so get out and traverse more than 300 stairs to the viewpoint high above the parking lot for a grand view of both Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake. If you're up for a hike, you can continue on the trail and hit Smith Creek Viewpoint and points further south.

In the late spring and summer, rangers with the U.S. Forest Service give talks from the amphitheater about the history of the mountain, its eruption and how the ecosystem is recovering. They're fascinating lessons on what you're looking at right in front of you, so take advantage of this free opportunity.

The viewpoint is also the eastern terminus for the Truman Trail, which takes hikers up close and personal with the mountain itself. The Truman Trail offers a fantastic trek through the valley below the mountain, and eventually meets up with other trails that can take you to the Johnston Ridge Observatory, Loowit Falls, Coldwater Peak and other places throughout the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Mount Margaret Backcountry.

Windy Ridge Viewpoint is the end of Forest Road 99, so once you're done here, make your way back down and enjoy the trip!


Places to stay nearby

Adytum Sanctuary

Mossyrock, East
Starting at: $195.00

Almost Paradise

Ashford, East
Starting at: $175.00

Alpine Retreat

Packwood, East
Starting at: $110.00

Bear Lodge

Packwood, East

Places to eat nearby


198 Main Ave.,
Morton, WA 98356
(360) 496-5355

Birchfield Winery

921 Middle Fork Road,
Onalaska, WA 98570
(360) 978-6176

Blue Spruce Saloon & Diner

13019 U.S. Highway 12,
Packwood, WA 98361
(360) 494-5605

Papa Bear's Restaurant and Lounge

207 W. Main Ave,
Morton, WA 98356

Brew Coffee & Expresso Bar

498 2nd,
Morton, WA 98356
(360) 496-0073

Tall Timber Restaurant, Lounge & Motel

10023 U.S. Highway 12
Randle, WA 98377
(360) 497-2991

Brown Shack Tavern

155 Salkum Road,
Salkum, WA 98582
(360) 985-2603

Big Bottom Bar & Grill

9791 U.S. Highway 12,
Randle, WA 98377
(360) 497-0561

Upcoming events in the area

Burnt Ridge Farm Tour

Saturday, July 21, 2018 at 10:00am

Randle Lavender Week 2018 - Weekend Celebration

July 21-22, 2018 from 11:00am-6:00pm

Saturday Night Fireside: "Big Bottom Drifters"

Saturday, July 21, 2018 7:00pm-10:00pm