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Rating 1.2 (158 votes)

Mount St Helens

Listed under Volcanoes in US West Coast, United States.

  • Photo of Mount St Helens
  • Photo of Mount St Helens
  • Photo of Mount St Helens
  • Photo of Mount St Helens
Photo of Mount St Helens
Photo by Photography: Mike Lyvers
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Mount St. Helens was a placid looking, scenic volcano until it erupted with devastating force in 1980. This is a volcano best seen when in repose, but it is one of my top choices because it has become the best 'living volcano museum'. Om Mount St Helens the devastation is still there for all to see – the felled trees, the destroyed forests, the moon-like landscape which used to be lush – and it is all showcased by well-thought out visitor centres retelling the tragic events of 1980.

You can climb to the summit of Mount St Helens (a day hike) and see the lava dome growing inside the crater. On a clear day, you can see many of the other Cascade volcanoes all around, all of which could erupt with similarly devastating force.

Late Spring to early Fall are the best times to visit. Winter brings harsh weather, and climbing to the summit can be hazardous. A variety of lodgings are available in the towns surrounding the mountain and there are also several campgrounds.

Written by  Rosaly Lopes.

Other expert and press reviews

“Once-beautiful, previously dormant, Fuji-like volcano”

The famous 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens blew out the north side of this once-beautiful, previously dormant, Fuji-like volcano, almost instantly flattening 400 square km of virgin forest and killing 57 people - some of whom were as far as 30 km away f… Read more...

Written by  Mike Lyvers.

“Mount St. Helens”

Mount St. Helens is one of this centuries most destructive volcanoes. In 1980 it was responsible for the death of 57 people and the devastation of 250 homes and 300kms of highway. Since 1980 a glacier has rapidly formed in the shadow of the crater, to… Read more...

Written by  Hamish Holl.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Monument

The Eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 measured 5.1 on the Richter Scale. This eruption caused the death of 57 people and thousands of animals. It also buried about 230 of forrest and changed the landscape around the volcano completely. The eruption lasted nine hours. The area now belongs to the United States Forest Service and is 110,000 acres. The land was left as it was after the eruption to in an attempt to let nature take its course. The Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Monument was established by President Reagan and congress in 1982, two years after the eruption. The area is now dedicated to exploration and information about volcanoes.

The site is home to the Coldwater Ridge Visiting Center, Johnston Ridge Observatory, Forrest Learning Center and the Mt. St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake. Visitors can get as close as 4 miles to the crater on Windy Road.

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