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Johnston Ridge Observatory

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Address: Toutle, WA
Phone Number:
+1 360-274-2140
10:00 - 18:00
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 18:00

A small observatory poised dramatically on a cliff overlooking the debris...

A small observatory poised dramatically on a cliff overlooking the debris left over from the famous 1980 volcano explosion.

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Small-Group Full-Day Tour of Mount St Helens Volcano from Seattle
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 341 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 261
  • 58
    Very good
  • 8
  • 3
  • 1
View the force and renewal of nature in one place

It is evident but hard to imagine the destruction that occurred when Mount St. Hellens erupted in May of 1980. A visit to the Johnson Ridge Observatory helps but the scale of this... read more

Reviewed 12 October 2016
Steve A
Shady Shores, Texas, United States
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341 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 331: English reviews
Shady Shores, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2016

It is evident but hard to imagine the destruction that occurred when Mount St. Hellens erupted in May of 1980. A visit to the Johnson Ridge Observatory helps but the scale of this event is still hard to imagine. I recall the news reports from when I was much younger but seeing the landscape around the mountain and the videos... More 

Thank Steve A
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2016

We set off early to see Mt. St. Helen as advised by our inn keeper to avoid tourist buses and such. It was a windy foggy drive, but the heavy fog added to the mystic. One moment you are on the valley floor and then the climb to around three to four thousand feet. We arrived at the parking lot... More 

2 Thank 2born4m
Pikeville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
51 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2016 via mobile

We decided to visit the Johnston Ridge Observatory of Mount St. Helens at the last minute while headed to Seattle, and we're glad we made the 52 mile journey. The scenery is magnificent and the history is remarkable. The fog was thick this morning and we were afraid we'd miss the volcano. Luckily, the fog settled into the valley and... More 

Thank Harry A
Level Contributor
303 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016 via mobile

The rangers were really good. We listened to a talk. Then we went on a 1.5 mile walk with the ranger. We had a fantastic time. Highly recommended. Note: the drive is very windy and the are not many overtaking spots.

Thank David F
Level Contributor
124 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016 via mobile

Rangers are stationed outside and are a wealth of knowledge. Worth the time to hear their insights. The movies inside are well done. Definitely take the 17 minutes to view the story of the 1980 eruption. Plan time to sightsee just outside. There are nearby hikes as well, however, we did not pursue.

Thank PegCl
Armagh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2016

Unbelievably beautiful view from a well organised, affordable visitor's centre. Lots to see. There's a show in the interpretive centre at the end of the museum which ends with the drawing back of a curtain to reveal an unexpected and spectacular view of the mountain. If you paid any attention to the show, you are a bit wiser about what... More 

Thank BennyDoran
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
538 reviews
347 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 360 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2016

My husband and I were driving north on interstate-5 and decided to take a slight detour to visit Mt St Helens. We took exit 49 (highway 504) and drove 52 miles to Johnson Ridge Visitor Center. The view of Mt St Helens was awesome and a little scary (just because we were close to a volcano). The fee for Johnston... More 

Thank M J
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
114 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2016

Obviously this is a place to commence your viewing of the volcano, but if you get a bad day it offers things to do inside. Facilities are clean, staff are friendly. Just a quick mention about the films - they really lacked substance in terms of regeneration in the area and local species. Great views obviously on a fine day... More 

Thank Tess W
Level Contributor
47 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2016

This review is hopefully given as constructive criticism. In general, staff nice, facility clean. Lots of volcano info BUT but because part of the Mt. St. Helen story is rebirth and regrowth, there is a large chunk of info missing here. There is nothing about wildlife or vegetation on display. The movie although somewhat informative, gives sparse info on what... More 

1 Thank PALsIMHO
Mena, AR
Level Contributor
102 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2016

When standing in front of the huge crater it makes one feel so small. Find out all about the eruption and stories of the people who survived. Be sure to check out the videos that they play as well as the ranger informational talks. Take a hike through the blowout zone.

1 Thank MTBARK

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Seattle, Washington

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