We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Mt St Helens

Jacksonville,Florida
Level Contributor
23 posts
53 reviews
Save Topic
Mt St Helens

On 9-30-13 traveled up to observatory on Mt St Helens. Encountered 70 MPH winds and rain from storm moving onshore. Was very invigorating! Gas tank registered about 2 gallons because of steep road ascent. Had to coast 40 miles down mountain and made it to a gas station operated by nice Korean couple with 1/2 gallon to spare!

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
Level Contributor
4,043 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Mt St Helens

Sounds like an exciting trip....... We're planning on visiting the area next year. Did you find it worthwhile going all the way out to Johnston Ridge?

Jacksonville,Florida
Level Contributor
23 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Mt St Helens

Yes, even though conditions were horrible. They told us at the visitor center there was no possibility of seeing the mountain but we did. The drive is awesome with waterfalls coming out the side of the mountains and incredible bridges.

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
Level Contributor
4,043 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Mt St Helens

Great - we were planning on spending a full day driving from Hood River region up to MSH & out to Johnston Ridge before heading back toward Seattle. Did you happen to notice anywhere between the 2 that might be a nice place to stop over?

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
8,189 posts
185 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Mt St Helens

Between Hood River and MSH? Or between Hood River and Seattle?

It's about an hour's drive from Portland to Castle Rock, where you turn off to go to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Allow yourself 3 hours (or more, depending on how many visitor centers and other attractions you stop at) to get back to Castle Rock. Then, it's only 2 hours to Seattle. If you are thinking of stopping over between Hood River and MSH, I'd recommend Portland...either in the city or by the airport if you just want an economical layover after spending the day in the Gorge.

It might make a difference also as to when you'll be visiting, since the days are quite a bit longer during the summer.

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
Level Contributor
4,043 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Mt St Helens

We'll be on our way back to Seattle so looking for somewhere between Castle Rock & SEATAC where we have to be by 11am. Don't mind detouring off the highway - it will be in July.

western WA
Level Contributor
8,997 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Mt St Helens

You might as well just get all the way to Seattle or South Center / Seatac after Mount St Helens. There can be delays on I-5 , especially near Lakewood.

Eugene, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Eugene, Springfield
Level Contributor
8,189 posts
185 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Mt St Helens

I agree. Push on to SeaTac, turn in your car and get a hotel shuttle to your nearby lodging. Have a good breakfast the next morning and shuttle again to the terminal. A far more relaxed way to start a travel day.

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
Level Contributor
4,043 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Mt St Helens

Is it generally easy to get hotels around the airport or do you recommend pre-booking? I was thinking maybe Olympia which wouldn't be too much of a run into the airport in the morning???

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,510 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Mt St Helens

Take the advice you have received. Don't stay in Olympia. Go on to Sea-Tac. There are many, many hotels there at varying prices and levels of comfort.

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
Level Contributor
4,043 posts
260 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Mt St Helens

Hmm - just don't fancy spending the last night of our holiday in an airport hotel when we have a couple of hours to get to the airport in the morning........... Any thing to see/do in the airport area for the morning before we leave?