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Johnston Ridge Observatory

21500 Spirit Lake Highway, Toutle, WA 98649
+1 360-274-2140
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A small observatory poised dramatically on a cliff overlooking the debris left over from the famous 1980 volcano explosion.
  • Excellent79%
  • Very good17%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“mt st” (39 reviews)
“visitor center” (48 reviews)
“ranger talk” (20 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
LOCATION
21500 Spirit Lake Highway, Toutle, WA 98649
CONTACT
Website
+1 360-274-2140
Write a ReviewReviews (431)
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All reviews
"mt st"
in 39 reviews
"visitor center"
in 48 reviews
"ranger talk"
in 20 reviews
"food truck in the parking lot"
in 9 reviews
"volcanic eruption"
in 6 reviews
"active volcano"
in 6 reviews
"minute movie"
in 8 reviews
"visitors centers"
in 5 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 16 reviews
"national park pass"
in 5 reviews
"great view of mt"
in 6 reviews
"gift shop"
in 23 reviews
"mother nature"
in 6 reviews
"clean restrooms"
in 7 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 13 reviews
"spirit lake"
in 23 reviews
"castle rock"
in 12 reviews
Filter

1 - 10 of 417 reviews

Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you go to Mt. St. Helens, the Johnson Ridge Observatory is where you want to go to see the mountain. It has great views. The visitor center is well done and very informative. The biggest negative is how expensive it is. I have not...More

Thank oregondba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This visitor center is well appointed with a lot of interesting exhibits, movies, facts and stories surrounding the Mt St Helens 1980 erruption. It is well worth going to if you plan a visit to the area. The hiking trails are well marked, but out...More

Thank mjj123mjj758
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Johnston Ridge Observatory best view of Mount St Helens and Spirit Lake, worth the trip. Make sure you take time to watch the movie. Our first time seeing the North side of the mountain. The impact on the landscape is unbelievable. Elk and plants are...More

Thank bwajra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

The drive from the I-5 is fun, with reasonable speed limits, and affords views of beautiful forests and fields. As your wind your way up into the mountains, in the distance snow-capped peaks grownever closer. The road is clean and well maintained, and there is...More

Thank johnl198386
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Visited the observatory to get a real up close view of Mount St Helens 38 years after watching the eruption on television. You can't fathom the strength and severity of that eruption until you see the Mountain here up close and personal. The danger sessions...More

Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
33
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

If you are short on time and have small children, it might be best to hit up the Mt St Helens Visitor Center. But if you have the time to drive the 45 miles into Johnston Ridge Observatory, it is more than worth it. The...More

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

Ranger station opens at 10am, we got there at 9:30 and beat some crowds. The hike down to spirit lake was beautiful and was a little less than an hour each way.

Thank Katie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2018

We went to see Mt St Helens and it was fogged in. We walked around and couldn't see much, we decided not to go in the observatory since there was a charge to see it. It might have worth it but we decided it wasn't.

2  Thank patcallis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2018

The views into crater and exhibits are great. Come often and during different seasons. Incredible to see how nature heals itself over time. Each season is interesting as well as watching the changes very noticeable every few years I go with foreign visitors.

Thank TroySea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2018

View is awesome but the content and mostly the wear on the displays are disheartening. Great to read the personal stories of the people who live (or not) through this ordeal. Mother nature wins in the end - a stark reminder of how small we...More

Thank Mike5466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Ben D
10 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from BunsenBurner40 | Reviewed this property |
Not sure.
0
Votes
Mishelle H
25 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from kumtux | Reviewed this property |
The road to the observatory is generally open from May through October depending on the snow pack. Since Memorial Day is the very end of May, the road should be open. I imagine that the Observatory will be open for the... More
0
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alchemilla2014
18 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from PatB-Sonoma | Reviewed this property |
The campground accepts RV's up to 28' long, so your 22' will have no problem.
0
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