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Mount Saint Helens

Mount Saint Helens

Mount Saint Helens: Our most recommended tours and activities

Seattle: Mt. Rainier Sunset Hot Air Balloon Ride

1. Seattle: Mt. Rainier Sunset Hot Air Balloon Ride

Indulge in a luxurious and exhilarating adventure like no other with Seattle Ballooning's hot air balloon ride. Your heart will race with excitement as you prepare to embark on a journey that will take you soaring over the stunning Pacific Northwest landscape.  You'll watch in awe as Seattle Ballooning's expert ballooning crew prepares the hot air balloon for takeoff. Once in the sky, you'll be mesmerized by the breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Saint Helens in the distance. As you soar at 3,000ft-5000ft above Seattle, you'll fly over hard-to-reach rivers, beautiful lakes, stunning farmland, and an incredible view of the tranquil waters of The Puget Sound. The highlight of your tour will be the stunning view of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Saint Helens as you reach the peak of your ascent. After a slow and soft descent back to earth, you'll be greeted with a bottle of ice-cold champagne to toast to you checking hot air ballooning off your bucket list. 

Portland: The Mt. St. Helens Adventure Tour

2. Portland: The Mt. St. Helens Adventure Tour

Spend a full day crawling, climbing, and hiking with your professional guide as you experience Oregon's natural surroundings up close. Travel north of Portland along the lower Columbia River, known for 18th-century Spanish, American, and British explorers, and the Chinookan people. Crawl through a lava tree mold during a 20-minute hike in a landscape reminiscent of a fairy-tale amusement park, before beginning your descent into Ape Cave, one of the longest continuous lava tubes in North America. Spend 1-2.5 hours exploring this cave, named for a purported Sasquatch attack. Weather permitting, you will spend an hour at the closest viewpoint into the crater of the volcano, where you will eat a picnic lunch, overlooking Spirit Lake. Here, if there are no clouds, walk up the 437-step staircase to get a photo of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, and of course, Mt. St. Helens. Before returning to Portland, you'll make additional 5-to-30-minute stops to enjoy vistas, hike through oldgrowth forest, and admire a waterfall. Throughout the day you'll learn about the geological history that shaped Mt. St. Helens and the Cascadia region.

From Seattle: Mt Saint Helen Tour

3. From Seattle: Mt Saint Helen Tour

The image of Mount Saint Helen's will always be associated with the United States and the rest of the world. Life changed in an instant during the events leading up to the 1980 eruption, and the mountaintop's geography was permanently changed. Today, you may explore this distinct volcano and all the flora and wildlife that contribute to the remarkable reforestation initiative. The Johnston Ridge Observatory is open seasonally and is located on Johnston Ridge in the center of the 1980 blast zone approximately 8 km (5 mi) north of the Mount St. Helens summit. The Ridge was named in honor of David Johnston, the USGS volcanologist who was on duty at the USGS Coldwater II observation point during the May 18, 1980 eruption. He was one of 57 people who lost their lives in the eruption. The Observatory building houses seismic, deformation, and other monitoring equipment that relays data to the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory for analysis.

Seattle: Mt. St. Helens National Monument Small Group Tour

4. Seattle: Mt. St. Helens National Monument Small Group Tour

Mount Saint Helen's is a volcano that forever lives in the minds of Americans and the world. During the events that surrounded the 1980 eruption, lives changed in an instant, and the mountaintop's geography was forever altered. Today, you can experience this unique volcano and all the flora and fauna that makes this impressive reforestation project so dramatic. On May 14th, 2023 Spirit Lake Highway leading up to Mt. St. Helens experienced a massive mudslide due to rapid melting of snowpack following a weekend of exceptionally warm spring temperatures. The mudslide is currently blocking access to Spirit Lake Highway about 9 miles before Johnston Ridge Observatory. The only destination this impacts is access to the Johnston Ridge viewing area. For this season, the park crews have opened public access to the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater Lake to the public which sits up on a ridge and offers very similar views to what you could expect at Johnston Ridge. On the way into the Monument you may stop at Lewis & Clark State Park to bask in the shadow of the old-growth forests that once covered the northern reaches of the mountain, or at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge to explore estuary wetlands. You'll traverse the barren landscapes, stopping for a peaceful hike along the Hummocks Trail and then you might head down to Coldwater lake and enjoy a family style picnic lunch next to the water. End the day on a high note (literaly) as we wind up a bit in elevation to a view from above Coldwater Lake and the most direct peak into the crater on clear weather days. Enjoy browsing the interpretive info, take photographs, or find a quick gift for a loved one back home. Then we'll head back to Seattle and everyone will be dropped off back at their hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Mount Saint Helens

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