What Should I Know?
Amenities: Restrooms at visitor centers. No overnight accommodations available and no camping is allowed in the restricted area. Lodging, meals, gifts, supplies and services are available in many communities around the mountain.
Operating Season: Daily mid-May through October.
Fee: $8 for entrance to the Observatory, free to holders of a federal interagency recreation pass. No fee to drive within the Monument.
Think safety: There is little shade around Johnston Ridge Observatory, so bring sun protection and drink plenty of water. Pets are prohibited at recreation sites and trails within the Monument’s restricted area. Climbing and backcountry hiking is allowed in designated areas by permit only.
Accessibility: There is a wheelchair accessible trail that explores a mudflow-scoured canyon and a waterfall plunging over an ancient lava flow. Trails are generally open from June through October, although some lower elevation trails can be hiked all year. Visitors can climb to the top of Mount St. Helens; however, a climbing permit is required above 4,800 ft.
Other info: During the summer months, food service is available at the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center and at Cascade Peaks Viewpoint.