"Apocalypse, now…" Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument by Orbital_
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument Travel Guide: 123 reviews and 313 photos
The following is a direct lift from my travel journal at the time, and perfectly encapsulates I think why Mt St Helens is an essential day trip if you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest for any length of time.
“The 2hr drive [from Portland] up Interstate 5 into Washington state was unremarkable, but once we branched off onto the smaller roads in the area the views gradually became more epic as we gained altitude. The final ten miles up to the Johnson Ridge visitors were incredible - bare mountainsides were still starkly apparent, whole mountainsides still clad in trees blasted flat by the cataclysmic eruption over twenty years ago. Having watched the obligatory National Park interpretive film at the centre and viewed the (suitably informative and interesting) exhibits we took a walk on one of the paths heading out from the centre. Until then the sky had been disappointingly overcast for the duration of our visit, yet quite magically as we sat down to gauge the view the clouds magically parted for a few minutes allowing a staggering view of the immense north-facing crater in the side what was once a classic pyramidal peak. Truly perfect timing doesn’t happen often in this life, but when it does it’s a moment to savour. The apocalyptic landscape really was on such a scale that “wow” and “oh my god” were simply, honestly, the most over-used, yet somehow the only words to describe the apocalyptic landscape at times as your jaw slackened and your soul drank in spectacular view…”
- Pros:The mountain and the surrounding 20-odd miles, what more can you say?
- Cons:Crazy drivers on the roads to the monument
- In a nutshell:Apocalyptic scenery quite unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed...
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