"MT ST HELENS" Top 5 Page for this destination Oregon Things to Do Tip by mtncorg
Oregon Things to Do: 284 reviews and 504 photos
OK, so it is in Washington State, but most people still venture forth from the Portland metro area. It used to be a classic volcano in the Fuji-motif, but in 1980, it exploded on a scale that was mammoth. The entire north side of the mountain blew away and the top lost over 1000 feet in elevation. To hike in the mountains to the north side, especially from Norway Pass over to Mt Margaret, is to get a proper appreciation of the true scope of the devestation. It is also interesting to go back each year and see the changes as nature slowly recovers. There are plenty of visitor centers: Windy Ridge to the NE - high above Spirit Lake; Coldwater Visitors Center north of the mountain, from which a carbound visitor can appreciate the new horseshoe shape of the mountain. A special experience is to climb to the top of the caldera rim, though the experience is not that easy since one has to be lucky enough to get one of the 100 permits that are given out per day. Most people go up Monitor Ridge from the south side, about a 5 mile hike which gains 5000 feet. Another nice way to experience the mountain is to hike parts of an around-the-mountain trail (check to see if the trail on the north side is not washed away before heading in those areas. For a lot more, see my Mt St Helens tips.
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