Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument offers a wide range of experiences for visitors to enjoy on three sides of the mountain: West, South and East. The Westside is accessed by the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway (State Route 504) from Castle Rock at Interstate 5. This 52-mile journey offers views of the massive 1980 North Fork Toutle River landslide and mudflow that buried the previous highway and valley. Visit the world renowned Johnston Ridge Observatory and enjoy awe-inspiring crater views (weather permitting), award-winning films, interactive displays and Ranger-led activities.
The Southside, accessed via State Route 503 from Woodland, offers exciting explorations including volcano climbing, mountain biking and caving. From the town of Cougar you can explore Forest Roads 81, 83 and 90 and enjoy camping, hiking, and horseback riding. The Ape Cave lava tube and Trail of Two Forests access a 2,000 year-old basalt lava flow from Mount St. Helens. Forest Road 83 offers views of 1980 mudflows formed by melting glaciers on the south flank of the volcano. A short hike into Lava Canyon offers spectacular waterfalls, a breath-taking suspension bridge and informative interpretive signs.
The Eastside of the Monument (accessed via Randle from the north and Cougar to the south) showcases the amazing power of nature. On Forest Road 99, visitors begin in magnificent old-growth forest, continue their journey through standing dead forest at the edge of the blast zone and on through blown down forest into the heart of the blast zone. Evidence of destruction and recovery abound, along with amazing views of Spirit Lake and Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge. During the summer months, Ranger programs at Windy Ridge tell amazing stories of devastation, survival and renewal. Please note: There are no visitor centers or services on the Eastside of the monument (so come prepared). Forest Road 99 is accessible only during the months of July to October; it is buried in deep snow the rest of the year.
Map – how to get to McClellan Viewpoint
Exact location of McClellan Viewpoint is indicated by Green Arrow on the following map (click EXTERNAL LINK below to view map).