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Visit Mt St Helens and Vicinity

Photographer: Unknown

November| 2021
Washington State Parks
Free Park Days in 2021
State Parks, in coordination with WDFW, will once again offer a free day on Sunday, June 13, as part of WDFW’s Free Fishing Weekend. This day, combined with the June 12 free day for National Get Outdoors Day, will give visitors an entire weekend to explore state parks for free.

The 2021 State Parks free days are:

• Friday, Nov. 26 — Autumn free day
Since you can't visit the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center in person right now (due to COVID restrictions), we thought we'd show it to you virtually. Check out our YouTube channel for a guided tour, courtesy of Interpretive Specialist Alysa Adams and Eager Beaver, who came out of retirement just for this presentation!

Mt St Helens - Sights to See
Things to do along the way on SR504
Hoffstadt Creek Bridge
The largest and highest bridge along Washington State’s Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, Hoffstadt Creek is a deck truss bridge with a main span of 600 feet (183 mtrs). Opened in 1991, the new highway was built to replace the original highway that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980. By taking an elevation high above the North Fork of the Toutle River, the new route 504 is safer from potential debris run off and flood damage. The continuous truss was built by erecting the outside spans of 332 feet (101 mtrs) on falsework and then cantilevering the central span of 600 feet (183 mtrs) from each side. The approaches are steel plate girders with spans that vary from 148 feet (45 mtrs) to 232 feet (71 mtrs). The truss reaches a depth of 56 feet (17 mtrs) above the piers. The bridge cost 12.6 million dollars and uses 2,505 tons of steel. Shelby Bridge Co. was the contractor, Universal Structural was the fabricator and Western Pacific erected it. The bridge won the 1996 Merit Bridge Award for a Long Span bridge from the American Institute of Steel Construction Inc.

Hoffstadt Creek is not the only tall bridge on route 504. Nearby Cow Creek bridge is also high at 260 feet (79 mtrs).

Photo by Adrian
Located at the landmark, The Buried A frame at the 19 mile marker on SR 504.
The Mount St. Helens Bigfoot statue is 28-feet tall, made of concrete, with intricately detailed fur.
A great photo opportunity for Bigfoot lovers!
Mt St Helens Institute
Photo Credit: Andy Goodwin
November 8, 2021
Road 83 to Climbers Bivouac is closed with significant snow accumulated on the road and at the site.  
Winter climbing conditions and weather are highly variable from sunny to snowing and bitter cold, to wet and windy. Frequently check conditions and forecasts. 
Sunrise: 7:04 am
Sunset: 4:47 pm

Climbing permits are required year-round. From April 1 - October 31, permits must be purchased online in advance through Visitor our permits page for more information. From November 1 - March 31 permits are free, unlimited, and self-issued at the trailhead.

Trailhead - Marble Mountain Sno-Park: Snowy conditions from the trailhead to the summit.

Route finding: Do not just follow the "fall-line" on your descent ("fall line" is if you were to roll a ball down the hill, it would travel with gravity and that would take you off-route). Route finding may be challenging, especially in dense cloud or fog; be sure to know the route and carry a map and compass or navigation equipment.

Glissading: Always make sure you can see where you're glissading to. Watch out for exposed rocks.

Forecast: Conditions are highly variable. See the forecast links below.

Gear: Please be prepared for winter conditions. Micro spikes, an ice axe, and the appropriate clothing.

Leave No Trace: Climbers are required to utilize blue bags to pack out all human or pet waste, including toilet paper.

Camping: There is dispersed camping and pit toilets available at the trailheads, but no running water, and bathroom services may be limited so please bring your own toilet paper, soap, water, or hand sanitizer. Please plan accordingly.
The 2021 Gifford Pinchot National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map is hot off the presses! The free Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) shows the roads, trails, and areas where you can legally drive your wheeled motor vehicles on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
These roads, trails and areas are designated by type of motor vehicle allowed and the allowable season of use. All motor vehicle operators are required to know and follow the regulations displayed on the MVUM when driving a motor vehicle on the forest.
Download a free, GPS-enabled Motor Vehicle Use Map using the Avenza Maps App
Download a PDF version from our website: Map
Paper copies will also be available outside of ranger district offices. Please call the district office in advance to verify copies are still available. Not all offices are open to walk-up services at this time. Contact Us Learn more about the map. Maps & Publications
What's happening in Castle Rock
Gateway to Mt St Helens
Spirit Lake Memorial Hwy.
SR 504
Castle Rock Festival of Lights - December 11th, 2021
Castle Rock Skate Park
Castle Rock Bike Skills Park
Castle Rock in Bloom
Where to Stay in Castle Rock
What's happening in Cougar
Gateway to Mt St Helens
SR 503
Photo Credit: Nathan Takko
Where to stay in Cougar
June Lake - Trail #216B
Offering picnicking opportunities on the shores of June Lake, this 1.6 mile trail is a good choice for families and beginning hikers. June Lake was formed by a 2,000-year-old lava flow blocking a tributary of Swift Creek. The lake is located along the base of a basalt cliff over which a waterfall pours, replenishing the lake’s cold, clear water.
Trail of Two Forests Interpretive Site
This trail loops through two forests that stand side by side, but are separated in age by 2000 years. One forest is old-growth Douglas-fir and western red-cedar and the other is a young forest that was originally engulfed by lava flows from an eruption of Mount St. Helens over two millennia ago. This forest encompasses three-dimensional imprints of trees in the old lava beds called lava casts. The boardwalk trail loops through the two forests, and is kid friendly.
Ape Cave Interpretive Site
Reopening 2022
Explore a chilly, pitch-black lava tube over two miles long. A short, paved, accessible trail beneath towering trees leads to a stairwell into the cave. The ¾ mile, one-way lower cave route is relatively easy and family friendly. For the more adventurous, the 1.5 mile upper cave route leads to a climb up an eight foot rock wall and scramble over rock piles, then an exit and a 1.5 mile above ground hike back to the parking lot. In summer, Ape Headquarters, a small visitor center, offers lantern rentals, information and sales items.
Lava Canyon - Trail #184
Reopening 2022
Views of a rushing ribbon of pools and waterfalls await you on the Lava Canyon Trail. Three sections of the trail, one section which is accessible, provide opportunities for all. Due to closure of the Lava Canyon Suspension Bridge, the 1.4 mile upper loop is not possible. The first small bridge remains open for crossing the river. You may still walk down both sides of the river to the suspension bridge, you just can't cross it. Lower section past the suspension bridge is open.
Windy Ridge Interpretive Site
Closed for the season - Reopening 2022
Located just five miles from Mount St. Helens, Windy Ridge Interpretive Site provides a close-up view of the volcano's crater and a breathtaking panorama of a landscape radically changed during the 1980 eruption and landslide. Below you lies Spirit Lake, with its floating log mat of huge trees swept into it during the eruption. Beyond, view a plain of pumice and ash and denuded hills, still fairly barren but greening with vegetation. Climb a 368 step sand ladder for a higher view. Read interpretive signs to learn about the events and people of the eruption. During summer, join an interpretive program presented at the site's amphitheater. The site is accessible and memorable for all.

Forest Road 99 is gated for the winter just past Wakepish Sno-Park. The road normally opens in late June or early July, depending on how quickly the snow melts out.
What's happening in Longview
Longview's 40th Annual Holiday Parade!
This beautiful artwork of the Stageworks marquee was
drawn by Julia Sanchez Styles and is used by permission.
Visit her at jgoeswandering on Instagram for more of her beautiful artwork!
Lake Sacajawea
Longview Public Library
Shay Locomotive
Go 4th Celebration - July 2022
Mint Valley Golf Course
Nutty Narrows Bridge
Where to Stay in Longview
August 2022
The Longview Public Library building now open on a limited basis!
The Longview Library is building is open to the public as follows:
Monday through Thursday: 10 am to 6 pm
Friday & Saturday: Noon to 4 pm
Drive-Thru hours remain the same as they have been, offering the same great services
pick up your holds, print jobs, seed library orders, get questions answered and more!
Find all of our hours in one place:
Things to keep in mind for entering the library:
+Starting Monday, August 23, everyone must wear a mask inside the library,
vaccinated or not. We have masks, child and adult sizes, if you need one.
If you can't wear a mask, we can help you via Library Drive-Thru.
Internet computers are available (60 minute per day limit)
Holds should still be picked up in Library Drive-Thru
Cash, check, and credit card payments now accepted at the main desk for library fees
The Friends Book Shelves are OPEN. Cash or check payable to Friends,
or pay via GiveButter:
+Free magazine and 'Grab & Go' free book shelves are now located
upstairs in the Magazine Room.

Library Drive-Thru info:
Ask a Librarian:
What's happening in Kelso
Cowlitz County Historical Museum
Tam O'Shanter Park
Where to Stay in Kelso
Three Rivers Golf Course
What's happening in Kalama
McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge
Kalama Marina
Kalama Amphitheater
Festival of Lighted Boats - December 11
Where to Stay in Kalama
Louis Rasmussen Day Park
Port of Kalama Interpretive Center
What's happening in Woodland
Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens
Photo by Vivian Mosby
April 24, 2021 Tour
Holland America Tulip Gardens
Photo by Vivian Mosby
Cedar Creek Grist Mill
Photo by Vivian Mosby
Lewis River Golf
Where to Stay in Woodland
Woodland MX Park
What's Happening in Toutle
Riverdale Raceway
Where to Stay in Toutle
Mount St Helens &
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Road Conditions Report
Visitor Center Hours
Castle Rock Visitor Center
890 Huntington Ave N, Castle Rock, WA
Visitor/Information Center Hours:
Temporarily Closed
Mount St Helens Visitor Center
3029 Spirit Lake Hwy.
Castle Rock, WA 98611
Exhibits & Gift Shop Temporarily Closed
Forest Learning Center
17000 Spirit Lake Hwy.
Toutle, WA 98649
Gift Shop - 360.274.7750
Exhibits & Gift Shop Temporarily Closed
Johnston Ridge Observatory
24000 Spirit Lake Hwy,
Toutle, WA 98649
Exhibits & Gift Shop Temporarily Closed
Science & Learning Center at Coldwater
19000 Spirit Lake Hwy.
Toutle, WA 98649
Visitor/Information Center Hours:
Open Saturday & Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
Kelso Visitor Center
105 N Minor Road
Kelso, WA 98626
Visitor/Information Center Hours:
9 am to 3 pm
Monday - Friday
Woodland Information Center
900 Goerig Street,
Woodland, WA 98674
Visitor/Information Center Hours:
Open: 9 am to 4 pm
Open 7 days a week