Johnston Ridge Observatory

View from Johnston Ridge Observatory deck.

Observatory View Deck



View the lava dome and growing glacier from a visitor center overlooking the crater.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory is open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.daily from mid May to the end of October.






Crater and Dome Exhibit and Videos

Crater and Dome Exhibit






Learn about the eruptions and rocks that formed Mount St. Helens and watch videos of scientists explaining amazing events and crater features.







Make-a-Quake Exhibit

Make-a-Quake Exhibit







Create your own individual or family-sized earthquakes and view them on digital and paper-drum seismographs.








Feel the Rumble Exhibit

Feel the Rumble Exhibit





Watch seismic traces unfold as you view animations of common earthquakes recorded at Mount St. Helens and feel their rumble on a touch pad.












jeanne and kid with touchscreen_2nd Story

Return to Life Touchscreen Exhibit




Discover the wonder of amazing change as you view scientists’ photos and their stories of three decades of returning life.


Watch videos and view scientist’s photos in our online version of the Return to Life exhibit.





Eruption of Life Movie




View the award-winning ‘Eruption of Life’ and ‘Message from the Mountain’ movies in the observatory’s state-of-the art  HD surround-sound theater.


Learn about 1980 eruption events and watch a time-lapse video of the eruption.


Learn how well-adapted lupine plants flourished and elk browsing on small trees is delaying the return of the forest to the valley in front of the crater.