Monday, October 1, 2012

Sight Seeing in Seattle - Part 6 - Mt. St. Helens

One of the important places to visit in the general Seattle area - at least for me - is the Mt. St. Helens volcano crater and devastation area.  The volcano blew and wiped out the area for dozens of square miles in 1980.  Some thirty years later the area is grown back except for the immediate area around the volcano itself.  That area is green but mostly treeless.  The slope of the volcano itself is dead and with the stiff wind blowing that we were experiencing the day of our visit, the ash was blowing in clouds from the volcano slope.  Mt. St. Helens is a pleasant 2.5 hour or so drive from the Seattle area along I-5.  Once you get to the visitor center right off of the interstate it is still another 45 minutes up the mountains to the observation point to see the crater.  Well worth the trip!
The visitor center at the bottom of the mountains.  Stop here to buy your pass to the Mt. St. Helens area.

The original bridge was blown away by the volcanic blast.  This one constructed in the 90s replaced it.  This was the furthest area of the blast.  The rest of the damage was from mudflows and ash.

A nice drive up the mountains on a windy (mostly) two lane road.  Plan enough time for the drive.

Getting closer to the volcano!
The trees were blown away and killed by the blast and ash.  Most of the dead trees were picked out by the Forest Service and contractors over the years.  The direction of the tree falls show the impact of the blast.
The landscape scoured clean by the volcanic blast
Inside the observation area facility - a tree snapped off by the blast and on display
Young son
Young Son and the Grouch
Just to prove the Missus was along on the trip!  I'm holding onto her so we don't blow away!
More devastation from the blast near the observation point
There it is, Mt. St. Helens with the blast area exposed - notice how part of the volcano is gone?
Still steaming and sometimes erupting!

1 comment: