Nikon D610
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm F/4G ED Lens
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Johnston Ridge Observatory trail view of Wildflowers & Mount St. Helens

After driving through miles of gorgeous forestry you'll quickly start to see the remaining destruction and the incredible regrowth that this area has experienced since the famous eruption of Mt St Helens in 1980. It's rare to find an area filled with so much beauty, as well as destruction, but this observatory view has persevered and now, you can capture a picture-perfect scene with the active volcano standing prominently in the background and the lush landscape at the forefront.



Skill level

Public Location


anytime (no overnight stays permitted)


$8 per adult


  • Wide-angle lens (16mm)
  • Sturdy tripod
  • Telephoto lens
  • Walking shoes

How to get there

N46° 16' 34.7196"W122° 12' 44.9028"
This image of the wildflowers and Mt St Helens was taken from a trail of the Johnston Ridge Observatory. After parking in the main lot next to the observatory (46.277836, -122.216475), you'll need to head south toward the visitor center. I usually hike past the visitor's center and up toward the left up a couple of switchbacks. I've always been able to find multiple patches of flowers within a mile or so of the visitor center, but if you're struggling to find them, just reference the GPS coordinates to find where I stood to get this south-facing view. Please note: You are not allowed to go off the trail so please stay on the designated paths. Be respectful of the vegetation and wildlife.


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