Mt. St. Helens
The Windy Ridge/Spirit Lake side of Mt. St. Helens makes a great day trip. 2017 marks the 37th anniversary of the eruption, so it’s the perfect time to visit.
The drive is about 2 hours each way, and Windy Ridge gives you the best views of the crater. It’s actually closer to the crater than the western side of Mt. St. Helens and because of the direction of the eruption, you’re looking directly into the crater just 5 miles away. During the summer, rangers give talks about the eruption throughout the day. The devastation is amazing, as is the way life is slowly coming back.
If you have lots of energy, climb up the 361 steps to the top for an incredible view. We also really, really love the Harmony Falls Trail. We’re not sure where the Falls are, but this trail takes you down to Spirit Lake. Lots of frogs, but more importantly, huge numbers of trees still floating in the water after 36 years. The size of some of these trees will help you understand nature’s force.
The White Pass Scenic Byway has a great day trip itinerary. Click here to learn more.
Windy Ridge is accessible via FS Road 25 and FS Road 99 from Randle. It's usually accessible from sometime in June (depending on snow melt) through early November.