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Mt. St. Helens & the Ecosystem Tour from Seattle

Visit Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Stopping to take photos along the way, your naturalist guide will present dramatic evidence to just how well the ecosystem is recovering and the impressive ongoing reforestation project.

Arriving into the blast-zone, just 5 miles from the crater at the Johnston Ridge Observatory you'll take in some stunning views into the steaming volcano. Your naturalist guide will share the magic of the geological events surrounding the 1980 eruption through a variety of stories, facts and walks. Experience how volcanoes are monitored and discover how Mount St. Helens has taught us new answers to old mysteries. The Center's state-of-the-art interpretive displays and theater magically portray the sequence of geologic events that transformed the landscape and opened up a new era in the science of monitoring an active volcano and forecasting eruptions. Read amazing eyewitness accounts from eruption survivors.

You'll embark on short walk on the Eruption Trail and learn how the eruption shaped the surrounding landscape. You can expect to see views of the lava dome, crater, pumice plain, and the landslide deposit. On the return, you'll experience the Hummocks Trail, the largest landslide in recorded human history, in Coldwater Lake Recreation Area to see first hand how the environment was left to respond naturally to the eruption at 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980. Nearly 230 square miles of forest was blown down or buried beneath volcanic deposits. At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments.

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