I have deemed 2011 "Year of the Volcano", since Mr. Jones and I seem to be spending a good amount of time touring around them. It was a rare, hot weekend in Portland, so we headed up to Mt. Saint Helens to have a look at a volcano we only ever appreciate from a distance. It was stunning!
There are four observatories and many lookout points on the I-504. We stopped at two, where we took in some pretty classic 80s documentaries on the 1980 eruption.
The Johnston Ridge Observatory seemed by far the best, where the movie screen rises to reveal a gorgeous view of the volcano.
Perhaps it's the pleasant drive through the state park, but the place was particularly popular with bikers.
There are short hikes around the area, with lovely lookouts from the trails.
A great destination if you're in the Northwest, and a much different experience than visiting Mount Hood.
Make sure to visit if you ever have a Volcanic Summer! Now, if I could only fit in a trip to Iceland before the Summer ends...