Washington - Mt. St. Helens

Mount St. Helens

It's Washington's most famous mountain. This is Mt. St. Helens from the western, touristy approach, with the second photo taken from the end of the road at Johnson Ridge. There is a small volcanic cone in the center of the crater, which in 200 years may build itself back up to the pre-1981 height of the mountain.

The North Fork Toutle River now must wind its way through canyons of ash, thanks to the mountain featured here.

Trees are not only charred from the heat of the blast here on the eastern side of the volcano, but flattened from the force of the ash rolling along the ground. An eerie stump sticks itself out of the ground here in no-man's-land, a strange area where trees simply cannot return yet. The eastern entrance to the national park is exactly at the treeline.

Spirit Lake, which was covered in ash completely, is making a recovery, but still has a long way to go.

The scenery looking back west along Highway 410. Heading east takes you to Mt. Rainier.

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