Experience the wonder of a volcano from the best vantage point – the air! You will marvel at one of nature’s most powerful creations, witness the devastation of an eruption that occurred over 30 years ago and see how it still impacts the area today.
Hillsboro Aviation has been operating tours from the Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center, located at milepost 27 on State Route 504, for 18 years and is the most experienced operator on the mountain. As a company, Hillsboro Aviation has flown nearly 900,000 flight hours during its 32 years in business. This equates to more than 80,000,000 flight miles, clearly making Hillsboro Aviation the most experienced and knowledgeable tour operator at Mount St. Helens.
Hillsboro Aviation has done thousands of tours during its time at Mount St. Helens and as passengers will tell you it’s a remarkable experience. Hillsboro Aviation’s location at the Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center is the closest tour location to Mount St. Helens and offers incredible views of the mountain from the minute you pull in the parking lot.
Our tours operate from May through mid-September departing every half hour from our paved landing area next to the visitor center. Tours are given in a Bell JetRanger which is considered to be the most reliable helicopter in the industry. It seats four people in addition to the pilot. Hillsboro Aviation’s pilots are extremely knowledgeable about the area from years of flying tours and performing survey work on the mountain for the U.S. government. The pilots provide a thorough narrative during the tour which gives context to the amazing visuals you will witness.
Five different tour options are offered featuring a variety of highlights, including the Toutle River Valley which is filled with debris from the mountain’s eruption, the sediment dam, Elk Rock, Castle Lake, Johnston Ridge, Spirit Lake, Loowit Glacier and the mountain’s new lava dome which emits white steam signaling its activity. On a clear day, there are also spectacular views of Mount Rainier to the north and Mount Adams to the east framing the eruption zone which stretches for over 15 miles. Click here to read more about each tour option, including the price and the length of each tour.
Hillsboro Aviation's Mount St. Helens tour operation is part of Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS) whose mission is to provide the public access to scenic areas while in the care of good, safe and professional tour operators. TOPS is solely dedicated to further enhancing the safety of all aspects of helicopter tours. This prestigious TOPS certification sets Hillsboro Aviation apart from other tour operators in the Pacific Northwest. Click here to read more about the qualifications for TOPS membership.
Book your tour today through our online reservation system or contact the visitor center at (360) 274.5200. Your credit card will not be charged until the time of your flight. Walk-ins are accepted for tours if space is available. Gift certificates can be purchased from the visitor center as these tours make great gifts for anyone who wants an unforgettable experience.