The eruption of Mount St. Helens caused the largest landslide in recorded history, sweeping through the Toutle River Valley and removing the upper 1,313 feet of the volcano. Combined, the lava flow, soaring winds and deadly heat destroyed much of the previous landscape. What the mountain did leave behind is the history of a violent eruption that shook the surrounding region and left many with stories of that tumultuous day on May 18, 1980.
Three world-class visitor centers tell the story of the mountain and the people living in the region surrounding it. Located along Spirit Lake Highway toward Mount St. Helens, the centers are nothing short of unforgettable and extraordinary. The awesome views from each of the centers speak for themselves, bringing you face to face with a monumental natural event. Each of the three visitor centers tells a part of the tale like a captivating book with three chapters: the mountain as it was before the blast at Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center, first-hand accounts from survivors who experienced the explosion at Johnston Ridge Observatory and its present state at the Silver Lake Visitor Center. Each center is exquisitely unique and offers an unparalleled experience that brings visitors into the heart of a natural phenomenon.