Mt. St. Helens National Monument & Ape Cave

Why We Love This

  • Visit the renowned Johnston Ridge Observatory and Visitor Center
  • Gaze into the blast zone and crater from scenic viewpoints
  • Embark on interpretative nature walks led by a naturalist guide

On this small-group Mt. St. Helens Tour from Portland, your naturalist guide will capture the significance of the 1980 volcanic eruption through captivating stories and interpretative nature walks. You’ll also discover how the local ecosystems are reemerging and evolving.

Meeting Location

Please confirm your pickup location upon receiving the confirmation email.

When To Arrive

Please be ready 15 minutes prior to your scheduled pick up time.

Cancellations & Refunds

7+ days prior to our tour: Any change or cancellation, including a rescheduling of the tour date, will incur a fee of $50/tour.* Within 6 days of our tour: Any change, including a rescheduling of the tour, will incur a fee of $50/tour.* No refunds for cancellation.

General Information

Embark on interpretative nature walks led by a naturalist guide Hear the geological science and captivating stories behind the 1980 eruption Gaze into the blast zone and crater from scenic viewpoints Witness a desolate but reemerging landscape and learn about the ecosystem’s rebirth Visit the renowned Johnston Ridge Observatory and Visitor Center Watch for resident elk herds, frogs, beavers, birds, and other wildlife Savor a fresh, family-style lunch (included in the price) Venture into Ape Cave, the largest continuous lava tube in the continental United States This haunting but beautiful journey takes you into the heart of Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. View the steaming volcano just miles from the crater, witness how the ecosystem is recovering from its powerful eruption, and walk through the park with your naturalist guide to learn about how volcanoes are monitored and how events transpired on that fateful day in 1980. Traveling north into Washington, you’ll visit both the forested south slopes of the volcano and the barren landscapes of the blast zone. As you drive along Spirit Lake Highway, you’ll stop to spelunk in the cool darkness of Ape Cave, and may take a peaceful walk along the Hummocks Trail or pause to reflect alongside the blue waters of Coldwater Lake. After enjoying a picnic lunch, you’ll arrive at the Johnston Ridge Observatory to embark on an interpretive walk along the Eruption Trail. The trail offers sweeping views into the crater, and teems with purple lupine and other wildflowers in the mid-to-late summer. Throughout the day you’ll hear incredible stories of survival and science, and experience the unrelenting resilience of nature exemplified by this rebounding ecosystem.


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