The Johnston Ridge Observatory is a visitor center and museum located near the Mount St. Helens volcano in the state of Washington, USA. The observatory provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about the geology and natural history of the area, as well as the catastrophic eruption that occurred on May 18, 1980.
The observatory is named after David A. Johnston, a volcanologist who worked for the United States Geological Survey and was stationed at an observation post on the ridge when the eruption occurred. Johnston was one of 57 people who lost their lives in the eruption.
The Johnston Ridge Observatory features exhibits that showcase the science of volcanology, the history of the Mount St. Helens eruption, and the ongoing recovery of the area’s ecosystem. Visitors can also view a short film about the eruption, visit the outdoor amphitheater for interpretive talks, and explore the trails and viewpoints around the observatory.
One of the most popular attractions at the observatory is the view of the volcano’s crater and lava dome. From the observatory’s viewing area, visitors can see the crater and the surrounding landscape, including Spirit Lake, which was heavily impacted by the eruption.
The Johnston Ridge Observatory is open to the public from May through October, and visitors are encouraged to check the observatory’s website for current hours and admission fees. Overall, the observatory is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in geology, volcanology, or natural history, as it offers a unique opportunity to learn about one of the most significant volcanic events in recent history.