Visit Mount St Helens with your own expert naturalist guide on this private day trip from Seattle. Visit the Johnston Ridge Observatory for panoramic views of Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument and to learn about the 1980 eruption, one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic eruptions in US history. Go on a short nature walk, stop for plenty of photo ops and enjoy a picnic lunch of regional gourmet food and wine. Hotel transport is included.
After hotel pickup by Mercedes SUV or van, your day trip to Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument begins with a light breakfast of pastries and hot beverages as you head out of town toward the volcano, about 120 miles (195 km) south of Seattle.
During the drive, stop along the way at a few scenic spots to take photos and hear facts about the area from your private naturalist guide. Learn about Mount St Helens’ eruption in 1980 that covered eastern Washington in volcanic ash, and hear about the reforestation and recovery projects still going on today.
When you arrive at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, located 5 miles (8 km) from the crater in the blast zone, hop out of your vehicle and spend some time here admiring the impressive view of Mount St Helens. Look for rising steam, and listen as your guide recounts the geological events that led up to the 1980 eruption. Then browse the observatory’s interpretive exhibits about the volcano and surrounding landscape.
Next, follow your guide on a short nature walk along the Eruption Trail to enjoy views of the lava dome, crater, pumice plain and landslide deposit. Then sit down to a gourmet picnic lunch of organic and locally sourced food and wine. Snacks and drinks are also provided throughout the tour.
Your day trip ends with the drive back to Seattle for hotel drop-off.
Sample picnic lunch menu:
- Meat dish such as grilled salmon or chicken, or a sandwich or wrap (vegetarian option is available)
- Grain salad such as quinoa with roasted vegetables
- Green salad
- Local wine, San Pellegrino water and soda