Today we drove about 39 miles further up SR504 to Johnston Ridge Visitors Center. It wasn't the greatest day to go to the volcano, but everyone else thought that way too, so it actually was a great day to do it. The road up was an easy drive on a two lane road with hardly any traffic to speak of. The road usually has trees on both sides of the road which makes it even more enjoyable to trive.
The view from the center is stunning! We watched the intro movie and at the end, the movie screen retracts and the window coverings part and you can see the mountain right in front of you. From the outside railings, you can get great views of the volcano. You can see the part of the mountain that was blown down the Toutle River valley. A lot of the vegitation has really started to come back.
After touring the visitors center, we went for a short mile long hike on "Eruption Trail." This path leads from the center up a 100 foot hill and then winds down the back side to the parking lot. Overall disstance is right at one mile.
We then had a picnic lunch in the car and went down to coldwater lake. There we took a short 1/2 mile trail called "Birth of a Lake." This lake was formed by the debris from the explosion making a dam to hold back water ans sediment from downstream users. A few years after the explosion, the government had to blow a hole in the damn before the water broke the dam and flooded towns downstream.
The path is made of concrete and easy to walk. There are many viewing platforms in the lake that this path crosses and you get to enjoy views like the above!
There are many waterfalls along the road at this time of the year. Most are really movng some serious water,
On the drive back, the road was full of young green trees and they were very pretty to see.
2 years ago