Johnston Ridge Observatory Walk is a 0.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Toutle Lake, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and nature trips and is best used from April until October.

Length0.5 miElevation gain65 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsRunningForestPartially pavedViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

The Observatory is only open for a gift shop in the front of the building. Since the Observatory isn’t open in its normal capacity, there are currently no fees. Visitors are required to have the America the beautiful pass or the Northwest Forest Pass. For updates, please visit the park's website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/giffordpinchot/recarea/?recid=31562.

Weather
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Daylight
Reviews (93)
Photos (71)
Recordings (64)
Completed (462)
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Mary Johnson
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WalkingGreat!

Short easy walk. nice views of Hood and the valley below as well as some good interpretive signage. Fairly busy

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Michael Bradshaw
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Hiking

Such an amazing view of nature’s power and beauty

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Michelle Crandall
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HikingGreat!No shade

Easy quick loop with good views

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Bill Tompkins
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HikingNo shade

Very short but moderately steep hill. Amazing view of the mountain.

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Neil Waite
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Hiking

Informative and easy hike near the observatory.

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Brandy Young
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Hiking
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Michael Merino
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This was a nice short tail with plenty of good views and excellent parking. There is no cover from the sun and it was hot! So plan accordingly. A lot of people weren't wearing their mask and the trail can be tight at places. The trail does tend to be packed with people because of the view. Plan to be a good neighbor by bringing your mask and putting it on whenever a fellow hiker is on the trail with you.

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Stephanie Covington
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Nature tripsGreat!

this was a great area to view Mount St Helens and take a nice walk. beautiful views, historical explanations, and even a store inside the observatory for some water, snacks and souvenirs if you'd like some! Definitely a must do if you go here!

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Jonathan Pape
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Hiking

How did I miss that no dogs were allowed? :( Hike looked beautiful and plenty of parking. Lots of people.

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Scott Eskers
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HikingGreat!

Great trail. Amazing view of the volcano well worth the trip on a sunny afternoon.

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Jennifer Lim
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful view of the mountain. Hiked on a weekday with not a lot of people. We were satisfied even if we didn’t hike that far.

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Ric Esp
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Hiking

I don’t think it’s worth the 40 minute drive The building at the top is open but only a 10th of the store is open to buy souvenirs

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Kai Lukoff
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Hiking

Amazing wildflowers in early July. Fields are completely covered in yellow, red, purple, white, and orange flowers

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Ava Kay
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BugsNo shade

trail and road (us 504) is now open! no fees yet.

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Beth Chavez
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Hiking

Try to get there but road was closed. Only made it hammock trail. The whole hwy was block off and with no through traffic

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f c
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 24, 2019
Hiking

if you have a pass, don’t display as usual in your car, bring it up to the building to register.

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Will Foster
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Hiking

Discover the powerful events that transformed this landscape on May 18, 1980. View the renewal of life around you. Reflect on the sudden changes of the eruption and the gradual changes as nature creates a mosaic of life. Natures subtle rhythms prevail... until the volcano erupts again.

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Jason Salley
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Hiking

Very easy walk that is used as the starting point to access the more difficult trails in the park.

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Becky Schwiesow
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Hiking

AMAZING! Highly recommend doing this walk. You don’t see a better view of the crater from anywhere else.

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Tammy Barger
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Hiking

short and sweet. you can't beat the views for a trail you can do with kids

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Robyn Kimmey
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Hiking

Started at Observation Center, started recording part way in when it changed to gravel path.

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Shannon M
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Walking

Amazing views.

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Stephen Wallace
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Short and easy walk with excellent views to Mount St Helens.

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Starr Hullinger
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Walking

Blessed to make it out on a clear blue sky day. This path is right along the visitor center and features amazing views of Mount Saint Helens and the peak of Mount Adams.

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Mary Buck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2018
Hiking

Great trail walk but not advisable at 3 in the afternoon. If you do take more water than you think you need. No shade - kinda like the desert

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Dwight Collins
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Hiking

Nice views but we only had time for the observatory and the short hike and it cost $8/ person for a green wrist band. Make sure to get your money's worth if you go, skip this and hit the other areas of the park-

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Jacqui Chaltain
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I agree not really a trail but the views were great of the mountain and the way nature has reclaimed the land after the volcano erupted. Forty years of progress is pretty amazing.

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Courtney O'Grady
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As others have mentioned, not really a trail..but does provide awesome views!!! Absolutely worth the detour on the way to Seattle! (At least once!)

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