Johnston Ridge Observatory Walk

EASY 26 reviews

Johnston Ridge Observatory Walk is a 0.6 mile loop trail located near Toutle, Washington that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until October.

0.6 miles
65 feet

kid friendly


nature trips



no dogs

12 days ago

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-

21 days ago

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.

25 days ago

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!)

1 month ago

Easy access with great views. More of a walkway than a trail.

2 months ago

Not really a trail. This is only for a quick view of the Volcano. You will need to go down to start the hikes.

3 months ago

Nice view of the mountain

11 months ago

Not really a trail. But the information and view are amazing.

scenic driving
Monday, July 10, 2017

The views were BREATHTAKING on the way up to the observatory. Plenty of viewpoints along the way without any obstruction to look at mt St. Helens!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

My 7 year old boys got tired quick on this trail, sights were beautiful!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Easy walk past the observatory parking lot with breathtaking panoramic views. Take note of all the volcanic rocks on the trail.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Great for pictures and to meet visitor center interpreters.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Not really a hike, but it's a nice walk with good views of the sleeping mountain

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Awesome paved .5 mile loop with interpretive signs and panoramic views of Mt. St. Helens. The day before we visited there was a 3.1 magnitude earthquake and the crater was smokin’. Check out the seismic monitoring equipment, area map model and eruption video at Johnston Ridge VC and learn about the effects of the explosion from the May 18, 1980 catastrophic event. From an educational standpoint about the volcanic history of the area, this is one not to miss.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This isn't the most challenging 'hike' and it isn't the longest. But it does offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the crater of an active volcano while standing on the ridge 5 miles away that bore the brunt of the eruption on May 18, 1980. As the eruption occurred, it took less than 90 seconds for the blast to hit Johnston Ridge and basically wipe it clean. The strewn carcasses of trees off the sides of the trail bear testament to the incredible force of nature whose wake you are now walking in. A truly incredible experience, and coupled with all the history, etc. from the Observatory, an amazing time capsule of American history. Only downside? No pets but that is the case for all National Parks.

5 days ago

26 days ago

1 month ago

9 months ago

11 months ago

11 months ago

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017