The massive destruction that surrounds Mount St. Helens is both stunning and breathtaking. There’s a surreal beauty to this mountain and the surrounding landscape. Mount St. Helens has erupted more times in the last 4,000 years than any other volcano in the Cascade Range. The eruption in 1980 was devastating for many in the surrounding area. The mountain blew a cloud of ash 15 miles into the sky, and the subsequent eruptions carved a new landscape. I didn’t know this but Mount St. Helens has continued to erupt right up until 2008!
There are several hikes in the area and the visitors’ center is really great. Sometimes tourist-y stuff can be kinda boring, but we really enjoyed the facts and movie they have. Getting to know the facts of the 1980 eruption really puts things into perspective on the incredible power behind a volcano blast. I’ve never really seen massive destruction like this before. We saw Mount Pelée in Martinique a few years back, but the surrounding area had recovered. You can see the wreckage in their museum, but the landscape is marked mostly by beautiful black sand beaches.
I couldn’t resist posting a few pictures of the waterfalls just outside of Portland. I didn’t have room for them last week but the area deserves some recognition.
Columbia River Gorge forms a border between Washington and Oregon. The interstate #84 highway runs alongside of it and the scenery is gorgeous. It is on this highway that several waterfalls are located including the more famous Multnomah Falls.
It’s really beautiful through this area and I would highly recommend taking the Historic Columbia River Highway on your way in or out of Portland. It takes you up to the Vista House, which gives you great views of the Columbia River Gorge.