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When Mt. St. Helens blew up May 18, 1980, it forever changed the landscape. Even though it is now well into recovery, the face of nature looks far different, and will for years to come. If you should happen to pass that way, this is a place that you should visit.

Mt. Saint Helen and her creator as seen from the visitor's center on the Weyerhaeuser tree farm.

There is a huge hole in the side of the mountain and little plant life even twenty years later, but life is returning.

Standing, dead trees, left there by the heat wave in an area that was sheltered from the  destructive force of the blast.  Inside of the bowl of the creator left by the blast.  A waterfall that has streaked the rocks red with iron from a large ash pile that was partially refined by the heat of the eruption. The water picks up iron as it soaks through the cinders.  The lower valley, below the volcano. The great flood created by the melting snow and ice when the mountain blew up washed the rock there. Notice the scattered Elk in the valley.

There are three visitor centers that are by the Forest Service and have a fee, as well as one that is by Weyerhaeuser Wood Products, that is free. Of the three, the one by Weyerhaeuser is by far the best, although we did enjoy all four of them and one fee gets admission to the other three. Plan to spend at least a half day here.

This is a picture of a valley that was not affected by the blast. It shows what the area looked like before the mountain blew up.  This is what was left of the forest after the blast.  Elk bathe in the river on a warm afternoon.  The mountain as seen from Cold Water Lake. This was a developed tourist area before the blast.  Looking down the valley from the Weyerhaeuser visitor center.  Coldwater Ridge visitor center.  The mountain as seen from Johnson Ridge visitor center.  Down timber scattered by the blast. 

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