Situated off Highway 12 in Seattle, the Mt. St. Helens National Monument Tour hosts more than 500,000 visitors per year. The park itself was opened in 1982 under the jurisdiction of the U.S. National Park Service. Just two years prior, on the morning of May 18, 1980, Mt. St Helen's erupted. Fifty-seven people were killed as a result of the ensuing flood and landslide. A nature guide tour educates visitors about volcanoes and leads a 12-hour trek near the crater.
The Mt. St. Helens eruption was a force of nature unlike anything ever seen in the U.S. The blast was so powerful that the geographic area was completely changed. Tourists are spellbound by the easy, interpretive walks and the volcano's intermittent eruption history.
Tours were establishes within 5 years of the eruption. Visitors are invited to explore the area from May through Sept. Although the blast was over 30 years ago, the area is still recovering. The tour center also has a number of interactive displays, black and white video showing the actual eruption and other important facts regarding the eruption.
People from around the world descend upon Washington State every year to explore the Mt. St. Helens area. One of the biggest questions unanswered is will it erupt again in our lifetime? Individuals interested in taking a guided tour can contact the tour center for more information.