Mt. St. Helens

Mount St. Helens remains a potentially active and dangerous volcano, even though it is now quiescent. In the last 515 years, it is known to have produced 4 major explosive eruptions (each with at least 1 cubic kilometer of eruption deposits) and dozens of lesser eruptions. Two of the major eruptions were separated by only 2 years. One of those, in 1480 A.D., was about 5 times larger than the May 18, 1980 eruption, and even larger eruptions are known to have occurred during Mount St. Helens' brief but very active 50,000-year lifetime. Following the most recent major eruption, on May 18, 1980, there were 5 smaller explosive eruptions over a period of 5 months. Thereafter, a series of 16 dome-building eruptions through October 1986 constructed the new, 270-meter- (-880- feet) high, lava dome in the crater formed by the May 18, 1980 eruption. Future eruptions are certain.

Mountain Facts

Previous Name


Elevation (feet)


Elevation (meters)



Southern Washington Cascades


 46.20 N


 122.8 W

Best Climbing Months

 May, June, July, August

Year First Climbed


First Climber(s)

 Thomas Dryer

Volcanic Status

 Intermittent activity

Most Recent Eruption


From Windy Ridge, looking East to Mt. Adams

St. Helens from Windy Ridge


On the 2 mile trail to the base of the mountain

Rainier behind Spirit lake, from summit   

Ya need a permit to climb, a permit to park and a permit to look

From trail head