Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is a U.S. National Monument that includes the area around Mount St. Helens in Washington.

It was established on August 27, 1982, by U.S. President Ronald Reagan, following the 1980 eruption.

The 110,000 acre (445 km2) National Volcanic Monument was set aside for research, recreation, and education.

Inside the monument, the environment is left to respond naturally to the disturbance. It was the third national monument to be managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

At dedication ceremonies on May 18, 1983, Max Peterson, head of the USFS, said, "we can take pride in having preserved the unique episode of natural history for future generations."

Since then, many trails, viewpoints, information stations, campgrounds, and picnic areas have been established to accommodate the increasing number of visitors each year.

Beginning in 1983, visitors have been able to drive to Windy Ridge, only 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of the crater.

Mountain climbing to the summit of the volcano has been allowed since 1986.

The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake, about 30 miles (48 km) west of Mount St. Helens and five miles (8 km) east of Interstate 5 (outside the monument)

The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake opened in 1987 and has been operated by Washington State Parks since October 2000.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory is 52 miles (84 km) east of Castle Rock, Washington, at the end of Washington State Route 504, four miles from the mountain.

The Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center in the Coldwater Lake area opened in 1993, operated by the Forest Service, but closed in November 2007 due to a lack of funding.

The southern and eastern sides of Mount St. Helens are accessible only by U.S. Forest Service roads.

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