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Mt St Helens from Johnson Ridge

© Copyright 2001, Jess Stryker.  CC-BY-4.0 License.
Mount Saint Helens from Johnson Ridge.  View of Mount St Helens from the Johnson Ridge Visitor Center.  Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA.

About 3 miles from the mountain, this is the closest you can get without obtaining a special permit. The side of the mountain facing you blew out sideways straight toward the location where this photo was taken on Johnson Ridge. The top then collapsed into a huge landslide that roared down into the valley between this ridge and the mountain, crossed the valley, and came up and over the ridge where this picture was taken.  Nothing survived on the ridge, it was wiped clean.

Johnson ridge is the first ridge out from the mountain, and is perpendicular to the mountain. The side of the ridge facing the mountain was scrubbed of all it's soil right down to the bedrock by the force of the blast and landslide. The exposed bedrock has grooves cut into it from the bottom to the top, made by huge boulders scrapping against the bedrock as they were propelled up and over the top of the ridge. Most of the bulk of the landslide flowed off to the right side of the photo above, down the Toutle River Valley.

Spirit Lake is directly to the left of where I took this photo, at the top of the valley. Unfortunately I didn't get time to go over to Spirit Lake, there isn't a direct road to it from Johnson Ridge.