Spirit Lake Highway reopened for season

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TOUTLE — The entire length of state Highway 504 to Johnston Ridge Observatory reopened for the season Saturday, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The highway, also known as the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, closes each winter from the Hummocks Trailhead to Johnston Ridge, north of Mount St. Helens. By the time spring arrives, crews are often faced with 15- to 20-foot-tall snow drifts to clear, according to WSDOT.

The highway reopening coincided with Saturday's "It's A Blast" event at Johnston Ridge Observatory and the nearby Science and Learning Center at Coldwater. The event, organized by the nonprofit Mount St. Helens Institute, typically kicks off the visitor season at the volcano.

The anniversary of Mount St. Helens' deadly 1980 eruption is next Sunday, May 18.