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Thursday, September 21, 2023
Sept. 21, 2023

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Forest Service: Some Mount St. Helens sites still open

By , Columbian staff writer

The Johnston Ridge Observatory north of Mount St. Helens remains closed following a May 14 landslide that damaged Spirit Lake Memorial Highway near Milepost 49, yet some recreational sites and viewpoints remain open.

Travelers can still access popular stops along the highway, including the Coldwater Science and Learning Center at Milepost 43, Elk Rock viewpoint at Milepost 37, and Castle Lake viewpoint, Milepost 40. The Mount St. Helens Forest Learning Center at Milepost 33 and Washington State Park Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake off the highway remain open.

The U.S. Forest Service implemented closures in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest: The Coldwater Lake picnic and boating site; segments of Hummocks Trail #229, Boundary Trail #1, Lakes Trail #211, Coldwater Trail #230 and South Coldwater Trail #230A; and the South Coldwater Trailhead parking lot.

Officials are exploring alternative options for people who want to venture to the northern portion of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, according to a joint release from the U.S. Forest Service and Washington State Department of Transportation.

Visitors should not wander beyond Milepost 43 on Spirit Lake Memorial Highway due to unstable conditions.

It is too early to determine when the road will reopen, according to the release. The Forest Service and WSDOT will provide updates as plans development. A map of the South Coldwater Slide closures can be found on the Forest Service’s website, www.fs.usda.gov.