Encompassing the areas of British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, the Pacific Northwest is a vast region of the Americas with towering mountains, awe-inspiring volcanoes, and seemingly endless coastal beaches. The Pacific Northwest is notorious for its natural beauty—and its cloudy, rainy weather. Don’t let that stop you from visiting if you love stargazing, though. During the warm weather months of June through September, the Pacific Northwest is blessed with clearer skies and you can take full advantage of them at countless hideaway spots with pockets of dark sky overhead.
Johnston Ridge Observatory is the primary visitor center for Mount St. Helens. This notorious volcano is located in southwest Washington, and brings out travelers to hike the slopes, learn about geologic history, explore the lava tubes that cut through the mountain, and even go stargazing. Because of the volcano’s 1980 eruption and ongoing minor activity, there is virtually no development in the area, and light pollution is minimal. (In fact, any light pollution you will see comes all the way from Portland, Oregon!)
Accommodations near Johnston Ridge are located on SR 504 and in Castle Rock.
Accommodations near the south side of the mountain are located on SR 503 in Cougar and in Woodland.
If you need assistance please call 360.577.3137 – Monday – Friday 8:30 to 4:00 pm.