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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Thanks for letting us know.

    I had no idea that Windy Ridge had seen damage like that. Good to know. Bummer.

    Well, William's trip can still work. He will just have to go to I-5 and take the Spirit Lake Hwy at Castle Rock into the Johnston Ridge VC instead of going up the east side to Windy Ridge.

    Too bad though. The Windy Ridge is my favorite site. But they're both good.

  2. Default

    actually the spirit lake highway isn't as far out of the way as I thought on the way to Rainier. Maybe 70-80 miles more driving, which isn't that bad considering you can go faster on I-5 an and US-12 than the forest service roads to Windy Ridge. This is assuming you come from both ways to Morton, where you would travel up to the southwest entrance of Mt Rainier National Park, where I hopefully will be headed tomorrow from Portland. Looks like Windy Ridge will have to happen latter this summer as a part bike ride. The main point though is that the extra driving to any close viewpoint at MSH is easily worth it. It is a must-see.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Actually, quicker

    It's actually quicker to see MSH from the Castle Rock/Johnston Ridge VC side via Spirit Lake Hwy. It's a great way to see the crater, the lake, and to get a general view of the destruction.

    However, I like the Windy Ridge side better because you're driving through more of the destruction instead of just viewing it from afar. It is actually quite a bit longer of a drive to get there though.

    You really need a whole day to do the loop to the east side and up to Windy Ridge. You can do the Johnston Ridge side in about 4 hours (1 hour each way for the drive and about 2 hours or so at the visitor center and viewing). Of course, either of these trips can take longer if you do a lot of hiking but there is no way you can do Windy Ridge in just 4 hours.

    I agree. It is a must-see. Probably the biggest must-see in Washington state right now because it changes so much each year.

    I need to dig up my photos of our first trip there in 1983 when it was pure moonscape. Scan them so I can share them here. So surreal.

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