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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Not a drive through.

    Johnston Ridge observatory at Mt St Helens has wheelchair access offering good views of the canyon and lots of interactive info inside the centre. However it is not a simple drive through, to get there you have to drive in and out and it's probably about a 90 min drive from I-5 and then you have over an hour back to WA505 to get back on track to Rainier. It's quite a sight when there and the drive is scenic, but it requires a little time and effort

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default It Goes Against the Grain, But...

    I seldom advise people not to take in an attraction, especially a natural feature, that they find interesting, but in this case I might suggest that you at least reconsider going to Mount St. Helens. Except for the fact that it erupted within memory, most people would never have heard of this particular volcanic mountain. But that eruption was an event, a point in time that is now several decades in the past. There is very little evidence of it sill to be seen. Now understand that if I were in your shoes I would go, but then I'm a geologist and indeed Mount St. Helens erupted while I was getting my undergraduate degree and we studied it quite a bit. But the fact that it is an active volcano also means that it's not really worth it to the US Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (which runs the monument) to spend a lot of money on permanent infrastructure. There is at least a short ADA accessible path/viewing area at Coldwater Lake Recreation and that as well as a Visitors Center at Johnston Ridge Observatory, but as Dave noted, it's a long drive in to those sites from the main road and a long drive back out (100 miles round trip from I-5), for what will likely be little more than a photo op. If it's something you or your mom have you hearts set on, then it's eminently doable. But if you're just going because it's a place you've heard of, then your time would probably be better spent in the more fully developed Mount Rainier National Park, which also has the advantage of being a 'drive through' that does not require backtracking.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    Silver Lake Nat'l Park
    Judging by the other things you mention, such as Mt Hood, I believe you mean either Crater Lake National Park, or Silver Falls State Park. Both are in Oregon. There is no Silver Lake National Park. Silver Lake is a resort near June Lake in California, and there is another Silver Lake around Ft Irwin in California.


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