Submitted by WSDOT

A popular scenic stretch of highway leading into Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, is now open, granting visitors better access for enjoying the mountain’s breathtaking scenery.

On Thursday, March 24, travelers along State Route 504 – better known as Spirit Lake Highway, can continue past the gates near Coldwater Lake at milepost 45.0, up to the Johnston Ridge Observatory.

Each winter, the Washington State Department of Transportation closes the upper reaches of the highway due to hazardous driving conditions caused by ice and snow. To ensure the road is ready for travel by spring, maintenance crews spend several weeks working to clear rocks and debris from drainage systems and remove the winter snow off the highway.

WSDOT coordinates closely with the U.S. Forest Service to ensure SR 504 is open to drivers headed to Johnston Ridge Observatory in time for the annual May 18 event honoring the mountain’s eruption in 1980.

Travelers can get real-time travel information by downloading the WSDOT mobile app and by visiting WSDOT’s real-time travel map webpage.

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