View of Mount ST. Helens MOUNT ST. HELENS
Into the Valley of the Volcano
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Driving instructions for The Valley of the Volcano driving tour of the Mount St. Helen's National Volcanic Monument.

From Portland take I-5 north to exit 49. Turn right (east) at the junction with State Route 504.

From Centrailia (and north), drive south on I-5 to Exit 49 . Turn left (east) at the junction with State Route 504. We suggest you fill your gas tank at one of the service stations right there at the freeway interchange, Texaco and Arco are both available 2 x 7. About five miles from the freeway, on your right, you'll encounter the Silver Lake Visitor Center. This is the first of several fee pay areas and you might as well get the pass right here, since you'll be traveling through several fee pay areas and without the pass, you can't really explore the exhibits and displays or see the presentations. The Car Tours program should be started as you leave the parking lot at the Silver Lake Visitor Center. Please note: the Washington Department of Transportation has recently increased the speed limit along SR 504 and we recommend that you drive about 5 miles per hour under the limit for the best timed experience. The driving time from Silver Lake to Johnston Ridge is about an hour. To have a full experience, you should probably reserve the better part of a day. We recommend you travel with plenty of water and bring snacks or a full lunch, as there are only modest facilities for food within the Monument.

Please drive with care and be mindful of the other visitors.

Thank you for using Car Tours.

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