Posted By Toutle Trekker

August 10, 2022

 Johnston Ridge Observatory is open with an $8 entrance fee.  You can also purchase an annual pass ($80) here.  All the trails near Johnston Ridge are melted out.  A family of mountain goats is living on the old Devil's Elbo trail.  The Forest Learning Center is open.  Windy Ridge is open.  The Coldwater Ridge Science and Learning Center is supposed to be open to the public on weekends (supposed to is the key here).  The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Seaquest State Park is open 9 am to 4 pm.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.   Additionally, Harry Gardner Park reopened to camping on April 11, and the South Toutle Bridge is open to all traffic.  Tower Road remains washed out near Hollywood Gorge but a temporary bridge is planned for the fall.

Salmon season opened on area rivers on August 1 and hatchery stealhead can be retained as well.  See the WDFW website for regulations.   

Trails:  Snow is finally gone except in a few patches left for making slushies.  Goat Mountain/Deadman's area is finally snow free.  Mount Margaret has patches of snow.  The Loowit trail, which circles the volcano, is melting out, but with the recent heat, the crossings of the Toutle River will be tricky, with heavy muddy melt coming off the mountain.  Bugs are pretty nasty everywhere.                               

 The Forest Service has closed the old road that leads from Windy Ridge to the Truman Trail (207).  That trail is also closed for the season during the week.  There's some interesting history here, since these trails were originally roads used to access Spirit Lake to control its water level after the eruption.  The "road" is being used again to maintain the tunnel that keeps the lake stable.    East of the Monument, the USFS has closed road 23 for repairs, and alternate routes need to be used.                                                                                                       

Services: Earlier this year, Drew's Grocery caught fire and was severely damaged.   This family-owned business has been the heart of Toutle for nearly 85 years.  The family is has put in a double wide temporary store that is NOW OPEN..  The other new building is a Red Leaf Coffee and it is now open for business.  FUEL and GROCERIES ARE NOW AVAILABLE .  Pay at pump and open 24-hours.  Fire Mountain Grill at 19 Mile House and North Fork Survivors are open for the season. A food trailer is open at Johnston Ridge.  The Kid Valley store is permanently closed.

Toutle Community Note:  Everyone in Toutle became instant  Colorodo Rockies baseball fans when the grandson of the owner of Drew's Grocery was drafted #50 overall..   Congrats to recent grad and future "big league pitcher" Jackson Cox!

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