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Photographing Mt St Helens

Mt St Helens offers an enriching experience and a plethora of photographic opportunities from its two observatories. Trevor Anderson shares his experiences at each of these locations

Every year, I anticipate visiting Mt St Helens to welcome the start to the alpine wildflower growth. The relatively barren landscape receives more direct light and, consequently, loses its snow pack much quicker than other alpine areas in the Cascades. There are some distinctive features to photograph from the mountain’s two observatories. In the following, I will discuss some unique characteristics of each location.

The most popular spot to view Mt St Helens is at the Johnston Ridge Observatory on the Northwest side of the mountain. This ridge puts you right in front of the 1980s blast zone. The close-up of the mountain fills one with a sense of awe and makes for a very strong backdrop. The trails leading from the observatory open up even more unique photo opportunities. The 4.6 mile round trip boundary trail is a good one to follow to find healthy flora to complement views of the mountain. Mt St Helens is situated at an angle from the setting sun, so it does catch some alpenglow lingering on its summit. I would suggest…

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Trevor Anderson

I am Trevor Anderson and I am a Pacific Northwest based Photographer. With the immense natural beauty and recreational opportunities available in my region, I was drawn to exploring the moods of nature while hiking at a relatively young age.

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