Friday is 32nd anniversary of Mount St. Helens eruption

Friday is 32nd anniversary of Mount St. Helens eruption
Aerial view of eruption of Mount St. Helens. Skamania County, Washington. May 18, 1980. Published opposite p. 1 in U.S. Geological Survey. Yearbook. 1980. (Courtesy USGS)

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. – Break out your commemorative jars of Mount St. Helens ash: Friday marks the 32nd anniversary since the volcano’s infamous eruption.

All of the Mount St. Helens visitors centers – Coldwater Ridge, Johnston Ridge and the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center – are free to the public on Friday.

Coldwater Ridge, which has been closed since 2008, will temporarily reopen from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to honor forestry service volunteers.

Coincidentally, Friday will also be the 40th anniversary of legislation that allows volunteers to work with the forestry service. The Coldwater Ridge event will feature a special presentation on this landmark act as well as to congratulate three volunteers that are receiving national awards.

One of them, Joel Starr, was selected as the Forest Service Individual Volunteer of the Year. 

Visitor Center officials said there is no known permanent reopen date for Coldwater Ridge, which has been renamed the “Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater.”

Among the reasons is that they do not have food service. When they are able to reopen, they will only serve as a science and learning center.