40th Anniversary of the Mount St Helens Volcano Eruption

It’s been 40 years since the cataclysmic eruption of the Mount St Helens Volcano, located in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. I was living about 80 miles north of the volcano and can remember watching the plume of ash from my residence on that day, May 18, 1980. There was no internet or social media back then. We had to watch TV or listen to radio to keep up on what was happening real time. All throughout that eventful day viewers were glued to their television sets to watch the event unfolding before their eyes. For weeks and months afterward, the volcano continued to steam, and viewers and scientists were able to watch a dome start to build within the crater. A Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument was eventually declared within a few years along with a visitor center and observatory built within a few miles of the volcano. Visitors from around the world continue to be awed by its looming presence, not knowing if and when it will erupt once more.

I’ve put together a few images I’ve taken over the years from the many times visiting the monument. The volcano is still an active one and will eventually, one day, erupt again.

Dome building event

Newly created Coldwater Lake from the eruption

Ash blown landscape

Destroyed hillsides of forests from the volcanic blast

Rising steam from the crater dome as viewed from observatory

Spirit Lake Memorial Highway

Return of abundant plant life to the area


All photos property of Peggy A Thompson


About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store, http://www.zazzle.com/northwestphotos.
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4 Responses to 40th Anniversary of the Mount St Helens Volcano Eruption

  1. Great mountain pictures, makes me want to go hiking again…

  2. picpholio says:

    I still remember the eruption, my god, is it realy 40 years ago… time goes fast !
    We’ve seen it only on television here in Belgium.
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures.

Thank you!

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