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Mount St. Helens

Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Skamania County, Washington

Mountain Venting
Photo: USGS License: 2
In 1982, the 110,000-acre Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created for research, recreation, and education. Inside the Monument, the environment is left to respond naturally in recovering from the 1980 eruption and any future disturbance.

The mountain is named after Lord St. Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who surveyed the area in the late 1700's.

The volcano is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire which includes over 160 active volcanoes that sit on the edges of the Pacific tectonic plate.

The eruption on May 18, 1980 was the deadliest and most costly volcanic event in the history of the United States. The disaster killed 57 people. Hundreds of homes and miles of bridges, railways and roads were destroyed.

The 1980 eruption reduced the elevation of the mountain from 9,677 ft. (2,950 m) to 8,365 ft. (2,550 m) and left a mile wide horseshoe-shaped crater.

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Mount St. Helens

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