Upper reaches of the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway to close this weekend

Last chance to view Mount St. Helens from Johnston Ridge this year

JOHNSTON RIDGE — Those who are looking to take in the views of Mount St. Helens from the Johnston Ridge Observatory should make plans for one last trip this weekend, or else they’ll have to wait until next spring.

The upper reaches of the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, also known as State Route 504, will close at 5 p.m. Sun., Oct. 29.

This view of Mount St. Helens was taken from the Johnston Ridge Observatory in June. Area residents will have their last chance of the season to view the mountain from Johnston Ridge this weekend before officials close the upper reaches of the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. Photo by Mike Schultz
This view of Mount St. Helens was taken from the Johnston Ridge Observatory in June. Area residents will have their last chance of the season to view the mountain from Johnston Ridge this weekend before officials close the upper reaches of the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. Photo by Mike Schultz

Each fall, the Washington State Department of Transportation coordinates the seasonal closure of the gates at Coldwater Lake with the U.S. Forest Service in anticipation of hazardous winter weather.

“The wet and cold months have the potential to do a lot of damage to the roadway,” said WSDOT maintenance supervisor Aaron Yanez. “Before the weather turns nasty, we’ll work in the closure area to prep the highway by clearing culverts and ditches in hopes of minimizing springtime repairs.”

The lower portion of the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway up to Coldwater Lake will stay open as long as conditions allow. WSDOT will reopen the full stretch of the highway in the spring once the threat of significant snowfall passes.

Before heading out the door, travelers can stay up to date with the latest roadway conditions on the WSDOT Travel Alerts webpage and the WSDOT mobile app, or by calling 5-1-1.

Hyperlinks within the release:

Information provided by Washington State Department of Transportation.

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