Mt. St. Helens is designated as a National Volcanic Monument rather than a National Park.  Notorious for her catastrophic eruption in 1980, Mt. St. Helens is still an active volcano.  From most distances and angles it is hard to see any evidence of the destruction but when you round the bend on the main road leading to her, the enormity slaps you in the face.  The closer you get, the more you see old dead trees, young vegetation, and the gaping hole left in the crater itself.

From a nearby vantage point just before the end of the road, you can also see Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood in the distance.  If you’re up for it there are several nice hiking trails in the park, chances to see wildlife including elk, and informational/educational plaques to stop at along the road.  One of the trails beginning in the parking lot at the end of the road leads up a long steep staircase to the top of a nearby mountain for yet another amazing view of the caldera.

Like the Ramona Falls trail, this park requires a $5 recreation pass.  You can pick one up easily at the first look out point in the park.