Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens to Close Oct. 31

By The Chronicle

The Johnston Ridge Observatory will close for the winter season at the end of the day on Sunday, Oct. 31.

The observatory will reopen in mid-May for the 2011 visitor season, depending on weather and snow levels.

The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake (five miles east of Interstate 5 on State Route 504) will remain open this winter.

Viewpoints and trails on the northwest side of Mount St. Helens will remain open but winter visitors will need to come prepared for winter conditions and no visitor center services. The Washington State Department of Transportation plans to maintain state Route 504 for winter travel to Coldwater Lake and the Hummocks Trail as weather conditions and available equipment permit.

Ape Cave and Marble Mountain Sno-Park will remain accessible throughout the winter season through the Washington State Sno-Park program. Ape Cave visitors need to bring their own light sources as lantern rentals and interpretive programs have ended for the summer season.

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