Here’s one for all you thrill-seekers who like to hike around active volcanos: GORP’s guide to trails around Mount St. Helens. Here’s one trail on the east side, for close-up viewing of the blast area.
Truman Trail #207
Difficulty Level: More Difficult
The Truman Trail leads to the closest point you can go to view the dome. This trail passes through or by several research plots, so it is critical to stay on the established trail. The trailhead is located at Windy Ridge Viewpoint. Hikers must follow the Truman Trail #207 approximately 4 miles before they can see the lava dome. The return trip is back along the same trail. Allow 3 1/2 to 4 hours round trip. The Truman Trail accesses other trails both in and out of the Restricted Area. Special rules apply when hiking on this trail.
And just for added excitement: the volcano was spewing ash and steam as recently as a couple weeks ago. But this is refreshing: hiking is OK, but climbing is banned as long as the volcano remains active.