Hillsboro Aviation offers several tours visiting the highlights of this area that allow you to enjoy the Portland area and the Pacific Northwest from a bird's-eye view. Here are some of the tours we offer:
- Portland Highlights
- Scenic Northwest
- Mt. Hood Loop
- Wine Country
- Cascade Majestic
We can also work with you to create a customized route, and you can expect a knowledgeable pilot who will provide you with information about the area you are visiting.
Hillsboro Aviation's Mount St. Helens tour operation is part of Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS) whose mission is to provide the public access to scenic areas while in the care of good, safe and professional tour operators. TOPS is solely dedicated to further enhancing the safety of all aspects of helicopter tours. This prestigious TOPS certification sets Hillsboro Aviation apart from other tour operators in the Pacific Northwest. Click here to read more about the qualifications for TOPS membership.
These are the tours we offer at Mount St. Helens:
Crater Tour: 20 – 24 min
With Mount St. Helens in sight from our paved helipad, the helicopter departs with an incredible descent into the Toutle River Valley which is buried by more than 150 feet of debris from the eruption. Following the mudflow from the eruption, the tour passes the elk-viewing area, Elk Rock, Castle Lake and Clearwater Lake and takes you over Hummocks Fields to the moonlike plains of pyroclastic ash at the foothills of Mount St. Helens straight into the active steaming crater. Mount Rainier and Mount Adams, two other volcanoes forming the “Ring of Fire,” are the backdrop, on clear days, for a spectacular panoramic view over Sprit Lake and the devastated area that reveals all the destructive power of this mountain.
Devastated Area Tour: 20 – 24 min
With the mountain in clear view from the paved helipad, the helicopter takes off with a spectacular descent into the Toutle River Valley which is blanketed by more than 150 feet of debris from the eruption. Following the mudflow from the eruption, the tour passes Elk Rock, Castle Lake and Clearwater Lake and then the flight takes you over Hummocks Fields to the famous “Ghost Forrest”. Blown-down trees are lined up as if the eruption happened yesterday. We pass by the north side of the Johnston Ridge visitor center and Mount St. Helens is the spectacular backdrop for this surreal scenery. After flying over Spirit Lake which is half covered with floating logs from the surrounding hills, the tour takes you over the moonlike plains of pyroclastic ash at the foothills of Mount St. Helens back into the Toutle River Valley passing by the elk-viewing area back to the helipad.
Devastated Area & Crater Tour: 28 – 32 min
This tour combines the experiences and spectacular views from the Crater and Devastated Area tours. This is the most comprehensive exposure to the devastation and nature’s recovery in this area. This flight offers ample time and multiple different perspectives and backgrounds ideal for taking pictures or video of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Mount St. Helens Summit Tour: 38 – 42 min
Over the top! This tour takes you to the summit of Mount St. Helens. You look down into the lava dome from the crater’s rim. The 360-degree view from the summit through the crater to Spirit Lake to the neighboring volcanoes, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson and Three Sisters, over the devastated area and beyond can not be adequately described – it is simply breathtaking! The flight follows the route of the Devastated Area Tour before initiating the climb to the summit over Spirit Lake. After exploring the summit, the flight descends into the actual crater to examine the lava dome up close and returns on the same route as the Crater Tour.
Valley & Sediment Dam Tour: 12 – 14 min
This tour is offered when Mount St. Helens is obscured with clouds as a fun and affordable helicopter ride that allows passengers to look for wildlife and experience the devastation of the mudflow in the Toutle River Valley.
Click here to book your tour now.