She still lets out a cloud of steam every once in a while. A couple years back we witnessed her blow off a big plume of ash... I have pictures somewhere of the plume that we saw from our house. Mt St Helens is directly east of us approximately 24 miles... Kinda scary when you think about it! We didn't live here 27 years ago. This town was nothing but a huge ball of ash. Even to this day we have ash over the ground. It makes really great soil for some of my plants--they grow like crazy! If you drive up Spirit Lake Highway to the mountain, you can still see the downed trees from the unbelievable mud flow that plowed through the rivers coming off the mountain. When she blew a couple of years ago it was quite amazing--all of the rivers turned up with ash floating in them--they were all very gray and ominous-looking. We didn't even attempt to fish in those rivers! There are tons of websites around about the mountain. Here are a few: Mt St Helens site 1, and Mt St Helens Site 2 ...
Today she is at an alert level of 2 (orange)--meaning she is still fairly active. Level 3 (red) means that she's gonna blow!
Here are more websites: This one has alot of the history... Here are some great pics! This one is about one of the local tourist attractions--the Ape Caves. Sounds funny LOL. But these are lava tubes. They are very cool---literally! We have gone to the ape caves several times. It is a cave under ground made by lava flows 1900 years ago! We went one time when it was over 100 degrees outside. You literally had to take your heavy coat with you. The caves are ice cold and are so interesting inside. What an experience!
I was 9 years old when the mountain blew. I lived 100 miles south of it and could still see the plume. I think you could even see it further than that. As a kid I was just fascinated by the volcano and scooped up as much ash as I could.. It was a hot item to have back then!