Some Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest variously called Mount St. Helens 'lawilátɬa', or 'one from whom smoke comes'. The volcano lawilátɬa is listed (as Lawetlat’la) on the National Register of Historic Places and acknowledged as a Traditional Cultural Property of significance to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.
The modern name, Mount St. Helens, was given to the volcanic peak in 1792 by seafarer and explorer Captain George Vancouver of the British Royal Navy. He named it in honor of fellow countryman Alleyne Fitzherbert, who held the title ‘Baron St. Helens’. Fitzherbert at the time served as the British Ambassador to Spain. Vancouver also named three other volcanoes in the Cascade Range--Mount Baker, Mount Hood, and Mount Rainier--for British naval officers.