What is the origin of the name "Mount St. Helens"?

Some Indians of the Pacific Northwest variously called Mount St. Helens 'Louwala-Clough,' or 'smoking mountain.'

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 Cascades--Mount BakerMount Hood, and Mount Rainier--for British naval officers.

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Image shows a map with potential volcano hazards to the surrounding area for Mount St. Helens
November 30, 2000

Mount St. Helens Simplified Volcano Hazards Map

Mount St. Helens, Washington simplified hazards map showing potential impact area for ground-based hazards during a volcanic event. More simplified volcano hazard maps for the other Cascades Volcanoes can be found here.

Image shows two scientists on the slopes of Mount St. Helens with steam rising around them
September 24, 1981

Gas Sampling around the Mount St. Helens Dome

USGS geologists gathered samples by hand from vents on the dome and crater floor. Additionally, sulfur dioxide gas was measured from a specially equipped airplane before, during, and after eruptions to determine "emission rates" for the volcano.

Mount St. Helens soon after the May 18, 1980 eruption
September 10, 1980

Mount St. Helens soon after the May 18, 1980 eruption

Mount St. Helens soon after the May 18, 1980 eruption, as viewed from Johnston's Ridge.

Volcano erupting and spewing a huge cloud of rock and ash into the sky.
May 18, 1980

Mount Saint Helens eruption

On Sunday, May 18, 1980 at 8:32 a.m., the bulging north flank of Mount St. Helens slid away in a massive landslide -- the largest in recorded history. Seconds later, the uncorked volcano exploded and blasted rocks northward across forest ridges and valleys, destroying everything in its path within minutes.

Aerial photo of Mount St. Helens volcano, pre-1980 eruption
September 28, 1979

Aerial photo of Mount St. Helens volcano, pre-1980 eruption

Before the eruption of May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens' elevation was 2,950 m (9,677 ft). View from the west, Mount Adams in distance. S. Fork Toutle River is valley in center of photo.

Mount Adams elevation is 3,745 m (12, 286 ft). Mount St. Helens was the smallest of five major volcanic peaks in Washington State.

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens

Prior to 1980, Mount St. Helens had the shape of a conical, youthful volcano sometimes referred to as the Mount Fuji of America. During the 1980 eruption the upper 400 m (1,300 ft) of the summit was removed by a huge 

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