The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
More Mount St. Helens
There are three main visitor centers, each offering a slightly different perspective on the story of the catastrophic 1980 blast and how the landscape is renewing itself.
Mount St. Helens Visitor Center. 5 Miles east of Castle Rock, WA on State Highway 504 near Silver Lake. Phone: 360-274-2100.
The Center has walk-through interpretive exhibits and award-winning theater programs to educate the visitor on the tale of events that lead to the 1980 eruption. Nearby nature trail and and the Silver Lake wetlands provide opportunities to observe waterfowl, wildlife and native vegetation against the backdrop of Mount St. Helens. West of Mount St. Helens.
Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center. Closed
43 miles east of Castle Rock, WA on State Route 504. Phone: 360-274-2130.
Discover how plants and animals, and even people, have re-colonized the blast zone via a video-wall theater program, interpretive exhibits, and nearby self-guided trail. Enjoy panoramic views of the volcano, newly formed lakes, and the debris-filled Toutle River Valley. Operated by the Forest Service. Northwest of Mount St. Helens. Open daily 10 AM to 6 PM May through October. Winter hours and days are reduced.
Johnston Ridge Observatory. 53 miles east of Castle Rock, WA at the end of State Route 504. Phone: 360-274-2140.
Spectacular views of the lava dome, crater, pumice plain and the landslide deposit. A wide-screen theater presentation and interpretive displays teach visitors about the sequence of geologic events that changed the landscape. Discover the art and science of monitoring an active volcano and predicting eruptions. Read eye witness accounts from eruption survivors. Five miles north of Mount St. Helens (closest).
The video is a "must see". Be sure to stay for the final scenes! Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM May through October. Closed in winter.
Cowlitz Valley Ranger Station. 10024 Highway 12, Randle, WA 98377.
Phone: 360-891-5000; TTY: 360-891-5003.
East of Mount St Helens. Information on trails and facilities.
Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters. 42218 N.E.
Yale Bridge Road, Amboy, WA 98601. Phone: 360-449-7800; TTY:
Information on traveling, road conditions and permits is available here. South of Mount St Helens.
Pine Creek Information Station
Staff will help you with travel directions, picnic spots, camping, trails and ideas on how to make the most out of your visit. A short movie will get you ready for adventure into the Monument. South of Mount St Helens.
Woods Creek Information Station
Has visitor information materials. Across the road is the Woods Creek Watchable Wildlife Site. East of Mount St Helens
Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center. Northwest of Mount St. Helens.
Offers exhibits, pictures, gift shop, helicopter tours and Llama rides - entry is free. The building is a mortise-and-tenon solid wood and peg construction and is reported to be the largest building of this type constructed on the West Coast since Mt. Hood Lodge was built in the 1940's. Constructed by Cowlitz County with the interior built and furnished by the concessionaire, Foodmasters Inc. of Longview, Washington.
The Charles W. Bingham Forest Learning Visitor Center. Located on Highway 504 northwest of Mount St. Helens within the blast zone of the May 18, 1980 eruption .
The Charles W. Bingham Forest Learning Center is a partnership between Weyerhaeuser Company, Washington State Department of Transportation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The center is open to the public from May to October free of charge.
Gifford Pinchot National Forest. 10600 N.E. 51st Circle, Vancouver, WA 98682. Phone: 360-891-5000; Fax: 360-891-5245.
Mt. Saint Helens/Cowlitz County Department of Tourism. 105 Minor Road, Kelso, WA 98626. Phone: 360-577-3137.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
A Falcon Guide to Mount St. Helens: A Guide to Exploring the Great Outdoors by Fred Barstad. Exploring Mount St. Helens is a comprehensive guide to this world-renowned attraction, offering a close-up look at the destruction and remarkable recovery of the area. The guide includes detailed information on the natural and cultural history of the area; recreational opportunities, including 23 hiking trails; and historical, geological, and natural exhibits. Order now...
In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens by Charles Goodrich, Kathleen Dean Moore and Frederick Swanson. This book presents a cross-pollination of literary and scientific perspectives on the mountain's history of cataclysm and renewal. These writings will startle readers with new recognition of the matchless gift Mount St. Helens makes to our region and the world: the gifts of beauty, of scientific illumination, of hope. Order now...
Portrait of Mount St. Helens: A Changing Landscape by Chuck Williams (Author) and Stuart Warren (Contributor). View the grandeur and the intimate detail of this beloved mountain as seen by 19th-century painters and pioneers as well as contemporary photographers. Order now...
Day Hiking, South Cascades by Dan Nelson. Introducing next-generation trail guides for the Northwest. More day hikes, with options for extending the trip; hike selection conveniently arranged by highway and travel corridors; more hikes close to urban centers; more year-round hikes at low elevation; clear driving directions; a portable size; and more use of color. Order now...
Selected Climbs in the Cascades Volume II by Jim Nelson and Peter Potterfield. Features 100 routes, including top favorite sport and crag climbing areas. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs, several with route overlays. Highlights fun, quality climbs for all skill levels. Order now...
Washington Off the Beaten Path, 9th Edition (Off the Beaten Path Series) by Chloe Ernst. This book features the unique things to see and do from quirky cultural tidbits to hidden attractions and unique finds to local dining. Travel off the beaten path for a one of a king experience. Order now...
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