Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Seaquest /
Silver Lake - stop on the way back down.
Located at the 5 mile marker on State Route 504, it is the first
visitor center you will pass by once leaving Interstate 5 from exit
49. It’s the original Visitor Center built in 1993 and the displays
are rather dated but if you have time stop later on the way back
down the highway. I would visit the other Centers first for the
optimum experience. This center is operated by the
Washington State Parks Department. 360/274-2131
Hours are: Summer: 10-5, 7 days a week.
FEEs $5 PER ADULT, 7-17 are $2.50. These fees are in
addition to the $8 Monument Fees at Johnston Ridge.
Busses - $100
Mount St. Helens
Forest Learning Center
FREE ADMISSION: Mile marker 33 on SR 504, this is
undoubtedly the best exhibit on the mountain. Children
will joyfully play in the playground, as well as climb into
the helicopter and pretend to be flying around the
mountain. The eruption chamber is an awesome
experience. They also feature the best gift shop on the
highway 360/274-7750 open daily. Here is a sampling
of the FREE exhibits.
Johnston Ridge Observatory, at the 52
mile marker on SR 504, is named after the volcanologist
David Johnston, who was camped out on this ridge
observing the volcano when it blew. His final words were
“Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it.” He was never found.
This site has an awesome view, as well as great
exhibits. It is open May through October, or thereabouts,
depending upon snow. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
seven days a week. It is a US Forest Service fee site and
costs $8/adult. 360/274-2140 It's worth it!
|Three World-Class Visitor
Centers with Exhibits !
FEES: The Mount St. Helens
Forest Learning Center is FREE !
The fees for Johnston Ridge Visitor
Center are: $8 per adult ages 16
and up, children 15 and under are
free. The Northwest Forest Pass is
required to visit the Ape Cave, Lava
Canyon, Lahar Viewpoint, and
Windy Ridge, available for $5 a day
or $30 per year and is good in both
Oregon and Washington National
Forests. This is a "vehicle pass". It
is valid in the North Cascades
National Park, Mount St. Helens
National Volcanic Monument,
Terwilliger Hot Springs in the
Willamette National Forest, Lava
River Caves in Deschutes National
Forest, and Echo Ridge Nordic
skiing in Wenatchee National
The following sites require a
Johnston Ridge Observatory
Loowit viewpoint on Johnston Ridge
Windy Ridge, Smith Creek,
Donneybrook, Cedar Creek,
Harmony Falls, Meta Lake, miners
car, and Bear Meadows (Hwy 99
The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center
at Silver Lake is now a part of the
Washington State Park &
Recreation Commission Service.
They have separate fees from the
US Forest Service sites - $5 per
adult . They are open from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. daily.
Please note: All fees and
hours are subject to
change. Check with each
site for updates.
|MountStHelens.com Information Resource Center
|Coldwater Visitor Center: Was permanently closed in 2007 due to federal budget
constraints. Please visit Johnston Ridge and the Forest Learning Center instead.
Castle Rock Exhibit Hall, in the city of Castle Rock, off I-5, Exit 49, west into town. 147
Front Ave NW. This visitor center is a step back into the past - no glitzy displays here, just down
home pictures put together by survivors and residents of the area. Their friendly, first hand
experience with the entire region is readily shared. There is no fee, however, donations are
Virtual Drive on the Highway starting at the Forest Learning Center
Mount St. Helens Visitor Centers