Prepare yourself for the
adventure of a lifetime - Mount St. Helens tour of
amazing venues and spectacular views with a multitude of
photo opportunities. Don’t forget your camera!
Drive north on Interstate 5 from Portland. Take Exit 49
at Castle Rock and proceed east. (1.5 hours from
Portland) Or Drive south on interstate 5 from Seattle.
Take Exit 49 at Castle Rock and proceed west. (2.5 hours
Drive east on SR 504 from Castle Rock to Mount St Helens
Visitor Center located at mile marker 5. The Visitor
Center is a world-class facility located on the western
shore of Silver Lake. With its high ceilings and massive
windows, the outdoors becomes a part of the
architecture. Your senses will come alive as you enjoy
the interactive exhibits, a step-in model of the volcano
and theater programs that are offered twice an hour.
Outside, a mile-long trail takes you into marshy plains
surrounding Silver Lake where you can see waterfowl and
a picture-perfect view of the mountain. Open 9 am to 4
pm, Thursday through Monday. (Winter hours) Admission is
6 and younger free, Ages 7 to 17 $2.50, Ages 18 & older
$5.00. Family pricing is $15.00 (two adults plus
accompanying children) and Tour Groups are $165 per bus.
Your next stop is mile marker 27. The Hoffstadt Bluffs
Visitors Center offers helicopter tours, a gift shop,
restaurant, viewing deck, and a memorial grove dedicated
to the 57 victims of the eruption. Admission is free.
Visitors should allow approximately one hour at this
facility. Open 9:30 am to 4 pm, Thursday through Sunday.
(Winter hours) Restaurant is open seasonally March
The next stop on your tour is located at mile marker
33.5. The Mount St. Helens Forest Learning Center offers
information about the eruption, its effect on the
environment, and Weyerhaeuser Company’s efforts to speed
the recovery. Enjoy the hands-on learning and
multi-media presentations, playground, picnic area, and
elk viewpoint. The Forest Learning Center is open from
10 am to 4 pm seasonally from May 15 to October 15,
weather permitting. Admission is free. Visitors should
allow one hour at this facility.
Your next stop is at Mile marker 43.3. The Mount St.
Helens Science and Learning Center is a collaborative
effort of the Mount St. Helens Institute and the U.S.
Forest Service, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic
Monument. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm.
(Re-Opens February 14). Their mission is to connect
people with nature through science, art and adventure
recreation. Our facilities and programs are designed to
extend the quality and duration of educational
experiences both onsite at the volcano and through
engaging online experiences.
Don’t miss this next stop at Coldwater Lake Recreation
Area is located 45 mile marker. The Lake is near the
Science and learning Center at Coldwater and Johnston
Ridge Observatory. Experience the effect the May 18,
1980 eruption had on the Coldwater Valley, including
creating a brand new lake. Kayaking is popular here.
Combustion engines are prohibited on the lake, but
anglers reach trophy trout by electric motors or rowing.
Fishing is open year-round with a one-fish limit greater
than 16 inches. Artificial, single, barbless hooks are
required. Please don’t miss out on the .6 miles
accessible Birth of a Lake Interpretive Trail allows
visitors to enjoy close up views of Coldwater Lake.
Your final destination on SR 504 is Johnston Ridge
Observatory at mile marker 52 is an essential part of
the Mount St. Helens experience. Located only five miles
from the crater, this world-class visitor center offers
a dramatic movie, geologic exhibits, eye-witness
accounts of the eruption, hiking trails, and special
programs. Admission is free for children 15 and under
and $8 for those 16 and over. Johnston Ridge Observatory
is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm seasonally from May 9
to October 31, weather permitting. Visitors should allow
one to two hours at this facility.