Science & Learning Center Overview



The Science & Learning Center (SLC) is a collaborative effort between the Mount St. Helens Institute and the U.S. Forest Service at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Together, our goal is to connect people with nature through science, the arts, 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.



DRIVING:  During the winter season driver’s on State Route 504 should be alert for the possibility of snow and icy conditions. Be prepared by using a vehicle equipped with traction devices or tire chains and carrying extra food, water, and warm clothing.  For the latest information on road closures and travel alerts visit the Washington State Department of Transportation website.


GAS AND FOOD: During the winter, Drew’s Grocery and Service in Toutle is the last stop for gas and food before the Science and Learning Center.


WEATHER:  Typically, the most accurate weather predictions for the SLC are found on the National Weather Service website.



SLC VISITOR CENTER WINTER HOURS:  The Science and Learning Center is open during the winter (while Johnston Ridge Observatory is closed), November through mid-April. Please see the calendar below and/or Facebook for any closures due to holidays, maintenance, or extreme weather.


The Johnston Ridge Observatory will reopen to the public Wednesday, May, 16th, 2017. The “It’s a Blast” Event will take place Saturday, May 19th at the Johnston Ridge Observatory Visitor Center. Special events, a raffle, and free hot chocolate and cookies will be provided to guests.  Admissions received that day will support Mount St. Helens Institute programs, including youth education.


HOURS:  Saturdays and Sundays, 10am to 4pm.


COST:  Visiting the Science and Learning Center is FREE.  Donations are greatly appreciated.




The Mount St. Helens Institute offers awesome programs for youth and adults at the Science and Learning Center and around Mount St. Helens.




The Science and Learning Center is available for rent for education programs, meetings, conferences, and special events such as weddings, reunions, and birthdays.



Celebrate Summer on the Mountain with arts, music, and cultural events and outdoor activities! Please contact  with event ideas or to become a volunteer or sponsor.



Kori Quatermass, Science and Learning Center Manager, at or (360) 274-2114.


PHYSICAL  ADDRESS (click for map):
Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center (SLC)
19000 Spirit Lake Hwy
Milepost 43.3, State Route 504 (best for map apps)
Toutle, WA 98649

SLC on-site phone: (360) 274-2114


Mount St. Helens Institute
Attn: SLC
42218 NE Yale Bridge Rd
Amboy, WA 98601

Main MSHI phone: (360) 449-7883


In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institute is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complain of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employers.