Join the Mount St. Helens Institute and friends for Summer on the Mountain events! More information here.
There’s no shortage of things to do at the Science and Learning Center. Surrounded by Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, scenery, and hiking abounds. Let our staff provide an informative talk or guided hike for your group. Or, if you’re a school group wanting to come up to Mount St. Helens, we offer an all-inclusive Volcano Outdoor School which ranges from a 2 hour guided hike and/or activity all the way up to a whole week of programming.
WINDS OF CHANGE TRAIL:
0.25 mile paved trail adjacent to the building. Although paved, the trail does have some steep inclines. Get an up close-look at the life returning in the blast zone. Check out amazing views of Mount St. Helens, Coldwater Lake, Hummocks, and the Toutle River Valley. (additional nearby wheelchair accessible adventures).
ELK BENCH TRAIL
HUMMOCKS TRAIL: 2.4 mile loop that meanders through hummocks, the steep sided hills left by the 1980 landslide. The Hummocks trailhead is a 10 minute drive from the SLC. Walk through young alder forests, ponds, and wetlands that provide habitat for a variety of animals including elk, waterfowl, and amphibians. Additional information on the Forest Service website and the WTA website.
BIRTH OF THE LAKE: 0.6 mile wooden boardwalk with interpretive messages along Coldwater Lake.
SOUTH COLDWATER RIDGE
COLDWATER LAKE: A 10 minute drive from the Science and Learning Center. A boat launch, picnic tables, potable water, and flush toilets are available. Enjoy boating (no gasoline motors) and fishing. Created during the 1980 eruption, when Coldwater Creek was dammed. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fishing information. US Forest Service Coldwater Lake information.
JOHNSTON RIDGE OBSERVATORY (JRO): Visitors enjoy award-winning films, ranger talks, views, a gift shop, trails, and food cart. JRO is 10 miles down State Route 504 from the Science and Learning Center. JRO is open daily from 10am to 6pm, May through October. Annual and lifetime recreation passes or $8 day-use fee. Children 15 and under are free. For more information, visit the Forest Service website or teacher corner website.
STAR GAZING: Overnight groups enjoy the sky with minimal light pollution. There is plenty of space to set up a telescope in the Science and Learning Center parking lot, on the Winds of Change trail, or other nearby spots.
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
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.