Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

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Contact Details
3029 Spirit Lake Highway
Castle Rock, WA 98611
(360) 274-2100
Climbing Hotline: (360) 247-3961
Web site:

From Interstate 5, take Exit 21 (Woodland Exit). Head east on Highway 503, approximately 23 miles to junction Highway 503 (which turns right) and Lewis River Road (straight). Turn right (south) on Highway 503. Stay on Highway 503 and follow signs to Amboy.

Visitor Center at Silver Lake
Come learn about the May 18th eruption! The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center is the western gateway to the National Volcanic Monument. Located five miles east of Castle Rock on the shores of Silver Lake, this center offers you an excellent introduction to the events of the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens. Services include award-winning theater presentations, walk-through interpretive exhibits, a staffed information desk and a Northwest Interpretive Association book sales area.

A nature trail and magnificent views of the Silver Lake wetlands provide the curious visitor year-round opportunities to observe waterfowl, wildlife, and native vegetation. Across the highway from the visitor center is Seaquest State Park which offers picnic, camping and recreational facilities.

Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center
Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center invites visitors to discover the fascinating ways that plants and animals have reappeared throughout the blast zone. Visitors to Coldwater enjoy panoramic views of the volcano, the newly formed Coldwater Lake, and the debris-filled Toutle River Valley. Interactive exhibits, the paved 0.25-mile Winds of Change Interpretive Trail, and live interpretive programs offer insights into the many ways life emerged from the ashes of the 1980 eruption.

Coldwater's restaurant includes a selection of sandwiches, soups, salads, and drinks, as well as an espresso coffee bar. The gift shop offers Mount St. Helens T-shirts and gifts, many crafted by Northwest artists. In the central hallway, the Northwest Interpretive Association's bookstore offers a variety of books, cards, and posters of Mount St. Helens and the Pacific Northwest. With over one million visitors coming to Coldwater Ridge each year, it's important to remember to stay on the trails and to help keep the area litter free. Thank you for your cooperation!

Both Visitor Centers are open daily April 1 to September 30, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and October 1 to March 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pine Creek Information Station
If you are driving to Mount St. Helens from the south, be sure to stop at the Pine Creek Information Station located 17 miles east of Cougar on Forest Road 90. Enthusiastic help is available here for travel directions, picnic spots, camping, trails and how to make the most out of your visit. Video and book sales, and a short movie will get you ready for adventure into the Monument. Open daily May 28 to September 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Woods Creek Information Station
If you are driving to Mount St. Helens from the north, stop at Woods Creek Information Station. Have your questions answered by an attendant without leaving your vehicle or come in and visit with a Forest Interpreter, look over displays, or browse through the books, brochures, slides, maps and postcards. This facility may be closed for 1/2 hour during the lunch hour. Woods Creek Information Station is located 6 miles south of Randle on Forest Road 25. Open daily May 27 to October 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Randle Ranger Station
Information on traveling, permits and road conditions are available here. For more information call 206-497-7565. Randle Ranger Station is located three miles east of Randle on Highway 12. From May 28 to September 6 Randle Ranger Station is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Dispersed camping is permitted outside of the restricted area of the National Volcanic Monument. Private, State and National Forest campgrounds can be found near the Monument boundary. Open fires are not permitted in any of the devastated areas of the Monument (gas camp stoves only). When fire danger is high, trails and access in some areas may be closed.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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