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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 from Seattle)

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.

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.

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