The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is located in the southeastern area of Washington state.
Where is this Forest?


Learning Center

1980 Eruption from Gumboot Mt.On the morning of May 18, 1980, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake triggered the collapse of the summit and north flank of Mount St. Helens and formed the largest landslide in recorded history.

Gas rich magma and super-heated groundwater trapped inside the volcano were suddenly released in a powerful lateral blast. In less than three minutes, 230 square miles of forest lay flattened. The hot gas and magma melted the snow and ice that covered the volcano. The resulting floodwater mixed with the rock and debris to create concrete-like mudflows that scoured river valleys surrounding the mountain.

A plume of volcanic ash and pumice billowed out of the volcano reaching a height of 15 miles and transformed day into night across Eastern Washington. Avalanches of super-heated gas and pumice, called pyroclastic flows, swept down the flanks of the volcano. While the landslide and lateral blast were over within minutes, the eruption column, mudflows and pyroclastic flows continued throughout the day and following night.

By the following morning major eruptive activity had ceased and the landscape appeared to be a gray wasteland.

From this wasteland, new life soon emerged and trived. The last three-plus decades has offered a lot of knowledge and insight into the recovery of devistated landscapes. Learn more at


The Science and Learning Center at Coldwater

This is the view of Mount St. Helens from the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater

The Science and Learning Center at Coldwater is the new life of the original Mount St. Helens flagship visitor center, which was closed in 2007. It is now open to visitors most of the year and year-round by reservation for educational and science groups. the center and the surrounding area is the focus of numerous upgrades and expansions. 

The Science and Learning Center at Coldwater has its own Website at: