Science and Learning Center at Coldwater

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

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

The Forest Service announced the opening of Mount St Helens Science and Learning Center in 2012.  Previously managed as a visitor center, this facility is now a great resource for schools, education and science groups interested in taking field trips and doing research at Mount St. Helens. The center is available as a rental facility for special events like family reunions and conferences.

This beautiful facility is located at milepost 43 on State Highway 504, approximately 10 miles west of Johnston Ridge Observatory.

Visitor Information Station: On the weekends, the Science and Learning Center is open to the general public. Stop in to get information about exploring the monument, learn about education programs offered, or shop at the bookstore.

We also have two trails near the building perfect for exploration. Adjacent to the Science and Learning Center is the accessible Winds of Change Trail, a 1/4 mile paved path leading through a part of the Blast Zone. A pet rest area is located within the Coldwater Lake area.

The Elk Bench Trail starts near the building and connects with the Lakes Trail, providing stunning views of Coldwater Lake and frequent elk sightings along the way.  Once connected with the Lakes Trail you are able to head north along the shore of Coldwater Lake and begin your exploration into Mt. Margaret Backcountry.  

Rentals:  The Science and Learning Center has conference rooms available for rental, as well as some rustic or primitive overnight accommodations. We also host special events, including conferences, family reunions and weddings. Contact the Science and Learning Center for more information about rentals.

Educational Programs: The Science and Learning Center is hosts to schools and provides in-depth and extended education programs to groups visiting the volcano. We offer overnight stays in the Science and Learning Center for education programs as well as hands-on education in the Volcanic Monument. Our programs vary from 2 hours to multiple days of educational activities and experiences.

For more information on volunteering, educational programs or partnerships with the Science and Learning Center, visit the Mount St. Helens Institute's website or contact 360-449-7883.

Accessible Adventures Video

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 10/01/2015: Open Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 4pm.
Operational Hours: During summer hours this facility is open Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm and by reservation.
Reservations: 360-274-2114
Usage: Light
Closest Towns: Toutle , WA
Water: Yes
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


From Castle Rock, WA take State Route 504 east for 42 miles to the Science and Learning Center, just 10 miles west of Johnston Ridge Observatory.

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