Mount St. Helens Visitor Center
The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center opened its doors to the public a few years after the monumental eruption of Mount St. Helens. Functioning as a gateway to the mountain, over 30 miles away, the Visitor Center's goal is to educate visitors on the historical significance of the landscape before and during the eruption. The center also focuses on the resulting impact on nearby ecosystems. The vantage point offers a view of the Western slope of the mountain, visible from both the center and walking trail.
This unique building features expansive windows providing a glimpse of towering second-growth forest all around. A high archway and elaborately carved wooden columns contribute to the feeling of magnificence. Inside, visitors can enjoy a variety of interpretive displays that include comprehensive information on local history, geology, and re-growth and recovery of the land in the years immediately after the eruption.
Enjoy the large, step-in model of the volcano, life-size mannequins, functioning seismograph and live feed of current Mount St. Helens volcano seismicity chronological timeline of events leading up to the volcanic blast on May 18, 1980, and theater program offered twice an hour; at :05 and :35 after.
Outdoors, visitors can explore Silver Lake along the 0.6 mile-long trail, including boardwalks over the wetland where a variety of aquatic plants and migratory waterfowl can be viewed at different times of the year.