School Visit Information

West Side

Mount St Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake is operated by Washington State Parks and Recreation, here is their online reservation form, phone number and website.        R-145 Mount St Helens School Group Registration Form.doc (


For use of the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater contact [email protected] for renting the building and [email protected] for education programs.  To learn more about the Mount St. Helens Institute’s educational programs and opportunities, visit

On May 14, 2023, there was a debris flow that took out a portion of the road, a bridge and cut power to Johnston Ridge Observatory (JRO), State Route 504 is closed past mile post 45, which is at the Hummocks Trailhead.  At this time, we are unsure when we are going to be able to reopen JRO.   The Forest Service is working with Mount St Helens Institute at the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater, we have restrooms, some exhibits and a movie available for smaller groups through the fall.  

South Side

Ape Cave is open with limited access for registered small school groups starting  on May 22 thru June 16, 2023 for spring and September 18 thru October 13, 2023 for the fall.

Call 360-449-7800 for more information.

Both Sides of the Mountain

Chaperones and teachers must remain with their groups and attend all programs. The ranger is there to teach and lead the activities. Chaperones and teachers are responsible for:

  1. Ensuring that students behave in a respectful manner towards the ranger and other visitors;
  2. Making sure that students do not damage exhibits or facilities;
  3. Ensuring that students stay on the trails and on pavement at all times;
  4. Helping students complete their assignments; and,
  5. Making sure students don’t damage or remove resources, such as plants and rocks.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is a federally protected educational, research and scientific site. Penalties for damaging this resource and/or removing plants, rocks and other artifacts may range up to a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail.