rock wall metal lettering sign Mount St Helens Visitor Center
interior view of gift shop layout
walkway of interior of visitor center
grand entrance view of visitor center lobby
boardwalk through wetland habitat

Mount St Helens Visitor Center

3029 Spirit Lake Hwy, Castle Rock, WA 98611


Functioning as the gateway to the National Forest Service monument, Mount St Helens Visitor Center will entice you with scientific displays, a movie theatre and educational opportunities.

Map & visitor guide

46.294580628223, -122.82193932619

Additional information

To commemorate the 44th eruption anniversary, we are waiving the admission fee to visit the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. May 18th, 2024.

Group tours

Group tours should contact the Visitor Center early with proposed tour dates for the year. Educational and non-educational groups requesting a tour should register with park staff by emailing or calling the Visitor Center. This allows park staff to update our activity calendar and ensure all groups are provided a meaningful visit and accommodations/requests are met.

All non-educational tour groups must have a valid Commercial Use Permit to visit the center. The cost is $200 per bus load, not the number of people per bus. A Commercial Use Permit waives the per person and Discover Pass fees at this location. For additional information and to apply, visit the Commercial Use Permit webpage. Please allow up to 30 days to process your permit.

School visits

School groups are encouraged to register in advance. To request a visit, please contact the park directly by phone or email.

Click here for the registration form (PDF, 112KB).

View a field trip example schedule here (PDF, 80KB).

Upon approval, a confirmation email will be sent. Preregistered educational groups are not subject to admission and Discover Pass fees. In order to receive the fee waiver, we request students complete an assignment during their visit. Site-specific assignments are available below, otherwise teachers are encouraged to bring their own activity. The Junior Ranger and Junior Geologist program is not intended for students, this is for paying patrons only.

Outdoor field trip assignments

We have partnered with the Mount St. Helens Institute to design a new opportunity for school groups, a self-guided excursion on our 0.6-mile accessible Wetland Haven Trail. Follow this link to learn more: Landscapes of Change: Free curriculum for the Washington State Parks Mount St. Helens Visitor Center.

Teachers are welcome to download the pre-trip activities, student journal pages, the facilitator activity guide and the post-trip activity. Please contact us directly if you have any questions or would like to check out supplies to support your field trip.

Indoor field trip assignments

Pre-visit lesson, grades K-2 (PDF, 96KB)

Activity sheet, grades K-2 (PDF, 346KB)

Pre-visit lesson, grades 3-5 (PDF, 310KB)

Activity sheet, grades 3-5 (PDF, 223KB)

Pre-visit lesson, middle and high school (PDF, 82KB)

Activity sheet, middle school (PDF, 247KB)

Activity sheet, high school (PDF, 314KB)

Hours of Operation

Winter season

Nov. 1 - Mar. 24, hours of operation 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday. 

Spring season

Mar. 25 - May 31, hours of operation 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Open seven days a week.

Summer season

June 1 - Oct. 31, hours of operation 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Open seven days a week.

Observed holidays:

The center is closed for the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Presidents' Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day and Friday after
  • Christmas Day

Neighboring visitor centers

Located at milepost 37 is the Forest Learning Center operated by Weyerhaeuser. For additional information, visit Weyerhaeuser’s Mount St. Helens webpage.

Mount St. Helens Institute operates The Science and Learning Center at milepost 43. For additional information, visit The Science and Learning Center’s webpage.

Milepost 52 is home to Johnston Ridge Observatory operated by the U.S. Forest Service. For more information about their facility, please visit the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument site. Due to a landslide in May 2023, the Johnston Ridge Observatory is closed until further notice.

Overnight accommodations

Connected by a short pedestrian tunnel is Seaquest State Park. Reserve a campsite, group camp or yurt to enjoy more of the area. 


The park offers Wi-Fi service, in limited coverage areas. For more information, visit our Wi-Fi in the Parks page

Contact us

Phone (360) 274-0962