Mount St. Helens Visitor Center offers activities for all ages and interests

Washington State Parks  invites the public to join staff from Mount St. Helen’s Visitor Center and Seaquest State Park for a diverse series of programs exploring the May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and subsequent recovery.

The 2017 programs take place at varying times from May 13 to Sept. 10, at Mount St. Helens Visitor Center, 3029 Spirit Lake Hwy., Castle Rock and at Seaquest State Park, located directly across the highway.

Programs include interactive talks and hands-on demonstrations on the region’s history and the eruption, guided walks through the wetland ecosystem of Silver Lake and Junior Ranger evening activities for kids of all ages.

Discovery Table Talks

These interactive show-and-tell sessions will immerse visitors in everything Mount St. Helens. Learn about the devastating eruption, landscape changes, incredible story of regrowth, return of wildlife and Native American culture. Look for the table stationed outside the Visitor Center. These hands-on mini lessons occur repeatedly throughout the afternoon.

   Spring schedule:

Saturdays and Sundays: Between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

May 13, 20, 21, 27, 28; June 3, 4, 10, 11

   Summer schedule:

Daily: Between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Junior Ranger Evening Lessons

These family-friendly evening programs, held at Seaquest State Park amphitheater, are geared toward kids of all ages and last approximately 45 minutes. Park staff will provide educational lessons on the local wildlife and ecosystems of the surrounding area and lead an interactive craft or activity.

   Spring schedule:

Fridays and Saturdays: 7 p.m., May 26, 27

   Summer schedule:

Fridays and Saturdays: 7 p.m.

June 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 ; July 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29; Aug. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 ; Sept. 1, 2

 

Mount St. Helens Programs

Meet at the lower viewing area beside the Visitor Center for a 15- to 20-minute introduction to the history, biological recovery and 1980 eruption sequence of Mount St. Helens—the most active volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range. Visitors of all ages are welcome. Seating is provided.

   Summer schedule:

Saturdays and Sundays: 12:30 p.m.

June 17, 18, 24, 25; July 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30; Aug. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27; Sept. 2, 3, 9, 10

Wetland Guided Walks

Explore the wetland ecosystem of Silver Lake, created from a Mount St. Helens eruption thousands of years ago. Join park staff in front of the Visitor Center for an approximately 35-minute walk, and discover the flora and fauna of this unique habitat. Enjoy bird sightings, mountain views and more, weather permitting. This walk takes place along a flat boardwalk and gravel trail, and visitors meander at an easy pace.

   Summer schedule:

Sundays: 10 a.m.

June, 18, 25; July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27; Sept. 3, 10

All programs are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather, staffing availability and attendance levels. Program information is advertised daily on the Visitor Center front bulletin.

Programs are included in the admission cost to the Visitor Center, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 1 to May 15, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 16 to Sept.15.  Admission is $2.50 for ages 7 to 17; $5 for ages 18 and older; $15 for families (two adults plus accompanying children) and free for children age 6 or younger. Donations are welcome.

For more information about the staff programs, contact Alysa Adams, Parks Interpretive Specialist, (360) 274-0962 or silver.lake@parks.wa.gov.

Learn more about the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center: http://parks.state.wa.us/245/Mount-St-Helens

- Washington State Parks