Silver Lake, Washington: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic MonumentGovernment-run Visitors Center features educational displays, including a simulated magma chamber that you can walk through.
Seaquest State Park
- 3029 Spirit Lake Highway, Silver Lake, WA
- I-5 exit 49, then five miles east on Hwy 504/Spirit Lake Hwy. You can see Mount St Helens, from a wall of windows, 45 miles east.
Visitor Tips and News About Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
The visitors center is a little '80s, but the 15 minute video is worth a watch. Also check out the mildly creepy life-size clay statues of various historical figures.[Liz, 06/18/2010]
This government-run Visitor's Center on the volcanic eruption at Mount St. Helens is a mild disappointment. The volcano simulated magma chamber is okay -- you can descend via stairs and view the molten core -- and the rest of the displays explain plenty about the event, geology, ecological effect, etc.
But they are woefully short on exhibited artifacts -- a few cindered branches and rocks. Most shockingly, the staff had to really struggle to recall where the half-buried car was (on the other side of the volcano, hence many hours away). They also didn't have a clue about the giant Bigfoot statue, but did direct us to the buried "A-Frame restaurant" at mile marker 20 -- where the Bigfoot statue turned out to be.
You can see Mount St. Helens from a wall of windows -- it's 45 miles further east.[Roadsideamerica.com Team, 06/06/2004]