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
This doesn't take long to see. If you are with children I recommend doing the Jr Ranger program because it gives added purpose and direction to seeing this little place. The 13 minute movie was very good and we were glad we took time to watch it.[Beth Demme, 06/11/2013]
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]