Basics: More than 300,000 people per year visit the Mount. St. Helens Silver Lake Visitor Center. The facility is packed with interpretive displays on the area's cultural and historical significance. The history of the mountain since the May 18, 1980, eruption is documented here.
Where: Six miles east of Castle Rock
When: Open 9 a.m.-4 p.m
History: Washington State Parks and Recreation has operated the visitor center since 2000.
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Activities: One of the highlights of the facility is a large, step-in model of the volcano. You can also view two working seismographs. Outside, you can explore Silver Lake on a one-mile trail. Nearby Seaquest State Park offers hiking, bird-watching and boating.
Getting there: From Interstate 5, take Exit 49 to state Route 504. The facility is located six miles east adjacent to Seaquest State Park.
Cost: $3 for those older than 15. $1 for youth. Families are $8.
Of note: A boardwalk allows visitors to hike through wetland areas without causing damage.
Information: 360-274-0962 or parks.wa.gov/interp/mountsthelens