SCIENCE & LEARNING CENTER
Built in 1993, the 11,000 square-foot Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center served as the main tourist hub for the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument until 1996 when Johnston Ridge Observatory opened 8 miles further down Washington State Route 504. The Forest Service facility housed several exhibits, a movie theater, gift shop, restaurant, and gorgeous views of the volcano. The visitor center closed to the public in 2007 due to overwhelming maintenance costs but later received $1 million dollars to replace windows in the building. Later, in 2013, the Forest Service and Mount St. Helens Institute partnered to transform the Coldwater Ridge facility into the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center; an overnight science education campus. Since then, the Mount St. Helens Institute has hosted hundreds of field trips, weddings, conferences, community events, and Scouting programs. In the winter, when Johnston Ridge Observatory closes, the public can visit the Science and Learning Center for interpretive services.