The Mount St. Helens Institute is dedicated to helping people of all ages gain an understanding of the natural processes and cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest’s volcanic landscapes. We offer a wide range of programs from youth Volcano Outdoor School to expert-led guided hikes and climbs on the north and south sides of America’s youngest and most active volcano. To learn more about our programs click on the links below.
Youth explore the mountain by day and by night. Our hands-on and outdoor activities provide foundational knowledge, team building, interactive adventures and guided inquiry to your child, class or youth group. Learn more here!
Crater Glacier View Climbs: As we hike toward the crater from the Pumice Plain we will find awe-inspiring, up-close views of the crater domes and glacier. This is a rare and exclusive opportunity to view Crater Glacier!
Summit Climb with a Geologist: Climb to the crater rim with trained geologists! You will delve into the fascinating and complex geology of Mount St. Helens. Your adventure will start on Friday evening as you sit around the campfire and learn about the eruptive history of Mount St. Helens. The next day, the geologist will explain all facets of the geology of Mount St. Helens and answer questions while ascending Monitor Ridge to the rim. Climbing permits are included in the cost of this program. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for geology-enthusiasts!
Into the Crater Hikes: The hike begins on trail, as we descend from Windy Ridge and cross the Pumice Plain. We will depart the Loowit Trail and continue off trail as we travel up toward the crater breach. At stops along the route you will hear about the geology and ecology of this amazing landscape. At the crater breach, we will discuss Crater Glacier and other fascinating facts about Mount St. Helens unique landscape.
Summit Climbs: Designed for first time climbers and for those wishing to learn fascinating natural history from our experienced mountain guides, the Summit Climb provides an unforgettable adventure to those bold enough to climb an active Cascade Volcano! Climbing permits are included in the cost of this program.
Sold Out - June 27
Sold Out - July 5
Sold Out - July 11
Sold Out - July 18
Sold Out - July 26
Sold Out - August 1
Sold Out - August 2
Sold Out - August 15
Sold Out - August 16
Sold Out - August 29
Sold Out - September 5
Sold Out - September 12
Sold Out - September 19
Our Field Seminars are taught by highly experienced instructors who are passionate about their topic and eager to share their knowledge with the public. Seminars are open to all ages. Youth under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
June 27-28 - Coldwater Hike, Kayak and Camping Weekend Adventure: Coldwater Lake Loop
July 11-12 - Dynamic Forces in Nature and Ourselves: a Hike and Yoga Retreat
July 25-26 - Coldwater Hike, Kayak and Camping Weekend Adventure: Harry’s Ridge
August 8 - Awesome Hike - FREE camping on Coldwater Ridge included
/August 22-23 - From Old-Growth to Spirit Lake: the Changing Face of the Blast Zone
August 29-30 - Coldwater Hike, Kayak and Camping Weekend Adventure: Coldwater Peak
October 10 - Foraging for Wild Mushrooms with Joseph Boldensmith
October 17 - Foraging for Wild Mushrooms with Katie Hobbie & Reinhard Boehme
October 24 - Foraging for Wild Mushrooms with Joseph Boldensmith