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!
Explore Mount St. Helens’ scenic wintry areas with us and learn what makes this volcano so special! Our Winter Adventures are a wonderful way to explore new places with our Volcano Naturalists Bob and Katherine Appling. You will need to provide your own lunch and transportation to the trailhead. We will provide the hot chocolate!
Sold Out - January 24: June Lake Snowshoe
January 31: Mt. Adams Big Tree Snowshoe
February 7: Ape Cave Snowshoe
February 14: Elk Rock Snowshoe
February 21: Mt. Adams Ice Cave and Natural Bridges Cross-country Ski Adventure
February 28: Old Man Pass Loop Snowshoe
March 7: Kalama Ski Trail Loop Cross-country Ski Adventure
March 14: June Lake Snowshoe
March 21: Goat Marsh Snowshoe
*2015 Field Seminar schedule will be released in December 2014*
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!
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. Along the route and during lunch our trained guides will provide fascinating interpretation of this unique landscape.
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.
Volcano Views & Brews Lectures - Sit back and enjoy our popular lecture series.
Youth Stream Team - Help us collect stream restoration data.
Volcano Explorers - Live and interactive video presentations given by scientists.
Science and Learning Center - Have your group stay at the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater.
Teacher Workshops - Learning how to develop professionally as a teacher.
Internships - Check out our college internships.