The Science and Learning Center at Coldwater is a hands-on education center located seven miles from the crater of Mount St. Helens, offering spectacular views and unparalleled educational opportunities for learners of all ages. Come explore the volcano by day and night with a Volcano Outdoor School day program or overnight program. To make your trip to the mountain more memorable, building and camp site are also available for special events and rentals. The Science and Learning Center at Coldwater offers immersion into the volcanic landscape and world just outside in the heart of the blast zone. 

The Science and Learning Center is located at milepost 43 on State Highway 504, approximately 10 miles west of Johnston Ridge Observatory. Adjacent to the Science and Learning Center is the accessible Winds of Change Trail with a 1/4 mile paved loop offering views of the Toutle Valley. Also nearby is The Elk Bench Trail connecting with the Lakes Trail, providing stunning views of Coldwater Lake and frequent elk sightings along the way. The building has multiple conference rooms available for day use, numerous educational opportunities and programs as well as overnight accommodations.

Within walking distance of the Science and Learning Center is Coldwater Camp, a campground with stunning views of Mount St. Helens and Coldwater Lake that is available for group rentals.


Groups may rent either or both the Science & Learning Center or nearby Coldwater Camp for overnight stays.  Showers are not available at either site.


  • Guests may either sleep on the floor amidst former visitor center displays or in one of our two bunk rooms.
  • Groups renting the Science & Learning Center overnight will have use of the kitchen.  Alternatively, groups may add mealservice to their rental for $7/person/meal.
  • Our two bunkrooms (with a total of 26 total beds), as well as numerous large rooms, accommodate separate male and female sleeping arrangements.
  • Nine (9) cots are available to increase the sleeping capacity of either bunkroom; an additional 2 people may sleep on a cot or on the floor in bunkroom #1 for a total capacity of 18.
  • For groups larger than 35 people, please come prepared with supplies to make sleeping on the floor comfortable and enjoyable. For large groups, visitors may sleep in cots or on the floor in the hallways/rooms adjacent to either bunkroom.
  • There are centrally located bathrooms with hot water but there are no showers.


  • The nearby Coldwater Camp is a five-minute walk from the Center. Field camp offers spectacular views of Mount St. Helens, Coldwater Lake, and the Mount Margaret back-country.
  • Groups renting Coldwater Camp overnight will have use of a rustic outdoor kitchen with a propane stove - new in 2020.  Alternatively, groups may add mealservice to their rental for $7/person/meal.
  • There are several picnic tables at the site and vault toilets in the parking lot.
  • The site has NO running water.
  • Cars are not permitted in this area and groups will need to carry their supplies in about 1/4 mile.
  • Camping gear is not provided.

Register Your Group

Program Availability

  • Science and Learning Center overnight rentals:  Click HERE to view a list of available dates 
  • Coldwater Camp overnight rentals:  Click HERE to view a list of available dates 
  • Science and Learning Center day rentals:  Click HERE to view a list of available dates 

Please note that these dates are subject to group size and staff availability.

Contact Us

Interested in joining us for an education or rental program at Mount St. Helens? Complete THIS FORM to tell us about the type of education program or rental you would like to request. This form is non-binding. It helps us determine availability and begin the registration process. Once we receive your request we will contact you to schedule your group. If you have any questions about Volcano Outdoor School or how to register, please email


Click HERE for an interactive version of our pricing guide. 
Click HERE to view a PDF of our pricing guide.


You can review program policies HERE.