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Posted on: May 1, 2019

Mount St. Helens area state parks host spring, summer programs

Activities start on the eve of the volcano’s 1980 eruption anniversary

Update: June 17, 2019: Due to unforeseen circumstances, we've had to cancel some of the interpretive programs for this summer. 

OLYMPIA – May 1, 2019 – Washington State Parks and the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center invite the public to participate in spring and summer interpretive programs at the center, as well as fun, family-friendly campground programs at Seaquest, Ike Kinswa and Lewis and Clark state parks.

The 2019 Mount St. Helens history programs will happen Fridays through Sundays in spring and daily in summer at Mount St. Helens Visitor Center, 3029 Spirit Lake Hwy., Castle Rock. (Driving directions).

Morning guided walks will take place on Sundays from May 26 through Sept. 1, at Seaquest State Park, 3030 Spirit Lake Highway Castle Rock (Driving directions). Note: No program on June 2.

Evening Junior Ranger programs will be offered throughout the late spring and summer at Ike Kinswa State Park, 873 State Route 122, Silver Creek, (Driving directions), and Lewis and Clark State Park, 4583 Jackson Hwy., Winlock (Driving directions), as well as at Seaquest.

Mount St Helens Visitor Center eruption talks
Participants will meet at the lower viewing area beside the Visitor Center, where seating will be provided. The programs, which last 20 to 25 minutes, introduce visitors to the history, biological recovery and 1980 eruption sequence of Mount St. Helens, the most active volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range. Visitors of all ages are welcome to join. The schedule is as follows:

Spring — May 17 to June 2

Program schedule:

  • Hourly, 10:25 a.m. to 2:25 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 17 to June 2
  • Sunday, May 26, the first talk will take place at 11:25 a.m.

Summer — June 7 to Sept. 2

Program schedule:

  • 10:25 a.m., 12:55 and 2:25 p.m., Monday through Thursday
  • Hourly, 10:25 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays 
  • On Sundays, the first talk will take place at 11:25 a.m.

In addition to giving formal talks, interpretive staff will be at the visitor center between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. seven days a week, beginning May 20, to answer questions and offer fun educational moments. 

Morning guided forest walks
Walkers will meet at the playground in the day-use area at Seaquest State Park. The 1-mile flat guided walk will last approximately one hour and take visitors through the rich understory of forest plants beneath towering trees. Along the way, visitors will learn about the park’s ecosystem and the critters that call this place home. Visitors of all ages and well-behaved dogs on leash are invited to join.

Programs are scheduled for:

  • 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 26
  • 9:30 a.m. Sundays, June 9 to September 1

Junior Ranger campground programs
7 – 8 p.m., at Seaquest, Lewis and Clark, and Ike Kinswa state parks
These family-friendly evening programs are geared towards kids of all ages and last approximately an hour. Park staff will engage budding junior rangers on a variety of topics including the environment and local wildlife, nocturnal animals, sensory exploration, geology and hiker preparedness. Each program will include an interactive craft or activity. Topics will vary throughout the summer.

Seaquest State Park

  • Friday and Sunday, May 24 and 26
  • Fridays, June 7 to Sept. 1
  • Saturday, June 15

Meet at the amphitheater in the day-use area. Signs will direct visitors.

Lewis and Clark State Park
Saturdays, June 29, July 13, 27, Aug. 10, 24
Meet at the amphitheater beside the CCC Kitchen shelter/across from the swings. There will be signs directing visitors.

Ike Kinswa State Park
Saturdays, May 25, June 8, 22, July 6, 20 and Aug. 3, 17, 31
Programs will meet at various locations in the park. There will be signs directing visitors.

All programs are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather, staffing availability and attendance levels. Programs will be advertised daily on the Visitor Center front bulletin board and on campground bulletin boards. For details and updates, visit the State Parks online calendar of events.

News media contacts:
Alysa Adams, Interpretive Specialist, (360) 274-0962
Meryl Lipman, Communications Consultant, (360) 902-8557


About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

 News release number: 19-021

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