Coldwater Ridge

In 1980, Mount St. Helens cataclysmically erupted. The “Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center” site is located on the lower outskirts of the event’s footprint and focuses on the survival and the recovery of plant and animal life.


A multi-video wall theater introduces the built-up to eruption and sequential impact in blast zone. Exiting the theater visitors are met with a large wireframe topographical map with faceted interactive views of before and after the eruption. The map is surrounded by a large section-view mural through the landscape.

Discovery drawers, rotating trilons, flip panels and a hidden AV program reveal survival stories hidden below the moonscape surface. The Bioscape exhibit consists of a series of linked monolith lightboxes that highlight various animal species and their survival story.

A scenic overlook features the Futurescape exhibit offers the visitor various interpretations of the landscape based on future volcanic events. A series of individual monitor carrels hosts the Ecoscape challenge. Visitors pick from a series of local animals, place them in a location near the mountain and press an eruption button! The gallery’s storyline concludes with the message of Stewardship. This is the first time video projection on a lifecast figure is used as an interpretive method.