A Visit to Seaquest State Park

Washington State has no shortage of beautiful, iconic parks. One that offers an especially unique visit is Seaquest State Park. Located in Southwest Washington, about a 2-hour drive from Seattle, Seaquest State Park is a great jumping-off point for visiting nearby Mount Saint Helens.

Seaquest Trails

Planning a Visit to Seaquest State Park

Seaquest is a lushly forested 505-acre state park with plenty of amenities for those looking for a day or camping trip. An expansive grassy field near the entrance includes a playground, volleyball court, picnic tables, clean bathrooms, and a large reservable kitchen area. Birthdays, graduation parties, and even weddings have been held in this area. Day-use visitors will, however, need to have a Discover Pass to enter the park.


For those looking to stay the night, Seaquest is home to 52 campsites, including 18 partial-hookup sites, 15 full-hookup sites, and three hiker/biker sites. Visitors can reserve campsites via the Washington State Parks website. Indeed, it is difficult to explore all that Seaquest and the surrounding area have to offer without spending a night or two at this well-appointed park.

Birth of a Lake Trail

Exploring Seaquest's Trail Options

For example, Seaquest is home to 7 miles of forested trails, including 1 mile of ADA accessible trails. Many of the trails are relatively short and flat, making them a great option for young ones. Trail runners can also enjoy the variety of options for a scenic (and shady!) run.

A particularly beautiful trail option is the flat, 0.7-mile Silver Lake Wetland Haven loop, which is a short walk from the Seaquest park entrance. The trail includes a boardwalk over Silver Lake’s gorgeous wetlands. Cattails, lily pads, wildflowers, and occasional beaver, heron, and frog sightings make this wetland about as iconic as it gets. However, the true showstopper is the view of Mount Saint Helens looming in the distance.

Mt St Helens

Visiting Mount Saint Helens

The Silver Lake Wetland Haven loop is also directly adjacent to the Mount Saint Helens Visitor Center. For a $5 fee (free for children 6 and under), visitors can view an informative, 20-minute video about Mount Saint Helens and a variety of fascinating exhibits. The exhibits describe everything from the Native American tribes who first peopled this region, to the 1980 eruption and the devastation it wrought on the area and local communities.


For children and adults who are fascinated by geology and history, the visitor’s center is a highlight. However, be forewarned that young children may find the video frightening as it does include footage of the eruption and news coverage of local deaths.


Seaquest is a 45-minute drive from two other visitor centers, the Weyerhauser Mount Saint Helens Learning Center and the Mount Saint Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater. The latter is the temporary replacement for the Johnston Ridge Observatory, which is currently impassable following landslides in the Spring. The landslide is expected to be cleared by next year. In the meantime, both of these visitor centers offer excellent views of Mount Saint Helens and a variety of fun activity options.

Mt St Helens and Wildflowers

In addition to its fascinating visitor centers, Mount Saint Helens is home to a large number of beautiful trails. Unfortunately, many of Mount Saint Helens’ most iconic trails are inaccessible due to the landslide or are an hour and a half drive from Seaquest. However, there are a few relatively nearby trail options that offer a close-up of the mountain. In particular, the Hummocks Trail is a 2.4-mile hike through Mount Saint Helens’ valley.  


Hikers of this trail get an up-close view of the blast zone that tore through the valley, ripping up trees and scouring the river. Young trees and wildflowers have repopulated the area and are especially stunning in the summer months. Unobstructed views of the mountain make for excellent photo ops as well.

Blast Zone

Other Activity Options

Those looking to fish, boat, swim, kayak, or paddleboard can also check out the nearby Silver or Coldwater lakes for activity options. In particular, the Birth of a Lake Trail offers easy access to a small, shallow lake. The lake is calm and perfect for a relaxing paddle board or swim with kids. Visitors can choose to walk the flat, 0.6-mile trail or just enjoy the lake at the trail’s entrance.

Regardless of your interests, Seaquest State Park is sure to delight. Between its engaging visitor center, family-friendly hikes and activity options, and easy access to Mount Saint Helens, it is a must-see for families and individuals of all ages.

Wetlands Trail

Christine Leibbrand

Christine Leibbrand is a native of Washington state and current Seattleite who works as a Policy Development Analyst at University of Washington. In her spare time, she loves to run, rock climb, hike, and draw. She also has a passion for writing, particularly about topics related to health, wellness, personal finance, and the environment. For more of Christine's writing, check out her blog Department of Adulting or Instagram @ChristineL.Writes

1 Comment

  1. […] moving to Washington in 2016, our family has visited Mount St. Helens three times. Once in January, once in July, and once in October. Each season brings different views […]

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