Event Summary

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” —Genesis 1:1

Those 10 words are under great attack today, and most will say the world is billions of years old and the result of random chance. At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted in the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. 230 square miles of forest were scorched or blown down. That great catastrophic event not only shocked the world because of its explosive power, but shook the very foundation of evolutionary theory. Mount St. Helens has provided a massive natural laboratory for the understanding of catastrophic geologic processes, and what we are learning only serves to bolster the validity of the Biblical creation account. Join Dr. Keith Swenson, Pat RoyPaul Taylor and Landmark Events historian Bill Potter for a creation conference that will examine the exciting evidences Mount St. Helens has brought to light, but also explain how a relatively new theory, evolution, took hold and was embraced by the culture so quickly and completely. You will walk on the trails of Mount St. Helens with our expert guides and witness first-hand as they explain how huge geologic changes resulted from rapid processes in a very short amount of time. There is even a Volcano Building Contest! We designed this conference for the entire family, providing young and old with answers and encouragement. Please consider joining us and other families for this unique opportunity for “hands on” Genesis history. Due to trail limitations, we can only take 80 people, so don’t miss out!

Ticket Pricing

Included in This Tour

  • 3 days of instruction and 9 lectures from 3 speakers
  • Full day creation tour on Mt. St. Helens
  • Friday night banquet dinner
  • Fantastic fellowship
  • Volcano construction contest!
  • Built-in fellowship time

Ticket Pricing Information

Adults (16+):$199
Youth (5-15):$169
Child (0-4):FREE
  • Our cancellation policy is simple and reasonable, not punitive. You only pay loss suffered by Landmark Events as a result of your cancellation, no penalty or “service charges”. If the tour is not fully booked at the time you cancel, we will refund your full registration less any nonrefundable payments we made to hotels, coaches, etc. on your behalf. We will gladly issue full refunds for spaces that are re-booked, regardless of the time of cancellation.
  • We recommend you consider travel insurance which can cover losses due to illness, flight cancellations, and lost luggage. InsureMyTrip is a good place to start when researching travel insurance.

Event Highlights

Expert-led tours – choose one of the following tours included in registration. Please note – you will need your own vehicle and bag lunch. These are remote areas with spotty cell service.


Harmony Trail to Spirit Lake

Spirit Lake

This day trip will provide a good introduction to Mount St. Helens. The highlight will be a 2.5-mile (round trip) hike on the Harmony Trail to Spirit Lake and the floating log mat. In addition, we will visit an old growth forest, historic Bear Meadow, Meta Lake, and Windy Ridge. Teaching will be based on a biblical creation worldview. Multnomah Professor Keith Swenson will lead the trip. Please note that moderate physical fitness is required as we will be hiking a total of about three miles and there will be a 600-foot uphill climb coming out from Spirit Lake.

West Side Car Tour with Paul Taylor

West Side

Stops include:

  • Mount St. Helens Creation Center
  • Harry Gardner Park
  • Forest Learning Center (lunch)
  • Castle Lake Viewpoint
  • Hummocks Trailhead
    The 2.3-mile hike starts here (about 2 hours). The purpose is to see first-hand evidence of biological recovery following the eruption. We will be looking at how plants like prairie lupines and red alders led the recovery, and how both plants’ life cycles cannot be explained by evolution.
  • Johnston Ridge Observatory (milepost 52)
    Optional 1-hour hike along the boundary trail, where you will see (with binoculars) into the canyon, where the sedimentary layers are quite clear. The excursion ends at Johnston Ridge, after which guests make their own way down the valley, when you may wish to stop at other centers. If you wish to go into the Observatory, or use the trails, please note that there is a charge of $8 per adult (children 15 and younger free), payable inside the Observatory. The Observatory honors Golden Cards and Inter-Agency Passes.

Event Speakers

Historian Bill Potter

Historian Bill Potter

An experienced historian and avid bibliophile, Bill Potter combines a lifelong study of American history with an uncommon ability to captivate audiences of all ages as he traces the providential acts of God throughout the ages. He has taught history in high schools and colleges, has led many tours of American and European historical sites and brings to each event a wealth of experience and knowledge. An experienced researcher and writer, Dr. Potter possesses a practical knowledge of antiquarian books, documents, and artifacts and has published several short books and has penned many articles and book reviews for publication. Dr. Potter has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man gifted in communicating the story of God’s providential hand in American history. As a father of eight children, he appreciates the necessity of passing on to the succeeding generations the richness of both our regional and national history. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in Virginia.

Pat Roy

Pat Roy

Pat Roy is the co-founder of Creation Quest along with his wife, Sandy and two kids Summer, and Melody. Pat spent 12 years as the radio producer for the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). He began at ICR when Ken Ham was in charge of the radio department. When Ken left, Pat became the Director of Broadcast media. During that time he and his wife, Sandy, created Jonathan Park, a kid’s radio drama which put all that Pat had learned and continued to learn about six-literal-day creation into a format kids could understand and enjoy. From there, Pat and Sandy created Creation Quest, an organization committed to sharing the Gospel and giving families a Biblical and scientific case for Genesis 1.

Dr. Keith Swenson

Dr. Keith Swenson

Dr. Keith Swenson is a retired medical doctor who now teaches courses in biology and geology at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. He also served for twenty years as President of Portland’s Design Science Association and was on the board of the Seven Wonders Museum near Mount St. Helens. Keith especially enjoys leading field trips and has taken thousands to Mount St. Helens, the Columbia Gorge, Northwest forests and the Grand Canyon. He co-leads, with Dr. Steve Austin, periodic trips into the “Little Grand Canyon” at Mount St. Helens. He and his wife, Connie, have four grown children.

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor

Paul and his wife Geri have been the directors of the Mount St. Helens Creation Center since October 1, 2014. Paul has been speaking on creation and apologetics, and against evolution, for over 35 years. He taught science in public (government) schools in the UK for nearly 20 years. He has worked with ministries such as Answers in Genesis and Creation Today, and has spoken in Britain, Ireland, Europe and across the United States, in churches and at conferences. He has authored nine books including The Six Days of Genesis, Itching Ears, and Don’t Miss the Boat.

Event Schedule

Wednesday, August 22

12:00pmRegistration opens
2:00pmWelcome: Orientation and Overview
2:30pmMount St. Helens: A Message for Today (Paul Taylor)
4:00pmBiological Recovery at Mount St. Helens, Pt. I (Keith Swenson)
5:30pmDinner Break
7:30pmThe Journey to Novarupta (Pat Roy)
8:30pmFellowship & discussion with speakers and guests

Thursday, August 23

6:00pmMountain Tours Return
8:00pmHistoric Volcanoes and the Providence of Disaster (Bill Potter)

Friday, August 24

9:00amBiological Recovery at Mount St. Helens, Pt. II (Keith Swenson)
10:30amCreation Evidence in Context (Paul Taylor)
11:30amLunch Break
1:30pmThe Battle Is Real (Pat Roy)
3:00pmThe Doctrine of Providence and the Creation (Bill Potter)
4:30pmVolcano Construction Contest—details coming soon!
6:00pmBanquet Dinner & Discussion
7:30pmClosing Session—Panel Discussion

Saturday, August 25

Additional Hike with Paul Taylor
(Not included in registration. Contact Paul Taylor at Mt. St Helens Creation Museum for details and scheduling. (360) 274-5737 or info@mshcreationcenter.org.)
This will take in viewpoints on the South of the volcano: June Lake and waterfall (incl. 0.5-mile walk), Lahar Viewpoint, Lava Canyon (incl. 1.3-mile walk, with canyon suspension bridge), the Trail of Two Forests (short 0.3-mile stroll, plus picnic area for lunch), and the entrance to the Ape Cave. Paul Taylor will lead the group down into the beginning of the cave. All those going to the cave will need working flashlights, and warm clothing — even on a hot day, the cave is very cold.


We have selected the Red Lion Hotel in Kelso, WA to host our event. Clean and comfortable, this recently renovated hotel is the ideal spot to meet together, as well as the base from which to launch our tours of the mountain and other local attractions.
There is a block of rooms set up under the name Landmark Events for August 21-24. Nightly rates are $92 + tax. There are also spacious parlor suites and executive suites for $135.00 + tax. Each of these has an additional connecting bedroom that is $92 per night. Call the hotel directly at 360-636-4400 ext. 0 for the front desk to make reservations.

Other Travel Information

Nearest Airport: Portland International (PDX)

Transportation: It would be best to rent a car if you fly in as Kelso is about an hour north of Portland Airport. You will need your own car for the mountain tours.

Suggestions on what to bring: We would recommend that you consider bringing a hat, journal, camera, umbrella, and comfortable trail walking shoes or boots as we will walk a lot

Lecture Topics

Mount St. Helens: A Message for Today
Paul Taylor

This talk gives an overview of the events of May 1980, and explains why this event was of such significance to biblical Creationists.

Learning from Catastrophe: Biological Recovery at Mount St. Helens, Pts. I & II
Keith Swenson

Noah’s Flood left the entire earth biologically devastated. Creationists believe that over the tens, hundreds and thousands of years following the Flood, living organisms recovered, eventually producing the ecosystems seen on the modern earth. But is such a belief reasonable? Is the biota really that resilient? And if so, by what ecological mechanisms could such remarkable transformation take place? Since Scripture offers no detailed information on the biological changes that transpired following the Flood, Creationists must look elsewhere for information. One source is the study of recovery from modern disturbances, such as the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens which produced a 230-square-mile area of biological devastation termed the “blast zone.” The responses of organisms to this eruption have now been intensely studied for over 35 years generating hundreds of articles. Please join us on May 13 as Dr. Keith Swenson delivers a slide presentation in which he shows us this renewal of life in the blast zone, noting the resilience of the creation, and suggesting some comparisons between what happened at Mount St. Helens and what must have occurred globally following the great flood described in the Bible.

The Journey to Novarupta
Pat Roy

When formed in Alaska in 1912, Novarupta was the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. It released 30 times the volume of magma of the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens and left an area named the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Almost a hundred years later, creation researcher Dr. David Shormann traveled to that remote part of the Alaskan wilderness to document the overwhelming evidence for creation, the worldwide flood, an ice age, and the forces of catastrophism. Join us for the adventure as we take a journey into the blast zone!

Historic Volcanoes and the Providence of Disaster
Bill Potter

The flow of lava has had a powerful effect upon the flow of history on a number of notable occasions. Historians still write books about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy in AD 79. In an explosion releasing more than a hundred thousand times the thermal energy of the atomic bombs dropped in WWII, the eruption buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum so quickly that those sites have provided historians, archeologists and cultural anthropologists with a unique laboratory of investigation, frozen in time—a treasure trove of the relics of divine judgement. In more recent times, the eruption of Krakatoa and volcanic activity in Hawaii have once again reminded us that man controls neither the creation nor history, but must stand in awe of God, recognize His Sovereign control of the events of the past and present, and submit to His authority.

Creation Evidence in Context
Paul Taylor

As creationists, we sometimes give the impression that we are trying to convince people that the Bible is true, by giving them irrefutable scientific evidence. This approach does not work, because there is always “evidence” that seems to point the other way. Instead, we need to understand how to put our evidence in the context of the unadmitted knowledge of God and the Bible, which Romans 1 tells us all “unbelievers” already have. This talk is based on a chapter of Paul Taylor’s book Only Believe.

The Battle Is Real
Pat Roy

We are made in God’s image, yet most Christians don’t truly understand this amazing truth. From the beginning, the enemy has tried to deceive mankind, convincing them that they are nothing more than animals. In this session, we’ll talk about why this battle is real, and how to equip families to stand strong in the midst of a world that is buying into the deception!

The Doctrine of Providence and the Creation
Bill Potter

The account of God’s superintendence of the created world down through the ages is found throughout the Bible. Many philosophers, theologians, historians and scientists from the 18th century to the present have attacked the biblical doctrine of providence as it relates to the created order and the “natural” world. We will take a look at what the Bible says about this important doctrine in light of “natural disasters,” and how we ought to view the uses God has made of them.

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September 23-27, 2024

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October 18-19, 2024