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Ape Cave

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (26) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Underground tunnel through old lava tubes.


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Map Key

2.5

Miles

4.1

KM

89%

Runnable

2,458' 749 m

High

2,081' 634 m

Low

369' 112 m

Up

377' 115 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

14%

Max Grade (8°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Cave

Overview

Looking for a different type of journey? This trail that includes navigating an underground tunnel through old lava tubes is sure to please! Just make sure to bring the headlamp!

Need to Know

You'll NEED a strong flashlight, headlamp, or lantern. The ranger station at the trailhead will rent a lantern for a nominal fee. The USFS recommends at least two light sources and extra batteries. You'll also need warm layers. The tunnel stays 42 degrees year round as it is insulated from the weather outside.

Note that while leashed dogs are allowed on the surface trails around the cave, they are NOT permitted inside the cave itself. It is not safe for them (the floor of the cave can be sharp and may cut paws) or considerate for other cave users. Dogs may also be carriers of white-nose syndrome, a fungus-borne disease that can be fatal to bats.

Description

A short distance from the parking lot brings you to the entrance to the tunnel. The tunnel itself is straight-forward, and there is no way to get lost, although there are two sections. The lower tunnel is fairly easy, with no obstacles. It is very good for children.

The upper tunnel requires some light scrambling: As you navigate the upper tunnel, expect to climb over rocks that have fallen into the pathway. Once you reach the end of the upper tunnel, you'll see a ladder leading back to the surface.

Following the path will take you back to the parking lot through a forested trail. The darkness of the cave, in contrast to the vitality of the forest excites the senses, and will make any visitor appreciate the various flora and fauna along the path.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ben Wagner with improvements by Cameron Booth

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 26 votes

#416

Overall
  4.5 from 26 votes
5 Star
65%
4 Star
19%
3 Star
12%
2 Star
4%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#33

in Washington

#416

Overall
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1,925 Since Dec 17, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Fun with colors in the Ape Cave.
Dec 28, 2015 near Amboy, WA
One of the few openings to natural light in Ape Cave.
Dec 16, 2015 near Amboy, WA
The darkness in the Ape Cave is both unearthly and exciting.
Dec 28, 2015 near Amboy, WA
Taking off the headlamp at the end of the upper tunnel.
Dec 18, 2015 near Amboy, WA
Ape Cave Lava Tube: Beneath the famous Meat Ball
Dec 28, 2015 near Amboy, WA
The Ape Cave (Lava Tube) is the main attraction.
Dec 28, 2015 near Amboy, WA

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Check-Ins

Jun 26, 2018
Kayleen Castelli
3mi