Ape Cave

Length: about 3.1 miles

Not dog friendly

Not for everyone

This was a really fun hike/crawl/climb through the lava tubes located at Mt St Helen’s.  Its one of the longest lava tubes in the world, reaching a length of about 12,800 ft. It’s really amazing, it should definitely become a priority on your bucket list. The cost was $5 dollars to park. There is 2 different caves you can hike through, I say do both. The easy one is right down the stair and it’s not a hard hike, more like a walk through. So it is great if you have little ones, they can get through this with no problem. You’re going to need head lamps, the caves are pitch black and without them you can’t see. You could bring flashlights, but you will want free hands, so I recommend the head lamps. At the very end there is a crawl space, you have to be a fairly small person, like myself, it doesn’t go anywhere but it leads to a little cave you can chill in. If you’re claustrophobic, I wouldn’t recommend crawling through, the space is very tight. I was crawling on my stomach and elbows.

The second cave is harder, if you have older kids they can do it, but not the little ones. When you go down the stairs you turn and walk under the staircase and it leads you to the hard cave. Now, when my bestie and I did this we did NOT see the sign to the hard cave. We are true blondes and sometimes we do not think with our noodles. Anyways, we ended up hiking up the trail looking for the cave in the heat. We eventually came to an opening (the ending of the cave, but we didn’t know that). We realized we where going the wrong way when a group of kids said “you guys are going the wrong way.” “Ya, we know what we are doing,” we actually had no idea, but I wasn’t about to let a bunch of middle school kids know that. It was really amazing inside, we had to climb over rocks almost the whole hike through. There was a part that we had to slide down on a rope ( you would be going up, but remember we went backwards) that was the hardest part only because the cave is pitch black and I couldn’t see where I needed to place my feet, or how far from the bottom I was. Its chilly and wet inside the cave, so you should bring a sweatshirt.  Also bring snacks, I was so hungry by the time we got done doing both hikes that we were turning into a hangry women, and hangry women are never good.

All in all it was really fun, I would recommend this for sure. I was sore the next day but it was so worth it. You can also head to the souvenir shop on the way out, located at the Ranger Station 🙂


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