Ape Cave

 8 votes

2.5 Miles 4.1 Kilometers



369' 112 m


-377' -115 m


2,458' 749 m


2,081' 634 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (8°)

All Clear

79 days agoUpdate

Underground tunnel through old lava tubes.

Ben Wagner


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!
Features: Cave

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. You'll also need warm layers. The tunnel stays 42 degrees year round as it is insulated from the weather outside.


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.


Rate Featured Hike


4.3 from 8 votes

Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins


Jul 18, 2017
Julie Irwin
Jun 17, 2017
Mike Vincent
My family (kids ages 10 & 9) hiked the lower tube. It was an easy hike with lots of uneven surfaces. Most young children should be able to hike here. — 2h 00m
Jun 11, 2017
jazmine wilson
May 27, 2017
Emily Roeben
Hiked the lower tunnel with my parents and my 3.5yo. Our little guy hiked the whole way in with just a bit of help, but rode shoulders on the way out.
May 21, 2017
Deymar Rios
May 1, 2017
J Gerardo
May 1, 2017
David Velazquez
Apr 29, 2017
J Gerardo
Bring lanterns or head lamp and dress warm. A lot of obstacles. But very fun to do, very different then your average trail. 2.5mi — 1h 00m

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 8 votes


  4.3 from 8 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star


in Washington


57 Views Last Month
480 Since Dec 17, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate



All Clear 79 days ago
Dry, Muddy, Mostly Dry: Mostly dry with a bit of mud. Rock scrambles to be expected. The first 100 yards is the hardest part in the lower cave.
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

Be sure to check the road conditions the Ape Caves site. 2/23/2017: 2-3 feet of snow. Forest Road 8303 to the cave is gated for the winter just past Trail of Two Forests parking lot. Visitor will need to walk 1 mile through snow to the cave. Forest Road 83 has been plowed, but remains snow and ice covered, with new snow expected. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/giffordpinchot/recarea/?recid=40393 Feb 24, 2017

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking