Your Guide to Spelunking the Incredible Caves in Washington State

Washington State has everything an adventure enthusiast could ever dream of. Get your thrills by white water rafting down the White Salmon, Klickitat rivers or seek new heights on top of Beacon Rock. You can even go underground when you explore one of the many caves in Washington State! When you take these incredible hikes, it’s like you’re in another world. Each cave has something different to offer, like stunning rock formations or a rich history of its uses before it became a hiking trail. Go deep below the earth’s surfaces when you explore caves in Washington State for an experience unlike any other.

For more information on other attractions near Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, you can download our free Vacation Guide. It features some of the best recommendations on state parks, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests to explore during your vacation. The caves in Washington State are just one of the many places to explore!

Ape Caves

The Ape Caves are some of the most accessible caves in Washington State. This cave is perfect for beginner spelunkers or adventure seekers. The Ape Caves were formed by molten lava thousands of years ago. The outer layer hardened, forming a tube filled with amazing geological features. The cave is separated into two tubes: the upper tube and the lower tube. The upper tube is more difficult, but it has more interesting rock formations than the lower. It takes about 4 hours to fully explore these caves. Each step you take will lead you further away from civilization through a fascinating rocky path.

Guler Ice Caves

The Guler Ice Caves are some of the most impressive caves in Washington State due to their intricate ice formations. Each year, the ice melts and then reforms, creating unique crystal-like sculptures in the cave. As long as you visit the caves before early summer, you are sure to see the ice formed during the winter. These caves were used hundreds of years ago by Native Americans to store berries, and then by pioneers to harvest its ice. Just be careful when you visit, since there is usually a thin layer of slippery ice on the ground! When you explore the Guler Ice Caves, make sure to take a few moments to constantly shine your flashlight around you. You never know when one of the beautiful crystal ice formations will be illuminated.

Cheese Caves

The Cheese Caves are not only an amazing site to see, but have also had one of the most unique uses of any caves in Washington State. These lava tubes used to be used to naturally refrigerate cheese, but now make for an intriguing adventure! The caves can be found down a dirt road near Trout Lake in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest by the building where the cheese was originally made. Descend the ladder into the vast cavern of the Cheese Caves and then begin to explore. As you go deeper, you will see the wooden remnants of where the Guler Cheese Company used to store their prized cheeses.

Layser Cave

The Layser Cave requires a scenic journey through lush greenery and towering pines to reach its location. The cave itself is very small, but it is definitely worth the visit due to the fact that it is one of the more significant archeological sites in Western Washington. The cave was used as shelter for thousands of years by Native Americans. Archeologists have been able to trace back its history through the many animal bones and stone tools that were found on site. Duck into the small cave and take a moment to imagine what it must have been like those thousands of years ago.

What to Bring to Caves in Washington State

While the most important thing to bring while exploring caves in Washington State is your sense of adventure, there are a few other tools that are useful! These caves are all located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, so make sure you have a recreation pass. These can easily be bought online- just make sure you do it in advance. When exploring caves, it is also very important to have the right gear. The caves’ temperatures are usually around 42 degrees or less year round, so warm clothes are a must. Good shoes are necessary since some of the cave floors are slippery. A hard hat is recommended but not required. It will come in handy for those low ceilings! Also, always make sure to bring a strong and durable flashlight and backup batteries so you are never stuck in the dark.

After Exploring Caves in Washington State, Return to Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins

After trekking through some of the astounding caves in Washington State, relax at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins. Continue to enjoy the amazing meadow views the area has to offer as you sip on a glass of wine on your private porch. From spotless cabins to delicious breakfasts, we want you to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate while staying at our bed and breakfast. You’ll love your getaway to the Columbia River Gorge!