Explore Let's do it - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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walking
1 day ago

You have to pay for parking and the trail is pretty busy. In some spots I had to wait 15 min for people to get through funnels in the trail or climb over certain rocks. BRING A LIGHT SOURCE.

this a great trail, but today there was heavy snow trying to drive there, the last mile or two and too much snow on trail to hike in regular shoes..will go again later this spring..use caution driving in

Was very fun, VERY easy. I only gave it 3 because I probably wouldn’t go all the way there to do it again. Pretty damp, wear boots for the water puddles and such. Great little trip with friends. Bring a bright headlamp and gloves! Enjoy.

on Ape Cave Trail

hiking
22 days ago

Really unique and wonderful trail! Definitely want a good flashlight, lots of really beautiful rock to see.

hiking
23 days ago

Unlike anything I’ve ever done... make sure if you do the lower trail you are prepared to do a lot of climbing!

hiking
24 days ago

One of a kind! The road was closed but you can park and walk .8 of a mile to the trailhead. There is still snow on the trail. So waterproof hiking boots help a lot! We did the lower cave and it was very easy. We plan on returning this summer to explore the upper cave!

A really unique hike. I did it solo and quickly felt it would have been a better time with a few other people. Make sure you have at least two durable and dependable head lamps. Some rock scrambling is necessary. Hiked March 6th, and it was warmer in the cave than outside, at about 40*.

it was about a year ago that I went on this trail but it is super cool and unique, very beautiful. I am a Utah residing Washington native and this is probably my favorite hike of all time. I would, however, recommend bringing a sweatshirt, a headlight, and a handheld light (per person). Extra batteries wouldn't hurt, either. I love this trail, though!

walking
2 months ago

It’s a nice walk, slippery in some spots but it only takes like 30 mins to get around the lake.
There’s a couple camping spots but it’s really not good for that.
We fished in it also and never caught anything. Iv lived in this area my whole life and I don’t know that anyone has ever caught fish in it.

hiking
2 months ago

be sure to get a snow pass for 23 dollars which can be purchased at the local store before the trail otherwise it's a 100 dollar fine. slushy snow at the start you have to walk about three quarters of a mile to the cave entrance due to snow. cave drips from the ceiling all throughout snow is at about 3ft right now upon departing the upper cave entrance. kind of a tight squeeze here and there. hardest part of cave is a 6 ft shear faced wall you have to actually climb up. not really for the faint of heart be sure to have a fully charged flashlight or headlamp because it's a cave and its pitch black, there's an opening in the ceiling about 4 fifths of the way through the cave, thats when you know you've almost made it. to get back down the mountain follow the blue/green diamonds. enjoy be safe check for conditions and landslide information before heading out.

hiking
3 months ago

This hike featured many waterfalls (several of which we had to walk though to continue on the trail). I would not take my kids on this again. One side of the trail is a straight drop down and it made me nervous having my 6 and 2 year old.

Nice trail thru the rainforest with moderate inclines. all sorts of things to enjoy. this trip will get you hooked on hiking!

Great views of both Mt St Helens and Adams from different points of the trail. Very easy hike.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail was short, but the drive was long. Spider lake is a spectacular view but unfortunately I picked up eery vibes from the glass-like stillness and once you see one part of it, the rest of the hike is a bore...

This was great and beautiful! Went on the Saturday after thanksgiving but only passed a few groups along the way. Saw some elk and a mouse along the way :-). The trail is wet in parts so you’ll want waterproof hiking shoes. The road up to the trailhead does have a lot of potholes so be aware when driving. We aren’t experienced hikers and got a good sweat going but we were able to do the whole hike in about 2.5 hours (trailhead to pony bridge and back)

I hiked this with my family on Thanksgiving day. It's a little dicey of a drive from the lake, lots of pot hole dodging and water across the road because of snow melt from early snow and of course rain. We saw 4 elk grazing beside the road! Trail was well maintained though there was lots of water running on trail. With all the water came lots and lots of waterfalls! Big trees galore, mushrooms of all types and golden leaves still adorned the forest. Final destination, pony bridge, was spectacular! Big water, steep boulders and more big trees.

hiking
5 months ago

slender nice downhill trail to the cave, beautiful lookout points, good interpretive signs. uphill was a small cardio workout. short but sweet. do it.

Wet and dark. The rock formations are nothing that special. We did the lower cave first but probably could've skipped it.

backpacking
5 months ago

It has everything! A big waterfall, lots of views of mountain ranges, adventure/ rope ascents&decents, AMAZING COLORS in the late fall! Totally underrated backpacking trip!

hiking
6 months ago

I think the idea of hiking this trail was more attractive than actually hiking it. It was dark 90% of the time during my hike there. There were maybe 3-4 cool spots worth checking out but that's about it. If you like cave-hiking, then this would be for you (not really my thing). And like pretty much everyone else say, bring headlights and wear sturdy shoes!

hiking
6 months ago

Long lave tube hike--remember to bring high-quality flashlight! Pay to park so bring cash.

6 months ago

One of my must do trails when visiting the Northwest. Trails suitable for all with the upper cave being more advanced. Upper cave offers some fun rock scrambles and a few other obstacles such as a lava fall. Lower cave is really forgiving and allows all levels to enjoy the strange enviorment. Bring good lighting so you can see all the wonders or you can rent a lantern at the trail head. Lights, Camera, Sweatshirt and you're off!

6 months ago

Awesome/ beautiful place to explore caves. Having headlamps would be better so you can use both of your hands to climb up and down the rocks, but flashlights work too. Once you reach the end of the cave you’ll be on the other side and you just walk back to the beginning of the cave which is the entrance/exit. You’ll be surrounded by trees and walking on old dry lava which is pretty cool. There will be flags around to direct you on the right trail.

hiking
6 months ago

Short. Neat, but short

Fantastic day hike! A very well-maintained trail ending with a nice overlook of the river. Scenic with some mild elevation on changes. Lots of little streams with frogs and slugs and woodpeckers to watch. Not too much traffic. Apparently there are pack animals allowed on some parts of the trail so expect to see massive amount of poo in some spots. Despite that -it was a great hike.

Very cool. Highly recommend a head lamp, gloves and good sturdy shoes. The 8ft wall has one foot hold, it's a bit tough but if you can't get up it your hiking partner might be able to give you a boost. I would rate it on the difficult side of easy not moderate.

6 months ago

Upper caves review: HARD. Wear a headlamp you will need both hands to help you climb and scale the MANY rock piles. 8ft lava wall you will need assistance getting up unless you are an experienced rock climber/bouldering person. Helpful to have good balance and steady footing otherwise I imagine it would take longer to complete trying to find your footing throughout. We completed the roughly 1.5 mile trek in about 1 hour and 45 min. Stopping a few times for rest and to take in the amazing views of the caves. No pets, not good for small kids, was a hike to remember for sure!

We really enjoyed this hike. See my recording for more details.

hiking
7 months ago

Very cool trail! It is definitely cold inside the caves, so bring a sweatshirt. Also a headlamp is a must!

hiking
7 months ago

I took my son and two nephews on to Mount St. Helens on Saturday, September 22nd, 2017.

The parking lot for Ape caves was completely full as would imagine it is on every weekend during the summer.

There's a shop that sells souvenirs and rents lanterns for your cave exploration experience. I recommend the use of a headlamp so your hands are free to assist you as you will soon be walking around and scrambling over several boulder fields in the cave.

That being said, this is the perfect place for an alternative hike when summer temperatures soar as the cave is said to maintain a steady 42°. It's an experience everone should have at some point!

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