Explore SAM - 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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hiking
3 days ago

Road closed 5 miles from the trailhead due to snow. But I am excited to go back in the Spring.

I'm so sad that this trail is closed. I had some really amazing memories there.

Hiked it today, 1/5. I drove from Wilkerson and drove over the bridge, parked, then walked over the bridge to the trail head. You have to step over the guard rail to get to the trail. It’s a little steep going down but flat once you get down. I only hiked about 30 minutes because it started to get dark. The trail was pretty muddy but not too bad.

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful setting.

hiking
13 days ago

MUST DO.

From the East Coast (specifically New Jersey) and this was our first West Coast hike. Wow, wow, wow. The views were insane, the flora was gorgeous, and the temperature was perfect in August! This review is written late, but if you can make the trip, DO IT!

This was my First Hike Ever! Absolutely Gorgeous! Fell in Love with hiking to the point I decided to permanently moving to Washington. The path is spectacular with a variety of of stone paths and wooden stairs. Wooden bridge is a bit narrow only one direction of traffic at a time.

Loved this trail. We hiked it in June 2018. the waterfall near boulder cave is great and so much fun to climb around.

Breathe taking views, especially at the sunset, late December trail was messy and slippery

I’m a rookie at trails and enjoyed this.

Oh my lord this cave is so unreal dope it’s not even funny. They let u just walk around and go rogue with a headlamp and u can just spend hours admiring the beauty of cave world. One of my favs in WA.

hiking
1 month ago

Being from Colorado, this was one of the coolest trails I've ever done... walking in a cave for 3 miles. It's freezing down there, even during the summer. Bring a headlamp. It's so much easier than having to carry a flashlight.

on Melmont Ghost Town

1 month ago

trail was being cleared, and super muddy in areas the equipment was working. nice walk.

on Cape Flattery Trail

1 month ago

beautiful, although short. make sure to get your visitors permit (the gas station sells it) as you can't buy it at the trailhead.

The upper cave offers some cool scrambling opportunities on boulder piles. The amount of feces that looked and tasted like it came from a human was disheartening but not a bad trail otherwise.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an easy hike, but be prepared to use a cable with pegs for stability on the way down from the bridge. It's steep, but you don't need to be an experienced climber to deal with it. Look for the bullet hole-riddled speed limit sign to find the entrance.

As of 12/04, the trail itself is very muddy, so don't wear anything that you don't want to get dirty. The Melmont site is unremarkable: the buildings are long gone, but if you're lucky, you may meet some knowledgeable volunteers from the Foothills Rails-To-Trails Coalition who can tell you about the area's history.

If you don't want to talk with any volunteers, you can check out piercecountytrails.org for more information, both practical and historical.

walking
1 month ago

This cave is super fun we did the longer version. If you are scared of the dark and claustrophobic you won’t be a fan but if you want an adventure go for it. You will be climbing rocks and boulders at one point a rope helps you over a rock ridge. It’s fun!

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very beautiful hike! Easy to do but requires shoes with good traction. There is a section after the bridge that allows you to go down by the water but we were unable to venture down due to slippery conditions. Highly recommend this hike in summer/fall!!

walking
1 month ago

Walked about 2 miles out and back for unbelievable sunset views at Powell Point look out. It was less crowded than Hopi appeared and just as wonderful views.

This one is fun. Suspension bridges and ladders make it especially unique. Great views of waterfalls and cascades. I did the entire trail and as other reviews have said just be careful and know that you probably shouldn’t bring pets/children. At the split near the beginning of the trail I veered right and went over the bridge. I think this is the better route because you get great views of the falls on the way back up.
Here's a video of my experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF5ragxSIw8&t=4s

***After the 30 foot ladder but before the next bridge there is another smaller ladder that is somewhat hard to find. It leads to a short out/back trail on a ridge that pays off with extraordinary views.

Travelers note:
Forest pass: YES
Parking fee: $5 without forest pass
Travel time from Portland: about 2 hours
Driving conditions: road to the trailhead has a fair amount of potholes and such. Drive is possible in a car but probably better to have a vehicle with clearance.

hiking
1 month ago

I went on 11/3/2018 with my husband, our 7 year old, 3 year old and a friend. You will need to drive over the bridge, park on the left hand side in that little area. Then walk back over and go over the guard rail, there will be a cable with pegs to help you down onto the trail. We had to pick up our kids and carry them down. The trail is very muddy, so I recommend boots instead of tennis shoes. There's a couple buildings and a car on the trail. There will be a fork where you can either go up or continue straight on the trail. If you go up there's an old schoolhouse. The bottom part of the trail, we ended up going off the path to the river. There's a little camping spot and then a little beach area where you can get a better view of the river. Overall it was a good hike. Very easy for kids and dogs after you get down from the bridge. This is also a trail for offloading vehicles so be aware. There were several dirt bikes that zoomed past us. **Also, be careful of certain people. There were a couple locals that were trying to get people away from the trail by telling them there were ruins of another town down the road. Several people including ourselves drove the directions they gave us and it lead to a dead end. Also, encountered some angry locals as well on another day that were at the bridge.

hiking
1 month ago

Just did this trail today. It was my sister and my 2 children ages 11 and 8 and they loved it! We did Ape Trail that was above ground and once we got done we walked back and then went underground. I’m not sure which one we did I’m seeing a lot of posts where people say they did the Upper Cave area but crawled and we didn’t crawl at all. It was an open area cave but pitch black. I used a head flash light and my cell light and my kids had their own lights as well. We didn’t finish the cave trail due to my son sprang his ankle . The terrain is very unsteady so watch your step. Other than that it was really fun and awesome. I’m definitely coming back but more in the spring or summer time. Happy Hiking!

2 months ago

Did the upper caves (the challenging ones) and absolutely adored it. It gets a bit challenging in some parts but I wouldn’t consider it very hard. I enjoyed all the way.
I would recommend wearing a nice coat since the temperature is Lower downt there and definitely two sources of light (head lamp and flashlight will do) some light gloves might be helpful as well and I wouldn’t take kids younger than 8 or 9 (not only for the physical part but the fact that it’s completely dark and might find it scary)

By the way, you will need a permit in dashboard of the car to park in the lot.

hiking
2 months ago

Just a heads up. It's hunting season. Worth the $5 to buy an orange hunting vest so you don't get shot. Ran into a couple hunters who informed me of hunting season and let me borrow a vest. Better safe than sorry. Suspension bridge was awesome.

hiking
2 months ago

Did both caves. Did this hike without hiking baby. And I would never do this with hiking baby. Helmet is a good idea for upper trail. Recommend 2 sources of light. 1 for use 1 for backup. You do not want to be in the upper cave without light. Rope is installed for 8ft climb. Was completely alone on upper cave. Honestly not smart to do upper cave alone. Learned my lesson on that one. I am a big guy and there is a lot of tight spaces. But I did it with a camera bag and backpack. Was alone for most of the lower cave.

It was beautiful trail inside and out. We had our 1 year old son on my husband's back and were able to do about 95% of the cave until it was just too small to crawl through with a child on your back. the terrain is a but rough for a child under 4 to walk. We loved it.

walking
2 months ago

Good walking path. Lots of great views. We started at the visitor center and walked to Mohave Point on the red bus route. My Garmin clocked about 6.5 miles. We hopped on the bus there to go back as we were pretty tired and had 1.5 hour drive ahead of us to where we were staying. Easy path. Not difficult. Once you get past the bright angel trailhead, it gets pretty quiet on the trail and you don’t see many people.

loved it

Super easy hike. The lower cave is very roomy and it’s a clear path back and out. It was a surreal experience as a first time cave-goer. My only complaint is that a duo near us had clearly been disregarding the signs not to smoke cigarettes in the cave. Without the side of fresh air, it felt like we were walking through an ashtray most of the way.

We went to the side of the upper cave. We reached a point where it seemed like it ended, so we turned around. When we were finished and left the caves and referred to the maps...we realized we hadn’t pushed on far enough and there was more to the upper cave. Will definitely go back to try it out.

Good lights- yes...I went cheap on a headlamp and it wasn’t quite bright enough for my liking

It was quite wet and drippy in there...a raincoat was nice to have.

Good, sturdy shoes. The ground is quite uneven.

Great hike! We didn’t intend to do this one, but we were finished hiking Ape Caves and realized this was so close. The first two sections are pretty great...rather short...so totally doable. Parts were a little scary since it was so wet out. The bridge was quite frightening for someone who is afraid of heights. More than adequate amount of signage. I would recommend this hike when it is dry out. Gorgeous views. Did not attempt to hike the most difficult part, I read in forums that it’s quite dangerous when wet.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun hike, went backwards starting from the upper caves. Completed 10-14-18

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