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Ape Cave Trail [CLOSED] is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cougar, Washington that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from March until October.

Length 3.0 mi Elevation gain 433 ft Route type Out & Back

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Cave

Views

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Scramble

Closed

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

Note: Users have reported that this trail is closed due to COVID-19. Please note that the road leading to the trailhead may be closed seasonally due to snow. Please check with the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument for more information before visiting. This route involves scrambling and moving through small spaces.

A federal Northwest Forest Pass is required to park here

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument 42218 Northeast Yale Bridge Road Amboy, WA 98601 Tel: 360.449.7871

From Vancouver, WA, north on 1-5 to Highway 503, exit 21. Drive east 35 miles to Forest Service Road 83. Turn left and drive 2 miles to Forest Service Road 8303. Turn left and drive 1.5 miles to the trailhead on the right.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (608)
Photos (126)
Recordings (197)
Completed (2336)
Jesse T
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Great fun for the whole family! We did the harder upper trail with our 3 children, 4 year old boy, 9 year old girl & 12 year old boy. It was a challenge for our 4 year old but he made it through and had a blast doing it, then slept well on the way back home. We parked up near the upper cave exit and walked the above ground trail down to the cave entrance and then hiked the cave back up, 3.75 mile total loop from our parking spot.

Joshua Hagen
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 15, 2020
Closed

very much closed, regular gate then a chain fence with about 6 signs explaining why. major reason being easy spread of sickness (covid 19 and covid 2)

Jose Talavera
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020

anyone know if it's opened?

Shauna Washington
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 30, 2020
HikingRocky

We did this last summer (2019) and we did the harder cave with our three kids. At the time their ages were 4, 6 & 8. Also, we started from the bottom and went to the top. Due to the kids it was not easy and had to really work to help the kids, but it was worth it and was an awesome experience for all of us! We made sure all of us had head lights prior to going. It does get crowded.

Kendra Jane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 25, 2020
Hiking

(When open) I love the caves/trail when there isn’t so many people around. It gets pretty crowded so get there early.

Brianna Higginbotham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 11, 2020
Closed

Closed. Parking/Hiking. All of it. Rangers have been handing out tickets. Considered a closed space so Covid closure. Drove two hours to find out... :(

Marni Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 10, 2020
Hiking

What a great adventure Ape Cave was! The road is closed way down off the main road, closed again at the turn off that closed road and then closed AGAIN at the Trail of Two Forests parking lot. Stupid COVID. We walked in and it was well worth it!!! So much fun! Weather was beautiful and the cave was amazing!! Lower cave? Easy Peezy! Upper Cave?? Not so much. Well worth the drive!

Jenny Lyn Canaria
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HikingMuddyRockyScramble
Jess Mooney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 28, 2020

One of absolute favorite hikes in WA. I've been to Carlsbad and Mammoth Cave, but this one is awesome cause its raw (you have to bring your own lighting) and you don't have a guide. you can't get lost cause this sucker is a lava tube. I've done it a few times and am gonna go back again!

Jeffrey Bonilla
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 21, 2020
HikingClosed

We park our car at the enter cus it was closed . So we walked two miles extra but it was worthy. An awesome experience

Meeshee Dee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 21, 2020
Hiking

Tiny bit of snow and ice here and there on the trail leading to the caves. Not a big deal at all. We took the lower cave walk.. it was a little rocky here and there but mostly easy to get around in there. Cool little first time cave exploration. Head lamp and hand flashlight were helpful for sure, its pretty dark inside the cave. Have fun!

Rheanna M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 7, 2020
HikingFeeRockyScrambleSnow
View Rheanna's Recording
Shubhro Roy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Very unique experience- worth it. The upper cave requires balance and can be tough on your knees. If you plan to do both, recommend doing the lower trail first.

View Shubhro's Recording
Heather Sharp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 24, 2020
HikingIcySnow

Fun trail, easy for my 6 year old. The road leading in was closed, so there was an quick hike to the start. Some areas were covered in ice, but staying to the sides of the road in the packed snow made it much easier. The entrance to the caves was very slippery and took some maneuvering to get us all in, micro spikes weren’t necessary but could have been useful just in that spot. Headlamps/ flashlights and warm layers are needed to make it through. Will definitely return in the summer when the road is open.

Lea Sanchez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 24, 2020

Easy trail for the kiddos during the summer!

Bobbie Netling
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 23, 2020
HikingIcySnow

Did upper cave today. Icy trail coming back down from upper exit. Micro spikes came in handy. Snow starts at gate with minimal on the road but entire trail from upper parking lot to upper exit is covered in snow and patches of ice. Stairs into main entrance also had ice, be very very careful.

Cesar Gonzalez Perez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 17, 2020
HikingRockySnow

Nice hike, not crowded but some of the parking lots were closed.

John Brooks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 15, 2020

rad long caves

L Presley
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HikingScrambleSnow

We went today and the road to the trailhead was closed due to snow, so we hiked an additional 15-20 minutes in the snow. We did the lower trail and only encountered a couple of hikers on the way back, not very crowded at all this time of year. Bring a flashlight and rain gear, boots and gear suitable for short hike in the snow. Great hike for kids. Stop at the Cougar Store on the way in for great snacks and friendly service.

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