Ape Cave Trail

MODERATE 256 reviews

Ape Cave Trail is a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cougar, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

3.1 miles
465 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running




wild flowers

old growth


no dogs

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.

22 hours ago

1 day ago

Wonderful hike! Make sure you bring flashlights. No dogs, but it is still really interesting and fun. Bring a jacket too! It was around 40 degrees when we were down there.

2 days ago

This was a perfect little hike. We took out grandson and daughter. definitely dress warm, and a headlamp or flashlight. maybe an extra just in case.

3 days ago

definitely a unique experience

4 days ago

This was a LOT of fun and I will definitely be doing this again! Plan to arrive early to avoid the crowds. We got there by 0830 and only encountered a few other hikers, but when we got back to the entrance the parking lot was full!

8 days ago

10 days ago

10 days ago

11 days ago

42 degrees and loving it!
Hiked the lower (.6mile) and then the upper (1.5mile) caves with my 7yo son on a 95 degree summer day. Refreshing and cool in the caves wearing pants and fleece. Light breeze throughout that picks up a bit in some narrower areas. 200lumem headlamps were perfect, with a backup for each person. Water drips intermittently from the ceiling through the cave system but did not get us wet. The rockfalls in the upper cave require careful foot placement and some use of hands. An 8' lava 'falls' in the upper cave could be a challenging obstacle to some. We emerged from the upper cave at the ladder about two hours later and hike the 1.5 miles back through the lava field. Great hike!

14 days ago

Very fun. The more difficult cave is a blast but you definitely gotta climb some rocks.

18 days ago

This is an awesome easy hike into the cave. Once you're in the cave, you do need some source of light albeit flashlight, headlamp, or cell phone flashlight. Inside the cave is dark and adventurous! You will have obstacles to maneuver!

25 days ago

25 days ago

my family and I had gone there not knowing we needed flashlights but we were lucky enough to rent out a little lantern for $5 and it was perfect. it did get cold in the cave so BRING A JACKET! the lantern did give off some heat it it was fine.

the caves were very cool for the family to do the lower caves were perfect for just walking. the upper caves is when you gotta start climbing over big rocks multiple times it will take you about 2-3 hours for the upper caves but the lower caves are perfect for the family to go out have and a good time. and don't forget to BRING FLASHLIGHTS!!!

26 days ago

Let's be clear re: the upper caves ...you are scaling GIANT piles of rocks as high as a 2 story building in the pitch dark. You do this over and over the entire length of the lava tubes. It's up and down over and over again and again. BRING A HEAD LAMP! Everyone needs their own. You need both hands free to help you climb.
With that said it is TONS of fun especially for the kiddos who feel like they are on a spy mission. And you as the out of shape claustrophobic adult will emerge with a huge sense of accomplishment!

29 days ago

Hiked upper and lower caves - lower are good for people of all ages, but proceed with caution if you want to do the upper caves. At least two hours of climbing rocks and scrambling, including an 8-foot wall to scale.

30 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

Lots of fun.

1 month ago

Very Fun!