Ape Cave Trail

MODERATE 214 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.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
465 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

cave

views

wild flowers

old growth

rocky

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.

2 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

I did the upper cave. it was kinda long, kinda challenging. Im not exactly what you would call a super in shape person, and this cave was still a task, but tons of fun. you definitely want to have a bright headlamp. boyfriend and i had headlamps, but they werent too bright. luckily we had people with us that had bright ones, making it so we could see more of the caves beauty. i am a short person, and if it wasnt for my group helping me up the 8ft, 90degree angle foot wall, i wouldnt have been able to make it up myself since the rope is no longer there. shorties will need a boost. it would be a good idea to have climbing gloves as well. the volcanic rock is sharp and was cutting my hands before i put gloves on. i also made the mistake of wearing work out shoes. theyre too flexible and the caves are WET. my shoes and feet were soaked by the time i was only a third of the way through. plus, there was snow on the outside of the cave, walking back to the car, and its super slippery. i was sliding the whole way down because of my shoes. bring snacks, youll be out for a while.
conclusion:
AMAZING adventure, even for beginners.
wear protective clothing (boots, gloves, hoodie because its wet and cold)
a bright headlamp is ideal, you can see more beauty!
bring snacks!

hiking
11 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Did both levels with a toddler on my back the whole time...

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This is a really fun hike! There is an upper and lower cave that vary in difficulty but neither is very difficult and an amazing experience. A little further north is the suspension bridge that I highly recommend checking out as well!

4 months ago

absolutely loved this! amazing adventure I suggest if you don't have children to do the harder corse. it is an amazing workout and extremely fun just be careful of your footing ! we have gone 3 times now and wanting to go even more

I wouldn't bring kids under 10 in the current weather conditions, plenty of snow about 2 feet, really had to look for the blue diamonds on the trees that lead you back to the parking lot. snow parking permit pass is required which cost us 22 dollars for the day at the deli in Cougar. the self service at park still had 5 dollars listed as the price since we went there the first day of snow. boots above ankle and headlamps with extra batteries strongly recommended for the cave.

hiking
6 months ago

first of all, the photo with the suspension bridge belongs at the Lava Canyon Trail not Apes Cave. Misleading content. I completed both today. The caves are amazing and you should check it out. the upper caves may require a bit of additional assistance for non experienced hikers.

6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Loved this hike did it late yesterday so it was dark walking the trail back but they have reflectors on tree to find the trail back. Did lower first then upper. Even my 5 year old daughter did it. Would do this hike again.

6 months ago

loved it did it bareback

7 months ago

It was very nice but hard I would do it again though definatly haw bright lights and I would not take kids if you have to carry them!!!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike. Headlamps are a plus so you can have your hands free to climb over the many rock pile obstacles. The lava wall and a couple of really tight spaces to get through made for an awesome experience. I've never experienced complete darkness until this. It wasn't as crowded on the day/time we went and if you turned off all your light sources, you could not see the person standing next to you. Would do this again for sure!

7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago