Jul 21, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Ape Caves
- Region: South Cascades -- Mt. St. Helens
- Trails: Ape Cave (#239)
- Avg Rating: 4.41
We had only headlamps, which are good for illuminating where you're walking but poor at showing the entire cave. After two hours underground, my headlamp was dying and we were glad to have a lantern as a backup in the pack. Next time, I'd bring taller boots (with ankle support) and leather gloves as there is quite a bit of scrambling over wet rock piles.
There is also one 8' wall halfway through that requires scaling. Evidently there was a rope at one point, but it is not longer in place and there is only one meager foot hold. I'm 5'7" and would have had a tough time getting up it without a hand from my husband. Or a boost from behind.
We also had a toddler in a backpack and he had a ball although there were several spots that were low and required my husband to do some pretty careful navigation as to not bump the baby's noggin. Definitely not a recommended route for young hikers. I've heard that the lower cave is ideal for kids as it's pretty flat and doesn't have many rock piles.
The hike back to the parking lot is quite pretty.