August 15, 2009

Northern Rangers: The Ape Caves

This week the Northern Rangers headed down to Mount St. Helens to hike, camp and explore.

One of the attractions of the active volcano is the Ape Caves.

Facts about the Ape Caves
  • This cave is the longest continuous lava tube in the continental United States.
  • There are two different routes to explore. The upper cave and the lower cave.
  • The lower cave is an easy hike and about 3/4 of a mile long.
  • The upper cave is about 1 1/2 miles long.
  • The upper cave also includes obstacles and is much more difficult.
Driving Directions
  • From Interstate 5 take Exit 21, the Woodland Exit
  • Travel east on Highway 503 and USFS Road 90 for about 36 miles
  • Turn left onto USFS Road 83 and proceed another 2 miles to the junction of USFS Roads 83 and 8303.
  • Turn left onto USFS Road 8303 and proceed about 1 mile to the parking lot of lower entrance to Ape Caves

One thing we did notice about the caves was the amount of garbage in them. Please, if you do the hike, don't litter. If you pack it in, pack it out. It's that simple.

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