Two lava tubes formed by long-ago Mount Adams lava flows resulted in fascinating play areas for kids. The first, an ice cave within a collapsed lava tube, contains ice stalactites and drip ice masses that last all summer long. Kids climb around on the ice in semidarkness, calling out to one another, “This place is awesome.” The second is a pair of nearby natural bridges the family can walk over. The arched bridges are all that remain of more lava caves, whose tops have collapsed inward into a basalt basin.
The ice cave has been known and used for almost a century. At one time, before freezers, the towns of Hood River and The Dalles were supplied ice from the caves, transported on barges up and across the Columbia River. One end of the cave traps and holds moist, cold air, which settles during winter, forming into ice columns, stalactites, and pools.
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