Lower Ape Cave

Cougar, Washington

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1 Review
4 out of 5
This is a very popular cave, so traffic may be heavy. The main hazard in this cave is the darkness. Two good sources of light are recommended for each person entering the cave. Because hiking this section of Ape Cave requires little or no use of the hands, a lantern makes a good light source. I personally like to wear a headlamp as well as carry a lantern. The cave floor is generally fairly smooth, but there are rocks lying on it that can be real shin busters and one spot where you must step down about a foot and a half. In one spot very tall hikers may have to duck for a low ceiling. The temperature inside the cave is about 42 degrees year round and there is some water dripping from the ceiling at times, so dress accordingly. Half a mile from the cave entrance, The Meatball comes into view overhead. The Meatball is the last and largest of several boulders stuck in an opening in the cave ceiling.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)

This is a very popular cave, so traffic may be heavy. The main hazard in this cave is the darkness. Two good sources of light are recommended for each person entering the cave. Because hiking this section of Ape Cave requires little or no use of the hands, a lantern makes a good light source. I personally like to wear a headlamp as well as carry a lantern.

The cave floor is generally fairly smooth, but there are rocks lying on it that can be real shin busters and one spot where you must step down about a foot and a half. In one spot very tall hikers may have to duck for a low ceiling. The temperature inside the cave is about 42 degrees year round and there is some water dripping from the ceiling at times, so dress accordingly. Half a mile from the cave entrance, The Meatball comes into view overhead. The Meatball is the last and largest of several boulders stuck in an opening in the cave ceiling.

©  Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cougar
Distance: 1.7
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best spring thru fall
Local Contacts: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: USGS Mount Mitchell
Driving Directions: Directions to Lower Ape Cave

Recent Trail Reviews

12/16/2009
0

the thing the reports do Not tell you is the road in is closed after Dec 1st.It is only a 3/4 mile walk in on paved road but still plan for it.The caves are amazing, the lower cave is sort of bland but it is a good warm up for the upper cave.I highly recommend gloves for the upper cave, the rocks get kind of sharp.If you choose to go when there is snow on the ground familiarize yourself with the return trail or you will get lost.Overall a terrific experience. Don't be afraid to explore off the beaten path, you will be rewarded with an amazing time.



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