Ape Cave Trail

#1 of 279 trails in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

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Ape Cave Trail is a 2.6 mile out and back trail that features a cave and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking & walking and is accessible year-round.

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max nelson (68)

3 Completed3 Reviews

nice little hike and explore! big caves with lots of space, you never really get that claustrophobic feeling like in some caves. pretty mellow, pretty creepy, pretty fun little outing! make sure to bring plenty of lights and/or backup batteries so you can really check things out and hang out for a bit.

Thanh Cramer (528)

24 Completed14 Reviews

Lots of climbing over rock piles in the upper cave, the 8 ft wall they mention takes some maneuvering but nothing too difficult. Headlamp is a must - I had a hand held flashlight as well, Very cool to walk through a lava tube but not the most memorable caving experience but still worth the experience.

Erik Berglund (5333)

46 Completed46 Reviews

It's dark and cool. If it's 60 above ground, it's 40 in the cave. If it's 95 above, it's 40 in the cave. Bottom line? It's 40 in the cave. Bring a headlamp, and take the more difficult route to the north. You'll climb over a boulder or two and then get to emerge and hike back above ground. Do it. Because it's effing cool and you can tell your friends you hiked the longest lava tube in North America, that's why.

Caroll Gage (219)

6 Completed6 Reviews

I didn't realize it is an extinct lava tube, till I got there. That was cool! you can see where the lava ran inside. It's a must do. Just bring warm clothes, gloves, flash light.

Amanda M (339)

7 Completed7 Reviews

Did the lower with my son in late July. Great little walk. Be sure you have the two light sources (we used headlamps and each had a flashlight). Very easy terrain, a few sections where you have to go a little slow but I'd be comfortable doing it even with small children. Only other thing is take a jacket or sweater. It was 95 degrees (outside) but still inside the cave it's in the 40s.

Michael Lusk (268)

13 Completed13 Reviews

The drive was worth it. Everyone brought a LED flashlight and 1 LED lantern and we had plenty of light. Most of us wore shorts with a sweatshirt and were fine. It was cold in the caves but it was a great change on a hot summer day. A good hike without the sweat. We had young kids. The lower was perfect. We tried the upper but only made it a few hundred yards in before turning around. It could be done with kids but it will take a very long time. So we left it for another day.

Dan Algeo (5908)

119 Completed68 Reviews

very cool! head light and small flash light was what I had. get there early as it gets very very crowded

Patrick Quiambao (139)

13 Completed2 Reviews

Let me start by saying: this might be the most unusual hike i have ever done. Let me add by saying this might be the most unusual can ever do! To do this hike you will have to prepare a few things. Definitely LIGHTS. Absolute darkness through the tubes. With that in mind bring extra lights, batteries, and maybe another extra light. You can rent lamps in the station. I believe its $5 to rent. Lastly bring jackets. Ranger lady said its a constant mid 40 degrees through the cave all year round. The air moves down cave in the summer and up stream in the winter. If doing this with kids go to lower part and when with able bodies i suggest upper. Did i say bring lights?...

Kim Creel (65)

1 Completed1 Reviews

This hike was a blast!
Our family of five went and we had an amazing time.
My kids are 5, 3, and 5 months old and they all did wonderfully. (We did the lower path)
The two older kids enjoyed taking their time and looking at all the rocks.
As noted in the other review, wear long pants, jackets, and bring plenty of flashlights. For us slow pokes, it took us an 1.5 hrs to make it to the end and back.
Overall, my suggestion for families with kids under the age of 5, do it! But maybe hike to the meatball and back.
We will definitely be doing this hike again!

Jess Hale (38)

1 Completed1 Reviews

I went on this hike with my cousin about a week ago and this was my first time going to a cave. Inside was really neat but very dark you will need a flashlight. It can be cold in the cave so you might want to wear a jacket and i also recommend wearing pants and good boots. After this experince it really got me to want to start doing more hikes.

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