Ape Cave Interpretive Site

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Ape Cave Entrance

Ape Cave sits among a mixed-species forest stand. A short, paved trail leads from the newly remodeled and accessible parking lot with visitor center and facilities to the caves lower entrance and interpretive area. The trail continues on to the upper entrance, though it becomes more steep and rough.

Accessible Adventures Video


Ape Cave Information

  • The Third Longest lava tube (13,042’ long) in North America
  • Be sure to practice “Leave No Trace” ethics
  • Cave temperature is 42°F/5.6°C year-round
  • Apes’ Headquarters provides:
  • Be sure to bring:
    • Two sources of light per person
    • sturdy shoes
    • warm clothing

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 04/16/2015: Open. Ape headquarters closed.
Operational Hours: Apes' Headquarters at Ape Cave is closed for the season.
  • Ape Headquarters is currently closed.
  • 10 am to 5pm.
  • After Labor Day, Saturdays and Sundays only through Sept.
  • Lantern rental: $5, Winter and after hours visitors will need to bring their own light sources to explore the cave.
Ape Cave is open year round. However, during the winter you have to park at Trail of Two Forests  Sno-Park and walk in. A Sno-Park Pass is required after Dec 15th.
Rentals & Guides:

Lantern Rental: $5

Fees Recreation Pass Required 
Permit Info: A  Washington Snow-Park Permit is required during the Winter season starting Dec 15. Parking at the Trail of Two Forests Sno-Park. Oregon Snow Park Permits are no longer accepted.
Restrictions: To protect the cave enviroment please, NO Dogs, Pets, Food, Alcohol, Fireworks, Fires, Camping or Smoking are allowed in Ape Cave. Please be advised the inside of cars can get very hot during the summer months and is not a safe place for your pets.  Please leave your pets safe at home.
Closest Towns:

Cougar, WA

Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilet (2)
Passes: Recreation Passes may be used as a form of fee payment.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters and Visitor Centers   See also:  South Side - SR 503, Forest Roads 83 & 90

General Information


From Woodland, WA take State Route 503 to Cougar WA then take Lewis River Road east for 2.8 miles. The road then changes to Forest Road 90. Continue on Forest Road 90 to Forest Road 83, approximately 4 miles and turn left. Drive Forest Road 83 for 3 miles then turn left onto Forest Road 8303. Drive approximately 1.5 miles, past Trail of Two Forest, Apes' Headquarters is located at Ape Cave on Forest Road 8303 on the left.


The parking lot and visitor area facilities are flat and paved. A paved trail leads to the lower cave entrance, but gets rougher to reach the upper entrance.

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