Ape Cave to Re-open with a New Timed Reservation System

Release Date: Apr 2, 2021

Contact(s): Gala Miller

People walking in a dimly lit cavernous caveVancouver, WA – April 2, 2021 Located on the south side of Mount St. Helens, the popular Ape Cave Interpretive Site will reopen to the public on May 18, 2021. This site was closed to the public in Spring 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to implement a toilet replacement project and has remained closed since that time. When Ape Cave reopens, visitors will be required to obtain a timed reservation ticket in advance of their visit.

The forest is implementing this change to provide a quality visitor experience, to protect the delicate cave ecosystem and natural resources, and to provide for public safety by reducing visitor congestion in the area.

Reservations are available from 9 am to 5 pm daily, May 18 through September 30, and cover a two-hour time-period. Timed reservations tickets can be obtained through recreation.gov in advance of a visit. Visitors will only need one ticket for each vehicle visiting Ape Cave during their reserved time slot. Seventy percent of the timed reservations tickets will be available starting at 7 am on April 29, 2021. The remaining reservations will be made available on a rolling basis, three days in advance of each calendar day. This will provide visitors more flexibility with short-term trip planning. Timed reservation tickets are free, however there will be a $2 service fee charged by recreation.gov for processing the reservation.

Timed reservation tickets will not be for sale at Ape Cave, but may be purchased through recreation.gov if available, up until the first hour of a two-hour ticket window. Due to limited cellular coverage in the vicinity of Ape Cave, some cell phone users may experience poor or no reception on site. It is recommended that visitors ensure they have cellular coverage or internet access prior to their visit to purchase their timed reservation ticket online.

In addition to a timed reservation ticket, a Northwest Forest Pass, Interagency Pass, or Day Pass are required to visit Ape Cave. Passes are sold online or through local vendors. Day Passes are also available on-site for $5, cash or check.

For more information call (360) 449-7800 or visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gp/apecave.

Help protect Ape Cave: Please do not touch cave walls or ceiling. Touching kills cave slime, a basis for the food chain of tiny creatures that live there. Help protect our bats and caves from White Nose Syndrome