On May 25th, 2019, Skip, Bandit, Sierra, Steven, and I packed up our campsite near Lewis Falls, Washington, and headed to the 13,042 feet long or (2.4 miles) Ape Caves Cougar, Washington, before heading home.
We had just spent two nights in the rain near Lewis Falls and enjoyed such a specular hike to three different waterfalls. But we did not want to head home just yet. We googled nearby places to visit, and Ape Caves was the number one result and only an hour away from where we were staying.
Ape caves were discovered in 1947 by a logger named Lawrence Johnson. Until the early 1950s, the Ape Caves were unexplored. When a group of Scout Troops, led by Harry Reese, were lowered down 17-foot overhang to the cave floor. They were the first group of people to leave footprints within. They named the caved after their sponsor, the St; Helens Apes. Later on, researchers discovered it had formed nearly 2000 years ago from lava streaming down from the southern flank of St. Mount Helens.
Directions to the ape caves
From I-5 exit 21, travel north and east on State Route 503 (Lewis River Road).
At 23 miles from the freeway, continue straight on Spur 503.
At 31 miles, Spur 503 becomes Forest Road 90.
Cross a bridge over a canal, then 2.6 miles later, turn left on FR 83. Travel 1.7 miles, then turn left on FR 8303.
Travel the final mile to the parking lot and Ape Headquarters Center.