Home > Traveling > Ape Cave, Mount St. Helens

Ape Cave, Mount St. Helens


When Mount St. Helens was formed, some lava flow would cool, and  leave a crust.   Eventually, the inside lava would run out, leaving a long tube.  This is how the Ape Caves at Mount St. Helens was formed.  It is now the longest lava tube in the USA at almost 3 miles long.  Most of this is hike-able and makes for a very different experience.

Today we hiked the lower cave, about 3/4 mile each way.  It is cold, a constant 42 degrees.  And wet, with dripping water everywhere.  And it is VERY dark!  But is a popular hike, and we met a lot of people, moving like ghosts in the dark.

The way into the cave

A side tube, about 3 feet in diameter

A look at some of the unusual ceiling configuration

Somehow, a big rock wedged into the ceiling

The cave narrows in some areas

On the way out a strange picture

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