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Does Big Foot really exist? Visit Ape Caves and you may get to see Big Foot!

Ape Caves in Washington State, near Mount St. Helens, was formed when Mount St. Helens blew, not in 1980, but a few thousand years earlier and was flowing lava and not ash. The flowing lava, as it cooled, created lava tubes that sat undiscovered for thousands of years.

Ape Caves

Then in the early 1900s, a family who lived in the area discovered the caves and the boy scouts, who called themselves “The Apes” after the Pacific Northwest most famous “Ape”, Big Foot, ventured in and helped name it. What is amazing, is in these caves, you always have to where a coat no matter what the temperature outside.  If it is 10 degrees or 90 degrees, the temperature inside the cave is a constant 42 degrees. (How that works is beyond me?)

Ape Caves

But you can enter one end and go the short route and get to the end and turn around and see lots, or you can go the other way and take the long route and go all the way to a second entrance. This is a little tighter squeeze and I do suggest you wear some sturdy shoes and be in good enough shape to get on your hands and knees at times, because it is almost required at points.

Ape Caves
Say hi to Jeff our tour guide "Hi Jeff"

Ape Caves
Notice oldest with arms crossed to keep warm, didn't believe us about how cold.

Ape Caves

This was a fun day trip for the family and the only cost was the parking. They have guided tours now that are well worth it as you find so much about the caves and how they were formed and the life forms that live in the caves. I do also suggest, after you are done in the cave, going on some of the hiking trails around the area and see all the changes that happened since the devastation of the mountain exploding in 1980. The rebound of the area is absolutely unbelievable especially when you saw what it looked like just months after the explosion.

Ape Caves
Mt. Saint Helens today 30 years later life is finally returning to the area.

Ape Caves
These are canyons carved out by lava that now house rivers of snow runoff and rain from the mountain

Ape Caves
Go enjoy all the mountain now has to offer as our family did, there is lots to learn from mother nature

Todd Clark and the Friendly Home Team
Capstone Real Estate
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Todd Clark is a licensed Realtor who specializing in Washington County, Oregon and also works both Clackamas and Multnomah Counties including the cities of Aloha, Beaverton, Canby, Clackamas, Gladstone, Gresham, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Sherwood and Tigard.
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Comment balloon 19 commentsRespect Realty LLC • September 18 2010 05:25PM


Great pictures, Todd - I've gotta put this on our family's "to visit" list!  Isn't it absolutely amazing how things have rebounded since Mt St Helens erupted?  Hard to believe after all that devastation, but nature has a way...

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA over 8 years ago

If I ever get up that way it looks like a great thing to go and see.  Caves are always interesting.  Any Bats in there?

Posted by Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you! (Janisch & Co.) over 8 years ago

Todd: Absolutely fabulous pictures. I love hiking around Mt Saint Helens... I've camped with the kids several times just outside of Randle, (highway 12 and 131)... I have not been to the caves though.

I was sitting on a rooftop at Cornish College on Capitol Hill in Seattle when it erupted in 1980. We could see it. I thought for sure it was the end, an atomic bomb or something. It took a few minutes to grasp what was going on. Why didn't they bomb us here in Seattle?... that's what we've been told since we were small kids... 

One thing about hanging around AR and knowing people like you is... I need a bigger bucket to hold my ever growing list of things to do before I depart this planet! :o)

Posted by Rene Fabre, Marketing in the Digital Age (First American Title) over 8 years ago

Todd, Gorgeous pictures.  I am surprised at the constant on the temperature. 

Posted by Heather Fitzgerald, REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate (REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Todd - Never heard of Ape Caves! Those are some really great pictures! Glad you and your family had a great time together checking it out. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Paige Walker, Real Estate Guru - Alexandria Pineville LA (Paige Walker) over 8 years ago

Todd, Outstanding pictures. We have a few caves down here, but I don't think any quite as extensive as the one you showed. That constant 42 degrees would be a nice change of pace here during the summer. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 8 years ago

Todd, That looks like a great place to explore...I love your photo of Mt. Saint Helens, the the snow is settles in the pattern of the lava flow. Great pics of the family! Look forward to seeing you in November!

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Prado Real Estate South) over 8 years ago

Going through the caves is so much fun and you learn a lot more than you think you would.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Hi Todd... it looks like the family had a good time.  Caves and caverns are fascinating for everyone... except maybe the claustrophobic!

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 8 years ago

Great photos and great information as always.  I so enjoy learning about different areas from you. 

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 8 years ago

As everyone else has said, "Great pictures!" It looks like it was a great day for your family.


Posted by Cal Yoder, Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744 (Keller Williams Elite) over 8 years ago

Todd, I absolutely love the Mountain and River landscape shots, the caves would make for a fun filled family and caves what a great combination.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) over 8 years ago

Looks like a lot of fun.  So, did you get a glimpse of Big Foot?  Come winter, he makes a migration to Florida and calls himself skunk ape!

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 8 years ago

gee todd, i didn't know about these caves when we were out there years kids would have loved them especially with the thought of Big Foot appearing...what a great trip

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 8 years ago


What a great piece on the caves....I didn't even know they existed!  Very cool....I have got to go see them for myself....hey maybe if I take Chewbacca he will be mistaken for a little bigfoot!

Posted by Lori Churchill Cofer, Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA (Beasley Realty) over 8 years ago

I guess if Big Foot was to be alive and well out there in that wilderness would be the best place to hide from civilization! What a beautiful piece of our country!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago

Todd, lava tubes are really amazing.  I saw some last December when I was in Hawaii.  But they didn't claim Big Foot!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Hi Todd!  What a wonderful family excursion you had--absolutely gorgeous photos!  Never been to Ape Caves--I'll have to add it to my bucket list (which is quickly becoming a bathtub list--my bucket overfloweth!)

Have a great week...

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 8 years ago

Renee, I remember being taught Seattleites were on the "first hit list", too!

Thanks for telling us about the Ape Caves, Todd. I didn't know we had caves like these here - I've been to the similarly created Valentine Caves. I never forgot the experience.

Posted by Stacey Mayer, ( over 8 years ago

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