Amazing Ice Cave in Washington Should Be On Your Hiking List
If you like to hike and want a "very cool" experience, then put the Guler Ice Cave on your list of summer hikes. The cave is actually a lava tube that was formed about 15,000 years ago in the Trout Lake Valley of Washington. The entire hike to and through the cave is a little over 2 miles. The cave runs about 700 feet in length or about a quarter-mile.
The History of the Guler Ice Cave
Native Americans and early settlers in the area were first to discover and use the cave. Back in the day, there wasn't refrigeration, so you could say the cave was nature's icebox - the ice was harvested and shipped by wagon to small settlements in the area to keep food cool - it was a hot commodity. The ice was harvested and sold by a man named Christian Guler, thus the name, Guler Ice Cave. Guler also offered a produce storage service inside the cave.
What to Expect on Your Hike Inside the Guler Ice Cave
First, you should wear warm clothing as ice is present all year round (even during the warmest months of the year). Avoid wearing bulking clothing and backpacks - you will be required to wiggle your way through some tight spots. It's recommended you wear a helmet, gloves, pants, and kneepads, as you will likely be on your hands and knees in areas. Lastly, and most important is to bring a powerful headlamp with spare batteries. As one reviewer wrote, "It is absolutely dark just a hundred feet in. I turned around since all I had was my cellphone light".
From Tri-Cities take I-84 Westbound and take the Hood River/White Salmon Bridge to Trout Lake, Washington. From Trout Lake head west on Highway 141-Forest Road 24 and continue for 5 miles. Cross the forest boundary and then continue about a mile to a sign to Spur Road 031. This will take you to the Guler Ice Cave.
What Else Should You Know Before You Go?
You will need a Washington Recreational Pass or pay a $5 fee. There is an outhouse-type toilet, a picnic area, and a parking lot. Don't forget you'll need to pay a toll bridge fee when crossing from Hood River to Washington.
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