Falls Creek Cave (Washington): Information For a First Time Visitor

This article contains tips and information for visiting Falls Creek Cave in the state of Washington.

Listed below is all you need to know to ensure an exciting and safe trip to a unique location.

Falls Creek Cave (Washington): 8 Insider Tips  

1. Location

Falls Creek Cave is located just outside of Carson, Washington.

It can be found within Gifford Pinchot National Forest ( more on this amazing land later).

Once inside the National forest, follow Falls Creek trail road to mile marker 601. There is parking available in that area.

The cave is about 75 yards off the road.

There are no signs. You’ll need to use your investigative skills and maybe a compass to help find the cave pits.

There are also many maps available online to help you.

2. What to Bring

• Warm clothing

• Thick sturdy boots

• Thick gloves

• Knee pads

• Hard hat with a miner’s light

• At least two other light sources

• Small, well fitted backpack

• Water

• Food

• Extra batteries for light sources

• First aid kit

• Rope

• Bathroom bags

• Whistle

• Glowsticks or trail tape

• Map ( a good old-fashioned paper map)

A few things to know about the need and use of these items.

Warm clothing is needed as temperatures dip to around 40 degrees.

Thick gloves and boots are a must because there are many sharp, jagged spots.

Light sources should be hands free as you will need your hands to climb and maneuver over boulders. Please do not leave anything behind.

3. Dangers and Cautions

• This site is not maintained or patrolled. There are no cameras and the area is not monitored. Use caution and common sense at all times.

• This cave requires a lot of climbing and maneuvering of small boulders, crevices, and sharp pointy formations. Do not attempt to hike this cave if you are not comfortable tackling those obstacles.

• Do not bring dogs. It’s easy for them to get lost. The terrain is also too dangerous for their feet.

• There is no reliable cell phone service or GPS. Make sure to tell friends and family where you are going and how long you will take. Don’t forget to let them know when you’re finished!

4. Facts To Know: Characteristics of a Lava Tunnel Cave

• A lava tunnel cave is formed by lava flowing from a volcano.

• The lava will flow over and through various geological structures.

• Hardened lava will remain. Leaving behind what appears to be bubbling rocks, volcanic boulders, drippings, and lava pillars. A geological wonder.

• A lava cave is the second most common type of cave. The most common is the Solutional cave. These caves form rock that is soluble, like limestone, chalk, and dolomite.

5. Falls Creek Cave is in a Special Place

• Falls Creek Cave is within Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This forest is a whopping 1.32 million acres in northwestern Washington state.

• It is managed by the United States Forest Service.

• Established in 1908. It’s one of the oldest national forests in the United States.

• Named in honor of Gifford Pinchot. He was a conservationist who was instrumental in helping to form the National Forest System.

• It is a mountainous area that lies between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams volcanos.

• There are many areas to set up a campsite. Cabins are available to rent as well.

• Picnicking, boating, and hiking are allowed throughout the forest.

• Find more information about camping near Falls Creek Cave at recreation.gov

6. Fees and Passes

• There are no fees to enter the Falls Creek Cave. However, you will need a pass to enter the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

• A day pass costs $5. A season pass costs $30. These passes can be purchased online. They are valid at all national parks. Discounted passes are available for seniors. Free passes are available for all active military personnel and their families.

7. Cool Things About the Cave

• The cave goes in a loop, so it’s difficult to get lost. You’ll know you’ve reached the end when you see the spray painted “you’re crazy” rock.

• There are many wall drawings throughout the cave.

• some very distinctive plant life grows just outside the cave.

• If you’re lucky, you may meet a few frogs and salamanders.

• Getting to view rare volcanic rock formations is pretty cool!

• The cave and outer area make for beautiful and unique photos. They are wall and desk worthy. Not to mention, you’ll be a hit with your social media followers. Everyone will want to know where you were and what it was like in that cave!

8. Places to Stay Nearby

After your exciting adventure through the Falls Creek Cave, you’ll probably want to rest and relax. If you’re not in the mood to set up camp in the forest, there are some great places to stay nearby.

• Carson Hot Springs and Resort is a fantastic place to spend a night or two. They have hot mineral pools and hot tubs in each room. You may need this after your trek through the cave. It’s also touted as the third most haunted place in Washington state!

• Bumping River Resort offers rustic river front cabins and fully functioning RV sites. It’s great if you are on the road with a camper!

• Packwood Lodge and Cabins is about 4 miles from the forest. They offer luxury accommodations at a reasonable price.

• Columbia Gorge Hotel and Spa is great to go relax after a day in the Falls Creek Cave. Located on the banks of the Columbia River. The hotel has a first-class spa and a great restaurant.

We hope you found our 8 insider tips for visiting Falls Creek Cave informative and helpful. Please double check the list for safety items.

A fun and exciting trip should always begin with safety. Whether you are going for the day or an extended adventure, we hope you have a great time!

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