Explore the Washington Cascades’ underbelly at Boulder Cave. Located just minutes off of highway 410 in the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests, Boulder Cave Trail is a short 1.5 mile loop hike great for young families looking for a little adventure!
The trail weaves first through Ponderosa Pine trees before it drops down to the shallow river bed of Devils Creek. Then it travels through a 350 foot long cave and finally loops back on itself to the parking lot.
Millions of years old, Boulder Cave is the creation of erosion and water. Periodic lava flows in the area deposited rock over soft, loose rock and soil. As the lava cooled, it formed hard layers of basalt that trapped the softer layers of loose sediment between. Eventually wind and water scoured the softer layers and created the deep cavernous tube.
Today the cave is home to a dwindling population of Pacific western big-eared bats (a.k.a. Townsend bats), a listed sensitive species in both Washington and Oregon.
Combine this trail with additional short hikes along the Chinook Scenic Byway or overnight at one of the nearby campgrounds. We camped at Sawmill Flats Campground about 5 minutes away — and I slept in my awesome, new Hammock!
Getting there: From Chinook Pass drive east on State Route 410 about 26 miles. Turn right onto a road signed “Boulder Cave National Recreational Trail.” Cross the Naches River on a bridge and almost immediately turn right, following the signs 1.1 miles to the trailhead. Bathrooms available at parking lot. A Forest Service parking pass required and can be purchased on site for $5.
More Family-friend hikes in Washington & Oregon: