cave

Kalaloch Hike: Tree Cave and Ruby Beach

Northwest Pearls: Ruby Beach
Northwest Pearls: Ruby Beach

At the the beginning of this month, we drove out to Kalaloch and Ruby Beach to hike. I'd really wanted to see the Tree Cave located at Browns Point. Both hikes are hampered by high tides, so we went to the Tree Cave first.

Northwest Pearls: Tree Cave
Northwest Pearls: Tree Cave
Northwest Pearls: Kalaloch
Northwest Pearls: Kalaloch

Apparently the tree is right off the beach access point. Like right off. The friend I went with didn't realize that all I wanted to see was the tree, so once we got figured that out, and he told me he really wanted to see Ruby Beach for its rock formations, we went back to the car and drove to Ruby Beach.

Northwest Pearls: Ruby Beach
Northwest Pearls: Ruby Beach
Northwest Pearls: Ruby Beach
Northwest Pearls: Ruby Beach
Northwest Pearls: Ruby Beach
Northwest Pearls: Ruby Beach

It was a sunny day for our adventure, but it was around 22 degrees. We walked south down the beach, explored some small caves and some large rocks before hanging out for a while. We did have to keep an eye on the tide because we didn't want to get stranded and have to climb through the woods.

The North end of the beach had a stream blocking us from accessing it. But my friend really wanted to get over there so he forded it in his hiking boots. Once there he wanted me to see it, so after a moment of deliberation- I didn't have a change of shoes like he did- I started to take my shoes off. But he came back over and carried me to the other side. We explored around there for a little while, and had to keep moving to keep his feet warm, before he carried me back over and we went to warm up in the car.

It was a cool beach and I can see why it's popular. I'd like to go back at a very low tide and explore some more.

Are there any beaches you like to go to that haven't been "discovered" yet?

Northwest Pearls: Kalaloch
Northwest Pearls: Kalaloch

The Ape Caves

I had heard about the Ape Caves, formed from lava about 2,000 years ago, from a friend a while back. Just this week two friends and I got together and hiked the length of the upper cave. It was so cool. We bought our pass, got there, and went to find the entrance.

The entrance to the Ape Caves. There are crude stairs, and moss.

We were a little confused and ended up wandering/backtracking to figure out where to go. Eventually we went in the main cave, down some stairs, and behind the staircase. We came to a large room and the entrance we wanted was on the far right of the far wall. It took a bit of wandering to find this.

There are quite a few things to maneuver around, and there were two parts where it took someone strong to give us a hand up. I'd recommend going with someone strong, otherwise, I'm not sure how you'd do those parts. There wasn't much to speak of for handholds or footholds there.

And I'd recommend bringing a headlamp as one of your sources of light. I liked not having to worry about the flashlight attached to my wrist and just have my headlamp for a few parts.

The cave is completely dark except for the entrance, one skylight, and the exit, so we didn't take too many pictures.

The one skylight in the caves bring light down to show off the mist and moss.

The sunlight from the skylight allows you to see a bit into the cave without your headlamp/flashlight.

The metal ladder leading up to the exit of the caves.

And finally, a view of Mt. St. Helens from the trail above the caves.

You can just barely see Mt. St. Helens in the distance over some trees.

 

I'd recommend trying it sometime. It was fantastic. You can find information about it online.