Oregon and Washington Caving Club Oregon Grotto

Caves of Washington

Home 2006 NSS Convention About the Grotto Photo Gallery Membership Projects Cave Store Scouts & Schools Links Caving Info     > Mt. St. Helens Caves

    > Trout Lake Caves

    > Caves of Washington

    > Caves of Oregon

    > Vertical Caving

    > Naming Caves

    > Cave History

    > Current News/Discussion

Cave Conservation Contact Sign Guestbook

Click here to join the Oregon Grotto Yahoo! Group
Join/Access the Oregon
Grotto Yahoo! Group

NSS Web Page Award
NSS Web Page Award, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.


This web site and all content is Copyright © 2013 Oregon Grotto of the National Speleological Society.

All rights reserved including the right to to reproduce this site or portions thereof in any form by any means without permission from Oregon Grotto.

More info to come: If you have information on caves of Washington you like to add or corrections please email me. Thanks. Kim

 3 Mile Creek: Concrete.  Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 9.

 Allbright Cave: Okanogan County. 2nd longest limestone in Washington. Slope length of it's passage is about 400 feet. The name "Allbright" with the date March 22, 1903 has been inscibed in the lower level of the cave. See Caves of Washington and Cascade caver for more details.

 Amadilla: Trip Report Speleograph 369 page 5

 Ape Cave: # 631-01 A, B, C, D. Story Speleograph 381, history page 7.

 Arch Cave: This neat little cave has nice red lava on black lava passage. Somewhat of a vertical drop into cave.

One of the Utterstrom's Caves, Arch Cave has two entrances with southern exposure and two “pits,” or drops. One of its passages underlies Surprise Cave. Forest Service records note that "Opportunity for bat study is offered at this site.

Discovered by Bill Reese and Cascade Grotto member Jan Utterstrom, first described by Bill Halliday following a June 1963 visit.

 Ash Cast cave: A very cool complex cave with neat tree mold features. 611-89

 Barney's cave: A short mostly walking cave with some nice flow features. A.K.A. Snake Tongue and Daddy's Long Cave. Trip Report Speleograph 369 page 5.

 Bat Cave: Close for bats in winter. A very nice cave with levels and passages. Trip report Speleograph 359 Page 4

 Trip Report Speleograph 381 page 8.

  Beaver Cave: Minor vertical into large passage with very large ledges. Trip report Speleograph 359 Page 4.Grebstad, Paul 1967. Mt. St. Helens trip trip; March 3rd, 4th, 5th.. The Speleograph 3(2&3):3.
Nieland, James R. 1978. 1977 Cave Ecology class reunion and survey of Beaver Cave. The Speleograph 14:14-15, 16-17.
Buisman, B. 1965 Editors Notes. The Speleograph 1(5):5.
Buisman, B. 1965 Editors Notes. The Speleograph 1(3):2.
Greeley, Ronald, et al. 1969. Ape Cave Lava tube System; pre-publication draft; plus several maps. Limited distribution.
Luper, Kim. 2000. Mt. St. Helens caving trip. Underground Express 20(2):19.
Larson, Charles V 1967 Mt. St. Helens trip. The Speleograph 3(2&3):3.
USFS. 1996 Cave file: Mount St. Helens.
Nieland, Libby. 1983 The rise and fall of Salal Cave. The Speleograph 19(11):95-96.
Nieuwenhuis, L.G. 1973. Beaver Cave and Datus Perry Cave. The Speleograph 9:152.
Pope, Rick. 1972 St. Helens area trip. The Speleograph 8:97.
Pope, Rick. 1974. Rick's ramblings. The Speleograph 10:131-32.
Oregon Grotto. 1994. Caves of Mount St. Helens: Guidebook 1994 Northwest Caving Association regional meet. Oregon Grotto, Special Publication, 1994.

  Beaver Bay cave: Beaver Bay Cave is a lava tube segment that was abruptly truncated by mass wasting of a canyon headwall. Entry to the cave is complicated by talus resulting from ceiling collapse and hydraulic undermining of the tube floor. About 500 feet, map length, it is mostly low passages and rough crawlways.
   Found and named by Clyde Senger in March, 1977

 Becky's Cave: Name By Jim Nieland after forest service worker.120feet of tight crawl. Trip report Speleograph 362 page 4.

 Big Creek:

 Bill's Short Cut Cave: AKA Cougar: A short nice little cave with a neat side passage. Can see through tight unpassable squeeze into "Joe's cave."617 feet of passage.

 Blood Cave: Denny Mt: Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 10

  Blue Ribbon cave: 631-08A, B. About 500 feet of crawl.

  Breakdown Cave: Very large sink but short on passage. Closed winter for bats.

Breakdown Cave is the key to locating the Utterstrom's System. The massive entrance sink, being 110' by 50' by 25' deep is easy to spot and close to an old logging spur. The entrance, in the south end of the sink, is a small breakdown chamber. Look for ice in the west side of this room. The cave continues 75 feet to a breakdown choke with several deadend crawls and usually a little ice even in August. Breakdown is present throughout.

Discovered by Bill Reese and Cascade Grotto member Jan Utterstrom, first described by Bill Halliday following a June 1963 visit.

  Charcoal Springs: Vertical drop through tree mold into a nice cave under lava flow. 420 feet of passage.

 Christmas Canyon Cave: Complex erosional cave. 2637 feet of crawly passages. Water flows out cliff entrance during periods of heavy rain.

Stream-eroded cave in pyroclastics. Reported lengths vary. Early maps show less passage.
This is an erosional cave lying beneath the basalt cap rock at the head of Christmas Canyon.  During periods of heavy runoff a stream flows through the cave and emerges at the entrance as a waterfall spilling over a 12' embankment.  Storm runoff has been observed infiltrating the lava flow edge several hundred feet east of the entrance, near which water can be heard beneath the lava flow surface.  From the sound of running water in tree casts, and through cracks, it seems most likely that this is the recharge area for the cave.  No water has been observed in the cave except during intense rain storms, or rain on snow events.

See story in Speleograph 380 Page 13 of new Rock fall.

 Cliff: 631-60

 Column Cave. 631-10: Short little cave by Dollar-and-a-Dime cave with nice column.

 Cougar Cave: AKA Bill's Short Cut Cave

 Crater Root Cave: Has Big tree root in entrance and this mostly crawly cave with passages in every direction. 304 feet of passage. Many other small caves in the area. Trip Report Speleograph 369 page 5.

 Deer Skull Cave: Small cave which had a deer skull at entrance when found.

 Dogwood Cave:Very nice easy walking cave with some nice features. 613 feet of passage.

 Dollar and a Dime Cave. 631-11 A, B: A large walking cave with some nice mineral formations, lava fall and more. 2100 feet of passage.

 Trip report Speleograph page 8.

  Double Arch cave: 172 feet of passage.

 Double Tree Mold: A very decorated tree mold. 121 feet of passages.

 Duck Cave. 299 feet of crawly cave. 

 Duckwalk Cave. 631-13. Has not been re-found to tag it. 

 Elderberry: Concrete. Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 9. Map, page 12-13.

 Elk Creek Pit. 631-14

 English Camp cave: San Juan Island. See Caves of Washington, Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 # 4 page 8

 Ensatina: 631-79 

 Flow Cave. Very Nice red flow features and railroad track. 631-15 A, B 825 Feet of passage. 

  Fortress cave: Neat little cave by crater. 119 feet of passage.

 Green Cave.

 Green mountain cave: AKA Thermal Cave.

 Gremlin Cave. 631-16 A, B: Super nice cave. Two entrance, one is a vertical drop. Has formation that looks like gremlin. 2222 feet of passages. About half is nice walking and the rest is crawl.

 Haffner's Quarry Cave: San Juan Island. Limestone. Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 8.

 Helium Cave. 631-17 A, B

 House Rock Pits. 631-18 

 Hunter's Cave. 631-19. Trip report Speleograph 362 page 3. 

 Indecision: Tight slot into a cool cave. Starts big then a very long rough crawl.

 Jackman Creek: Concrete: Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 9

 Jensen Cave: Concrete: Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 9.

 Joan cave: Found this little cave but not explored yet.

 Joe's Cave: name after the late Joe Hays. Connects with Cougar cave by touch only.

 Kim's Cave: Name by Jim Nieland. Found by Kim Luper.  Other names: Two Rocks, Mine Field, Luper's cave. Trip report Speleograph 362 page 4. 

 Lake cave: A nice all walking cave. Some breakdown and two climb downs. Has cool side red passage and a Lake at end sometimes. 4597 feet of passages.

  Lava Springs. 631-20. 135 feet. Discovered by Bill Reese and Cascade Grotto member Jan Utterstrom, first described by Bill Halliday following a June 1963 visit.

  Limbo cave: 190 feet. 

  Little Red River Cave: A gated cave with cool lava falls and a little red river and lake at end. 3865 feet.

 See story in Speleograph 379 Page 8 with photos and map. History photo from 60's Speleograph 369 page 9.

  Little People's Cave: This cave starts off big with nice upper levels. 1344 feet of passages.

  Little People's Annex. Doesn't seem to be much of a cave hear but is tagged.

  Lost. 631-55. 50 feet of cave. lost, not found at this time.

  Low Cave. lost cave, unfound at this time.

 Majorly Erosinal. Bill Holmes found this cave. A vertical tree mold drop into cave. 

  Manhole Cave. Short cave near Gremlin cave. 68 feet.

  Manzanita cave: Small crawly cave. Part if the Crater Root System. Trip Report Speleograph 369 page 5.

  Margin cave: not re found at this time. near lava edge.

  Marty's cave:  246 feet of crawly passage. Not sure what cave this is in an area of many crawly caves.

  Mine Vaple:

  Mosquito Cave: not found at this time. May 2010.

 Moss Cave: small cave with mossy entrance.

 Neelie Creek: Denny Mt: Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 10

Ole's cave: Ole’s Cave was found in 1895 by Ole Peterson, a hermit-type man who homesteaded near where the  Swift  Power Canal  is now located. Ole was a great story teller, and like all story tellers he exaggerated and added extra things to make his stories exciting. For this reason, it is uncertain whether Ole found the cave on his own or if Indians led him to it.

After finding the cave, Ole blazed a trail to the lower entrance and began giving tours, making Ole’s Cave Washington’s first tourist cave. Today, however, Ole’s Cave could be considered a 'wild cave' and is only visited by those people who know of the cave and can locate its unmarked entrances.

The first of many caves to be found in the area, Ole's Cave is still one of Mt. St. Helen's longest lava tubes at over 6,500 feet in length. Most of the cave is one continuous tube, but there are numerous small upper- and lower-levels to explore. Ole’s cave has much variety and is well suited for both novice and experienced cavers. Most of the cave is walking passage with original floor, but a couple of places require hands-and-knees crawling and there are significant sections of breakdown (broken rock) that must be climbed over. For the more adventurous, the upper- and lower-levels may be explored.

Cave formations in Ole’s Cave include lava stalactites and stalagmites, splash rings, flow marks, a pillar, and even a rock outcropping resembling the profile of George Washington’s face. In the entrance sinks (there are five entrances), different mosses and ferns may be observed.

History and pictures in Speleograph 381. 

 Pat's cave:

Perserverance: If you can get pass the long crawl you will come to a very nice complex cave with skylights and little formations. 1596 of passage. 

 Pillars of Hercules Cave: Many pillars in this cave. Cave is closed and gated. 2785 feet.

 Prince Albert Cave: One of the best railroad track formations at Mount Saint Helens. 2100 feet.

Prince Albert Cave was discovered but not entered on March 4, 1967, by Charlie and Jo Larson.  The Larsons returned to the cave with Oregon Grotto members Paul Grebstad, Reed Dow, and Wayne Larson on the following weekend. Handicapped by heavy snowfall, they were unable to thoroughly explore the cave, but did find a well preserved Prince Albert tobacco can on a ledge in  the down-slope section, after which the cave is named. 
    Unlike the typical lava tube it is complex up-slope as a braided tube then becomes more unitary down-slope. Considerably more complex than most other Cave Basalt Caves, this shallow cave's configuration can be assigned to pre-flow topography. Three entrances–a collapse sink and two skylights–provide an unusually extensive twilight zone beautifully adorned with over 25 species (#0914) of shade-tolerant plants. Special care is called for when visiting this cave. While the plants are not unusual–they can be found  nearby, as well as in similar microclimates all over the Cave Basalt–this luxuriant assemblage is easily trampled and disturbed . Equally susceptible to damage are a great many brittle lava formations, and the first silica drapery reported in the Northwest.
    An interesting primitive, campodeid insect (Haplocampa sp.) has been collected in Prince Albert, as well as in several other widely-separated caves in the Cave Basalt. These unusually large (1/4-inch-long), poorly known troglobitic species inhabit cavities in the Cave Basalt and underlying strata (their primary home), and  is strictly a casual visitor in proper caves.
    The only significant recent rockfall in a Cave Basalt was noted in Prince Albert when, sometime prior to 1974 but after the cave was mapped, about a ton of rock fell from the ceiling in the entrance area, narrowly missing the "Bathtub," and opening another small skylight. Prince Albert and Dollar and a Dime caves were featured field trips during the 1972 NSS Convention in White Salmon.

Trip Report Speleograph 381.

  Quarter cave:300 feet. Trip report Speleograph 359 Page 4 unnamed cave in report. Small sink with metal plate on tree. Jim N. found a quarter in the cave and so gave it that name.

 Ramses Cave: Concrete:  Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 9. Map Page 14.

  Red Pencil cave:

  Red Rock: Just a little hole with red lava near Lake cave.

  Red Stain cave. Powerline area. not found.

 Rock Pile cave. By Large rock pile. 

 Powerline Cave: Closed for bats.

 Railroad Tracks: Parallel lava levees give this cave its name. Nearly free of breakdown, it has a slot-like ceiling resulting from incomplete closure of the trench roof. By late August, 1980, a small mudflow tongue had entered the entrance area, otherwise the cave was unaffected by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
   Forest Service records note that "this cave has attracted attention of cave biologists.

 RoadSide cave: San Juan Islands:  Story Cascade Caver Sept. 2010 Vol. 49 #4 Page 8

 Rubble Cave.

  Salal cave: A neat cave with lots of tree mold columns. Many attempts to find this cave north of Beaver cave. Hides someplace in the Salal bushes. So named by Jim Neiland. 

 Sand Cave: This cave is now buried by sand from Mount Saint Helens, sometime after 2006. Was a nice little cave that had ice formations in it.Other names. Knight's cave and Camp cave. Story Speleograph 381 with map and pictures.

Discovered in 1966 by an Oregon Grotto member named “Doug”, the main entrance is at the south end of a large sinkhole at the base of a steep basalt slope. In 1972, the known cave was about 220 feet long.  In 1984 it was noted that the entrance sink had filled with colluvium (chiefly pyroclastics from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens),  reducing the cave to a total length of approximately 65 feet, eliminating the skylight. 

  Scott's Cave: A complex cave system with lot of neat features and entrances. Lots of crawly.

 Scroll Canyon Cave: A serious of small caves with some nice lava scrolls.  AKA. Popes Caves.

 Shortstop cave. unfound at this time. 

 Silver Pit:

 Spider cave: Winter bat closure.

 Spider Den cave: Small little cave was 100's of spiders in it when we mapped it. Upper Ape cave.

 Stan's cave.

 String Cave. Bill H. found this cave near Powerline cave.

 Surprise Cave: 230 feet.

 Tadepole Cave: See What Cave.

 Taffey cave. is Dogwood cave

 Thermal cave. AKA as Green Mountain cave. Cave # 631-41

 Three Column. Not found at this time.

 Trail Cave. On Ape cave trail. Cave # 631-42. Tag has been taken. 

 Trenchend and Trenchside. Have very little info on these to ID them. 

 Twenty-Four Cave. Small cave some cool flow features. Trip report Speleograph 362 Page 3

 Utterstroms Caves are a disorderly series of six small named caves and even shorter unnamed tube segments, north of McBride Lake Road, well north of Little Red River Cave. Located in a steep section of the Cave Basalt Flow, they are highest known caves in the Cave Basalt (#0914). Lowest of the series is Breakdown Cave, followed upslope by Moss, Railroad Track, Surprise, Arch, Lava Spring and Pats caves. All but Breakdown Cave are shallow (near the surface), and they lack the characteristics of the larger, deeper caves like Little Red River. Breakdown Cave, associated with an anomalously large and deep collapse sink, perhaps shouldn't be considered part of the series.
   Discovered by Bill Reese and Cascade Grotto member Jan Utterstrom, first described by Bill Halliday following a June 1963 visit.

 What Cave: This small caves found many years ago mapped and explore Oct 2011 to about 200 feet of mostly crawly cave. Has two lava intrustions, a small side passge and a large chamber about 7 feet high. Three  entrances in the breakdown sink. AKA as Tadepole cave.

631-1 Ape Cave (A,B,C,D)

631-2 Arch Cave

631-3 Barney's

631-4 Beaver Bay

631-5 Beaver

631-6 Bat Cave (A,B)

7 Breakdown

8 Blue Ribbon

9 Christmas Canyon

10 Column

11 Dollar-and-a-Dime

12 Dogwood

13 Duckwalk

14 Elk Creek Pit

15 Flow (A,B)

16 Gremlin (A,B)

17 Helium

18 House Rock Pit

19 Hunters

20 Lava Springs

21 Little People's

22 Little People's Annex

23 Little Red River

24 Low (not capped)

25 Manhole

26 Marty's

27 Mosquito

28 Moss

29 Ole's (A,B,C,D)

30 Pillars of Hercules

31 Prince Albert

32 Railroad Tracks

33 Rock Pile

34 Sand (Knight's)

35 Shortstop (not capped or refound)

36 Silver Pit

37 Snow Pit

38 Spider

39 Scott's

40 Surprise

41 Thermal (Green Mountain)

42 Trail

43 Tree Pit

44 Trenchend (cave is lost not enough info to find)

45 Trenchside (same as above)

46 Two Column (not cap or found at this time)

47 West

48 Wiggins Pit

49 Wolff Pit

50 Wram Springs

51 Lake

52 Log Crawl

53 unnamed

54 unnamed

55 Lost (not capped)


57 Kim's Cave (A,B)

58 Margin

59 Twenty-Four

60 Cliff

61 String (not capped or found again)

62 Vine Maple

63 Joan's (not capped)

64 Cougar

65 Stan's (not capped)

66 Pat's

67 Mosquito #2

68 Salal

69 Indecision

70 Upper Hunters


72 Taffey (Dogwood)

73 Bill's Short Cut (Cougar Cave)

74 Big Creek

75 Cougar Creek

76 Mine Vaple

77 Beckey's

78 Rubble

79 Ensatina

80 Green (not capped)





85 Curly Creek




89 Ash-Cast



Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu. 

| Home | | NSS Convention | | About the Grotto | | Photo Gallery | | Newsletters | | Membership | | Projects | | MSH Project | | Cave Store | | Library | | Scouts & Schools | | Links | | Caving Info | | Mt. St. Helens Caves | | Trout Lake Caves | | Vertical Caving | | Naming Caves | | Cave History | | Cave Conservation | | Cave Critters | | Cave Locations | | Bat Conservation | | E-Mail Us | | Sign Guestbook |

Copyright © 2004 - 2009 Oregon Grotto
Site Designed by Matthew Farnell
Site Content Maintained by Kim Luper