Boulder Cave Trail
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Located in the Naches Ranger District, this is an easy hiking trail that is less than a mile in length.
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The area
Address
Forest Service Road #1706, Naches, WA 98801
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
31 reviews
Excellent
16
Very good
10
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
2

Marcia S
Washington72 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
We had several friends talking about this cave, so we thought we'd give it a try. I took myself and five kids, ages 10-19, and we went on a Sunday afternoon in July.

It was a two hour drive from our house, and the whole drive there felt like we were a bit lost. So the anticipation was pretty intense. We brought small back packs with water and flashlights.

Parking was pretty crowded, but still manageable. It cost $5 per car like most government owned parks. There are bathrooms (outhouses) at the bottom of the trail before you head up to the cave. Dogs are allowed on the trails but not in the cave itself (although no one was watching, and a LOT of people had dogs).

Online it says the trail is 1.7 miles. This breaks down to roughly 0.8 miles straight uphill through the forest, another 0.8 miles strait downhill in the forest, and about 0.1 mile actually inside the cave. Aside from it's steady incline the trail was not difficult, and there were plenty of small children making the climb.

Right before you go inside the cave, there is a little waterfall off to the right. There is a small wall in between you and the waterfall, and it definitely looks like there should be a giant "Keep off of waterfall" sign. But there's not. In fact everyone was climbing over the wall and heading up the waterfall. EVERYONE. There were toddlers and old ladies. There were newborns in backpacks and little doggies in purses. And they were all scrambling up a wet and rocky cliff that had death written all over it. I'm pretty adventurous, but I confess, if I had been alone there I would have said it wasn't safe. The only thing that convinced me to climb it at all was that literally "everyone else is doing it."

So we scrambled up the waterfall, and it was really cool! Not amazing. But really cool. And despite there clearly being NO trail, we made it there and back without any bloodshed or broken bones. If you go, you should definitely check out the waterfall. The trail doesn't get any worse as you go, so there is no risk of going too far and not being able to get back out. If you can get in, you can get out.

The cave itself is interesting. We didn't see any bats, but you could definitely imagine how quite a few bodies could be hidden in that place. You ought to have a flashlight, but it doesn't need to be a great one as the trail is fairly easy to follow despite being quite dark.

Overall it was a nice day trip. The views from the trail were very good and the cave and the waterfall were memorable. I don't think we'll make the trip again anytime soon, but if we were ever in the area again with time to kill, we might give it another go.

(footnote: Two minutes into the hike a stick fell down my shirt. When I got it out, it was a bug. Obviously I nearly died, but I managed to keep pressing forward for the sake of the children.)
Written July 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah
Port Orchard, WA562 contributions
Jul 2016 • Family
We've done this hike numerous times over the years while camping in this area. We often hike up to the caves on the trail, see the water fall, then walk through the caves and come back down walking in the creek. Toward the bottom of the creek there is a rock "water slide" that is fun for the kids. This year when we reached the end of the trail, there was a ranger there informing us that there is a concern of possible transfer of some disease to the bats. The path was blocked to the water falls. Upon entering the caves, we had to wipe our feet and we were suppose to disinfect out clothes after the hike. Also, she told us to not walk through the water.
There are bathrooms at the trailhead. A parking pass ($5) is required.
Written July 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kurt l
Richland, WA159 contributions
Jul 2017 • Family
This is a fairly easy trail to a very nice walk thru the cave itself. Only about a mile and a half round trip. A lot of uphill hiking. Not too steep, but if you are old like me, be prepared to stop and rest a minute to smooth the heart rate. Not trying to discourage this hike, just monitor yourself if you are out of shape, a bit overweight, etc. Views are above average, and the cave itself soon becomes PITCH BLACK. I recommend every person in your troop pack a good flashlight and wear substantial footwear for a safe walk thru the cave itself. The park only requires a five dollar parking fee. There is a cool roofed picnic structure at the lot, and you can cook or just pack a cold picnic basket. NOTE, the Whistlin' Jacks Lodge (and cafe) are within minutes of the cave turnoff. You will enjoy the Jacks menu. Well known for trout and prime rib dinner. Salad bar, and scrumptious breakfast and lunch choices. Really a great combo package if you want a hike plus dining. Would recommend the experience to anyone without serious health issues.
Written August 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sara R
Naches, Wa66 contributions
Jun 2015 • Family
Boulder Cave is a hike almost anyone can do. It takes you along a canyon and up to a mountain waterfall. There are flowers and wildlife to see. Take a flashlight so you can hike through the caves. It's really dark in there without a light. The Park Service just had the park fixed up and it's beautiful. Definitely worth a day trip.
Written June 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah
Port Orchard, WA562 contributions
Jul 2018 • Family
There is a dusty, 1 mile trail up to the waterfall. You can walk over the rocks and go behind or in the chilly waterfall. Then you get to walk through the caves (bring a flashlight). After the caves you have the option to hike down on the trail or through the creek in the ravine. There is a rock "water slide" in the creek.
Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail and are now allowed in the caves, too.
Parking is $5. There are bathrooms at the trailhead.
This trail does close in the Winter.
Elevation gain is 300'. The highest elevation of the hike is 2,700'
Written August 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alexandra S
Seattle46 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
Another good one for getting the kids on the trail. Very little elevation and fun adventure going through the cave. There were also many butterflies around when we went. Bring water. It's warm/hot and dry in the summer.
Written December 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Davemchine
69 contributions
Oct 2011 • Family
Boulder cave is about 45 minutes from Yakima making it a very accessible activity. It is also higher in elevation making it cooler during the summer. There is a nice parking lot ($8 a car I think) with bathrooms. The trail is wide and smooth although somewhat steep for those of us not in shape. There are many viewpoints and great photo opportunities. You WILL see lots of wildlife along the trail.

The cave itself is very easy to walk through. They have made the path flat and wide. There are many nooks and crannies to climb up into that are completely safe for kids so they can really have fun without the parents worrying too much. There is also a stream running through the cave which is fun to cross by hopping from rock to rock. There area few nooks on the other side of the stream to explore but not much. The entire cave is not very long (think short tunnel) and you could almost follow the main trail without a flashlight although I don't recommend this.

Behind the cave are a bunch of large boulders and fallen trees that you can climb over to reach "Devil Falls" which is a small waterfall and pool of water. Most of the time you will find families taking pictures of their kids but once I found teenagers in their underwear having a good time (oh to be young). You can climb behind the falls if you are careful and there are multiple ways to go through the boulders and back to the cave so you can spend some real time playing here.

If you are really adventurous there are two other option. One you could continue on up the hill from the cave to other destinations. Two, you can actually walk the stream path all the way back down the hill to your car. This is an adventure for the young and healthy.

Overall a great experience and I've been there many times with friends and family.
Written July 18, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Submariner42
Yakima, WA37 contributions
Sep 2011 • Family
OK, I sometimes see something interesting on the map and take diversions to check them out. My family gives me grief about this, but this particular diversion was a real winner with everyone! The hike is short (although it has some uphill sections) but the cave tour is well worth the effort. Since we made this diversion unplanned, we did not have a flashlight with us. I thought, no big deal, most caves are not that dark or long anyway (at least the portions they let families into) - not true with Boulder Cave. We tried to make our way by feeling along with our feet, but it was pitch black in there. Finally we just waited until another group came along and piggy-backed on their light.

This little diversion was well worth it. In our remembrances of the vacation we often speak of this little side trip and one of the highlights.
Written January 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Snow_1080
Yakima, WA263 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
An easy access trail up Chinook Pass. The cave is short but very dark. It is a fun experience for the little ones and doesn't take too much time. Make sure to pack a picnic and enjoy the trails along the river too.
Written November 7, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

USA to ROK
Pyeongtaek, South Korea99 contributions
Jun 2015 • Family
Fun hike that is mostly up hill for 2 miles. Be prepared for long hike. Warn any elders or young children that the hike is long. Hike is beautiful with lots of chances for pictures. The ground the whole trip is rough and uneven with lots of slightly higher slippery footing. Don't recommend sandles. The cave is wonderful. Bring a flashlight.
Written October 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Boulder Cave Trail (Naches) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go