I am an avid lover of the great outdoors, and since we picked up a sweet vintage camper for my birthday this year, it’s been nonstop adventure time. Recently we traveled south the Mount St. Helens to explore the near famous Ape Caves.
Now that the kids are getting older what used to be a one night camping ordeal has turned into a two night camping adventure. I imagine as they get older we will be able to travel farther and farther from home, but for now we are sticking to Washington state. Which, let’s be honest, is a pretty big swatch of land.
We have been down to Mount St. Helens once before with the kids. We explored the north side of the mountain, visited the interpretive center, an did a little hiking. This time around we decided to head further south and explore the ape caves.
We stayed at the Kalama Horse Camp so we were lucky enough to be able to take the back road to the Ape Cave. Along the way we got a great view of the top of the mountain and snapped a family pic (minus mom)!
I didn’t know much about the ape caves before we went, and even now I only know what I read on the signs. However, my biggest question was answered!! Maybe you are also wondering why they are called ape caves? Let me tell/show you!
So apparently after some guy almost drove a tractor into the main opening of the mouth of the cave, a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts, the Mount St. Helens Apes, spent a lot of years giving tours. So when it came time to name it, the ape cave was an easy choice!
I only got a couple of photos of the cave, one of me going in and another of the inside. It was sooo dark, and taking photos in pitch blackness is actually reallllly hard! I highly suggest you go check them out yourself! We only did the lower cave, and the kids (11, 7, and 5) had absolutely no problems with it!
Once we had explored to our hearts content it was time to head above ground. We arose from the cave only to discover that it was just shy of 100 degrees. This of course meant that water needed to be found and played in immediately. We drove back out toward our campsite, and along the way spotted the river rushing by. So of course we pulled over and had a nice little break!
Finally cooled off and ready to relax we headed back to camp. We stumbled upon this amazing spot up near the top of the mountain called the Kalama Horse Camp. I wasn’t too terribly sure what they was going to turn into, but it was actually pretty fun! Turns out people go camping, with their horses!
Each of the campsites came complete with a corral and there were a bunch of mounting stations around the camp, not to mention horses everywhere! My kids loved getting to pet and feed our “neighbors” horses. The sites were spacious and left a lot of room for running around, riding bikes, and kids adventures.
On our last morning thereI woke up early and it was such a serene setting for drinking my coffee and taking a little walk! I grabbed a few more photos for you while everyone slept. Now I can’t wait for our next adventure!