If you like to hike and want a "very cool" experience, then put the Guler Ice Cave on your list of summer hikes. The cave is actually a lava tube that was formed about 15,000 years ago in the Trout Lake Valley of Washington. The entire hike to and through the cave is a little over 2 miles. The cave runs about 700 feet in length or about a quarter-mile.

The History of the Guler Ice Cave

attachment-Untitled design (56)
loading...

Native Americans and early settlers in the area were first to discover and use the cave. Back in the day, there wasn't refrigeration, so you could say the cave was nature's icebox - the ice was harvested and shipped by wagon to small settlements in the area to keep food cool - it was a hot commodity. The ice was harvested and sold by a man named Christian Guler, thus the name, Guler Ice Cave. Guler also offered a produce storage service inside the cave.

What to Expect on Your Hike Inside the Guler Ice Cave

Photo: wta.org
Photo: wta.org
loading...

First, you should wear warm clothing as ice is present all year round (even during the warmest months of the year). Avoid wearing bulking clothing and backpacks - you will be required to wiggle your way through some tight spots. It's recommended you wear a helmet, gloves, pants, and kneepads, as you will likely be on your hands and knees in areas. Lastly, and most important is to bring a powerful headlamp with spare batteries. As one reviewer wrote, "It is absolutely dark just a hundred feet in. I turned around since all I had was my cellphone light".

How Do I Get to the Guler Ice Caves?

Google maps
Google maps
loading...

From Tri-Cities take I-84 Westbound and take the Hood River/White Salmon Bridge to Trout Lake, Washington. From Trout Lake head west on Highway 141-Forest Road 24 and continue for 5 miles. Cross the forest boundary and then continue about a mile to a sign to Spur Road 031. This will take you to the Guler Ice Cave.

What Else Should You Know Before You Go?

Canva/Getty
Canva/Getty
loading...

You will need a Washington Recreational Pass or pay a $5 fee. There is an outhouse-type toilet, a picnic area, and a parking lot. Don't forget you'll need to pay a toll bridge fee when crossing from Hood River to Washington.

This Hike in the Columbia River Gorge is a Must Experience

The Labyrinth to Coyote Wall Loop. It runs 6.7 miles with an elevation gain of 1,489 feet. It features a waterfall, lava tube, rock formations, and incredible views. It’s heavily trafficked with hikers and mountain bikers on weekends and dogs are welcome on a leash. Beware, you’ll need good hiking shoes as a good portion of the trail is very rocky. It’s open all year round, but the experts recommend day use from March to November.  

Here's 3 Cool Hikes Near Tri-Cities

Badger and Candy Mountain are the two most popular local hikes, and for good reason, they're close, offer stunning views, easy parking, and they're fairly easy. But, if you're looking to freshen up your hiking experience without having to drive long distances, check out these three ideas, all within 30 minutes of Tri-Cities.