Boulder Cave State Park
Boulder Cave State Park
Boulder Cave is home to the Pacific Western big-eared bat and other bat species. Approximately 50 big-eared bats use the cave as a Hibernaculum to survive the winter. The cave is closed November 1 through April 1 to reduce disturbance to the bats.
During the 1920's & 30's the Boulder Cave bat population numbered around a thousand. Since this time public use has increased, while the bat population has declined.
Bats are an important component of the ecosystem, preying primarily on insects. The big-eared bats feed mainly on moths. Some of these moths defoliate the forest.
While the cave is open, please follow these guidelines to reduce disturbance to this sensitive species of bat:
You may want to take a trail guide with you. Please return it to the rack when you return. For a schedule of Naturalist guided hikes and programs, Please contact the Naches Ranger Station, 509-653-2205.
Boulder Cave Trail head and Campground is managed for day use only. Visiting hours are 8:00 A.M to 9:00 P.M Daily May through September. Daily operation hours provide an exposure to vandalism.
Boulder Cave was developed in rocks of the Yakima Basalt Formation, a series of lava flows and interflow sediments that were deposited in this area about 10 to 15 million years ago. The actual cave is estimated to be less than 25,000 years old. The cave was created by Devils Creek as it downcut into the Yakima Basalt. As the stream eroded through the first flow, it encountered a soft interflow layer of soil, gravel and loose rock. The stream undercut the overlying basalt causing it to collapse into the canyon.
The Boulder Cave National Recreation Trail is approximately 1.5 miles round trip and will take about an hour. There is a 200 feet elevation gain. A flashlight and a good pair of walking shoes are recommended. There is no drinking water available on the trail. Boulder Cave, the largest of its kind in North America, was discovered by a party of prospectors on August 2, 1901. Imagine their wonder and experience your own as you hike the trail through millions of years of natural landscaping.
Please enjoy your journey and help reduce the impact and erosion by avoiding shortcuts, staying on the main trail and packing out everything you take with you.
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