Guler Ice Caves

Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, Washington

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Guler Ice Caves
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  • Stairs to the Guler Ice Caves entrance.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Cave entrance.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Entrance stairs and cave opening.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Crystal Grotto.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Ice stalactites.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Looking back at the entrance from the west portion of the cave.- Guler Ice Caves
  • One of the cave's entrances.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Western portion of the cave.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Illuminated stalactites in Guler Ice Caves.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Ice stalactites and stalagmites in Guler Ice Caves.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Stalagmite and stalactite join to form a column.- Guler Ice Caves
  • West end portion.- Guler Ice Caves
  • One of the cave exits.- Guler Ice Caves
  • Another of the cave exits.- Guler Ice Caves
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful ice formations. Unique lava tube. Year-round access.
Cons: 
Slippery ice floor and entrance stairs in winter.
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Region:
Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
NW Forest Pass
Points of Interest:
Historical landmark, Geologically significant, Other
Other point of interest: 
Lave Tube and Natural Bridges
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Clear throughout the day.
89°F
53°

Mon

Partly cloudy overnight.
91°F
51°

Tue

Light rain starting in the evening.
72°F
51°

Wed

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
72°F
46°

Thu

Partly cloudy until afternoon.
71°F
39°

Fri

Partly cloudy until afternoon.
71°F
43°

Sat

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
79°F
35°
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

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As a a potentially active stratovolcano and the second tallest mountain in Washington State, Mount Adams is encircled by numerous inactive lava tubes and caves, most of which were formed less than 20,000 years ago. The Guler Ice Caves, which were created by a pahoehoe basaltic lava flow, are unique in the fact that they harbor ice formations nearly year round. This frigid anomaly is the product of cold and heavy winter air being trapped toward the lower eastern end of the cave, preserving beautiful ice sculptures throughout the year. The cave has been well known for over a century, and at one point it functioned as a local source of ice and refrigeration for pioneers in Hood River and The Dalles.

Unlike many lava tubes in the Indian Heaven Wilderness, Guler is easily accessible during any season. In the winter, Guler Cave has less traffic and can be a fun side destination on a longer snowshoe or cross-country ski outing originating from Atkisson Sno-Park. The cave is around 650 feet in length and is divided into four sections that are separated by collapsed portions. At the entrance, an often icy flight of stairs descends into the cave opening, where you’ll quickly be surrounded by crystal clear stalactites and stalagmites. Make sure to wear shoes or boots with excellent traction, as the cave floor is commonly a solid sheet of ice; also, it is imperative to bring a bright source of light (or two). The cave ceiling is especially low in portions, so take extra precaution when helmets are not worn. Once you’ve finished exploring the cave, there is a short trail to several natural bridges over collapsed lave tubes.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(12 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(79 within a 30 mile radius)

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