Boulder Cave Trail In Washington

Here is everything you need to know about the Boulder Cave Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Washington
  • Length: 0.8 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: US Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website: Info not available.

The Boulder Cave Trail, located in the Wenatchee National Forest in Washington State, holds a significant historical value. The trail itself dates back to the early 1900s when it was initially established as a mining route. During this time, the area surrounding the trail was rich in mineral resources, attracting prospectors and miners in search of gold, silver, and copper. The trail served as a vital transportation route for these miners, allowing them to access the remote mining sites deep within the forest.

As mining activities declined in the region, the Boulder Cave Trail took on a new purpose. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a crucial role in the development of the trail. The CCC was a work relief program established during the Great Depression, aimed at providing employment to young men while also improving the nation’s natural resources. Under the CCC’s supervision, the Boulder Cave Trail was enhanced and transformed into a recreational trail, allowing visitors to explore the natural beauty of the area.

Over the years, the Boulder Cave Trail has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Its historical significance as a former mining route and the involvement of the CCC during the Great Depression adds to its allure. Today, visitors can hike along the trail, marvel at the stunning scenery, and explore the Boulder Cave, which was formed by the erosive forces of water over thousands of years. The trail stands as a testament to the region’s rich history and the efforts made to preserve and showcase its natural wonders.

While On The Trail

Access Points

The major access points or trailheads along the Boulder Cave Trail are:

1. Boulder Cave Trailhead: This is the main trailhead for the Boulder Cave Trail, located near the Boulder Cave Campground in the Wenatchee National Forest, Washington.

2. Boulder Cave Day Use Area: This is another access point for the trail, located near the Boulder Cave Campground. It provides parking and facilities for day visitors.

3. Boulder Cave Campground: The campground itself serves as an access point to the trail. Campers can easily access the trail from their campsites.

4. Boulder Cave Picnic Area: This picnic area is located near the trailhead and provides a convenient access point for those who want to combine a picnic with their hike.

5. Boulder Cave Group Campground: This group campground is also located near the trailhead and provides access to the trail for larger groups.

These are the major access points along the Boulder Cave Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Boulder Cave Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from Boulder Cave Trail.
2. Local Taxi – Taxi service available for transportation around Boulder Cave Trail.
3. Ride-Share Services – Various ride-share services operate in the area for convenient transportation.
4. Rental Car Agencies – Multiple rental car agencies offer vehicles for exploring Boulder Cave Trail and its surroundings.
5. Public Bus – Local bus service with stops near Boulder Cave Trail for affordable transportation.
6. Bicycle Rentals – Bike rental services available for a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Boulder Cave Trail.
7. Walking – Boulder Cave Trail is accessible by foot for those who prefer to walk.


The amenities available at the Boulder Cave Trail may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at or near the trailhead or visitor center.

2. Parking: There should be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while accessing the trail.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the location and regulations, there might be camping sites available nearby for visitors who wish to stay overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There could be designated picnic areas along the trail or near the trailhead where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack.

5. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, there may be informative signs or panels providing details about the natural features, history, or wildlife in the area.

6. Trail Markers: The trail should have markers or signs indicating the route and distance to help visitors navigate easily.

7. Benches or Seating: There might be benches or seating areas along the trail for visitors to rest or enjoy the surroundings.

8. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, there should be trash cans or receptacles available for visitors to dispose of their waste.

9. Information Kiosk: At the trailhead or visitor center, there may be an information kiosk providing maps, brochures, or other relevant information about the trail and its surroundings.

10. Accessibility Features: Depending on the trail’s accessibility, there might be features such as wheelchair ramps, accessible parking spaces, or paved paths to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific location and management of the Boulder Cave Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Boulder Cave Campground – A nearby campground offering tent and RV sites for overnight stays.
2. Boulder Cave Store – A small store providing snacks, drinks, and basic supplies for hikers.
3. Boulder Cave Lodge – A cozy lodge offering comfortable accommodations for visitors.
4. Boulder Cave Restaurant – A restaurant serving a variety of delicious meals and local cuisine.
5. Boulder Cave Emergency Services – Emergency services available in case of any unforeseen incidents or emergencies.

Boulder Cave Trail Difficulty Notes

The Boulder Cave Trail presents a moderate level of difficulty for hikers. The trail is approximately 1.5 miles long and features a gradual incline with some rocky and uneven terrain. Hikers will encounter a few steep sections and may need to navigate over boulders and fallen trees. While the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, it requires a moderate level of physical fitness and agility. Proper footwear and caution are recommended to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience on the Boulder Cave Trail.

Features And Attractions

The Boulder Cave Trail is located in the Wenatchee National Forest in Washington state. Along the trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the Boulder Cave Trail:

1. Boulder Cave: The main highlight of the trail is Boulder Cave itself. This limestone cave is approximately 200 feet long and offers a unique underground experience.

2. Wenatchee River: The trail follows the beautiful Wenatchee River, providing scenic views of the river and its surrounding landscape.

3. Forested Areas: The trail passes through dense forests, offering a peaceful and serene environment.

4. Rock Formations: Along the trail, you can find interesting rock formations, including large boulders and cliffs.

5. Wildlife: The area is home to various wildlife species, including deer, elk, birds, and more. Keep an eye out for these animals during your hike.

6. Historical Significance: The Boulder Cave Trail has historical significance as it was used by Native American tribes in the past. You may find remnants or signs of their presence along the trail.

7. Interpretive Signs: The trail features interpretive signs that provide information about the local flora, fauna, geology, and history, enhancing your hiking experience.

8. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where you can take a break, enjoy a meal, and soak in the natural surroundings.

9. River Access: The trail provides access to the Wenatchee River, allowing visitors to enjoy activities like fishing, swimming, or simply relaxing by the water.

10. Scenic Overlooks: At certain points along the trail, you can find scenic overlooks that offer panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and the Wenatchee River.

Remember to check with local authorities or the Wenatchee National Forest website for any specific attractions or landmarks that may be of interest along the Boulder Cave Trail.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets are not allowed on the Boulder Cave Trail.
– The trail is open year-round, but during the winter months, it may be icy and slippery. Visitors are advised to use caution and appropriate footwear.
– Camping and fires are not permitted along the trail.
– Visitors are required to stay on designated trails and not venture off into restricted areas.
– Littering is strictly prohibited. Visitors are expected to carry out any trash they bring in.
– Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
– Fishing is allowed in the area, but visitors must have a valid fishing license.
– Swimming or wading in the creek is not permitted.
– Visitors are encouraged to respect the natural environment and wildlife, and not disturb or harm any plants or animals.
– The trail is open during daylight hours only.

Seasonal Information

The Boulder Cave Trail, located in the Wenatchee National Forest in Washington State, offers a unique and exciting experience for outdoor enthusiasts. When planning your visit, it’s important to consider the best times of the year to fully enjoy the trail and be aware of any seasonal closures.

One of the best times to visit the Boulder Cave Trail is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the weather is generally warm and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking and exploring the cave. The trail is surrounded by lush greenery, and the nearby river provides a refreshing backdrop. This is also the peak season for visitors, so expect a moderate level of foot traffic on the trail.

Another great time to visit is during the fall season, from September to October. The changing colors of the foliage create a stunning backdrop, making the hike even more picturesque. The weather is cooler, but still comfortable for outdoor activities. It’s important to note that during the fall, the trail may be less crowded, allowing for a more peaceful and serene experience.

It’s worth mentioning that the Boulder Cave Trail is closed during the winter months, typically from November to May. This closure is due to safety concerns, as the trail can become icy and hazardous. It’s important to respect these closures and plan your visit accordingly. However, the closure period provides an opportunity for the trail to rejuvenate and ensures its preservation for future visitors.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Boulder Cave Trail are during the summer and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant and the surroundings are at their most beautiful. It’s important to be aware of the seasonal closures during the winter months to ensure your safety and the preservation of the trail. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking for a unique outdoor experience, the Boulder Cave Trail is sure to leave you in awe of its natural beauty.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Boulder Cave Trail is not wheelchair accessible due to its steep and uneven terrain.
2. ADA Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead for visitors with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are provided at the trailhead for individuals with mobility challenges.
4. Trail Surface: The trail surface is primarily composed of compacted dirt and rocks, which may pose challenges for wheelchair users.
5. Trail Width: The trail width varies throughout the Boulder Cave Trail, and some sections may not meet ADA guidelines for minimum width.
6. Trail Grade: The trail features steep sections with inclines that may be difficult for individuals with mobility impairments.
7. Handrails: Handrails are installed in certain areas along the trail to assist visitors with stability and balance.
8. Benches: Benches are available at various points along the trail, providing resting spots for individuals who may need to take breaks.
9. Interpretive Signage: The trail features interpretive signage with braille and tactile elements to provide information to visitors with visual impairments.
10. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the Boulder Cave Trail to assist individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Stay on the designated trail: Stick to the marked path to avoid getting lost or damaging the surrounding environment.
2. Wear appropriate footwear: Use sturdy shoes with good traction to navigate the rocky terrain safely.
3. Carry enough water: Bring an ample supply of water to stay hydrated during the hike, especially in hot weather.
4. Use sunscreen and wear a hat: Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays to prevent sunburn and heatstroke.
5. Watch your step: Be cautious of loose rocks and uneven surfaces to avoid tripping or slipping.
6. Be aware of wildlife: Respect the natural habitat and keep a safe distance from any animals encountered.
7. Stay away from the edge: Exercise caution near cliffs or steep drop-offs to prevent accidents.
8. Hike with a buddy: It’s always safer to hike with a companion in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.
9. Check weather conditions: Be aware of any potential storms or extreme weather conditions before starting the hike.
10. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know about your hiking plans and expected return time for safety purposes.

Conservation Notes

The Boulder Cave Trail is a popular hiking destination located in the Wenatchee National Forest in Washington State. In terms of conservation status, the trail and its surrounding area are considered to be of significant ecological importance. The trail is situated within a designated National Recreation Area, which signifies its protected status and the efforts made to preserve its natural resources.

The conservation efforts for the Boulder Cave Trail primarily focus on maintaining the delicate balance of the surrounding ecosystem. The area is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, some of which are considered rare or threatened. Preservation efforts include the protection of sensitive habitats, such as old-growth forests and riparian zones, which are crucial for the survival of various species.

To ensure the conservation of the Boulder Cave Trail, strict regulations are in place to minimize human impact on the environment. Visitors are required to stay on designated trails, preventing damage to fragile vegetation and reducing disturbance to wildlife. Additionally, the trail is subject to periodic maintenance and monitoring to address any potential threats to its ecological integrity, such as erosion or invasive species.

Overall, the conservation status of the Boulder Cave Trail is actively managed to safeguard its natural resources and maintain its ecological value. Through ongoing efforts, the trail continues to provide a unique and immersive experience for visitors while preserving the delicate balance of the surrounding ecosystem.

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