Guler Ice Cave

Trout Lake, Washington

5 miles W of town on Hwy 141/HwyNF24

The area around Mt. Adams in southern Washington has a number of lava tubes, some small, some more than a half mile long. The tubes often slope down - lava flows down hill, after all. If a tube ends up as a cave, an interesting thing happens.

Cold air sinks. And if it ends up sinking into a lava tube cave, it may sink further, creating a very cold cave. Sometimes even cold enough that water freezes. Because lava tube caves are well-insulated, the resulting ice can stick around year round.

Guler Ice Cave is one such cave. Ice has been there a long time. Native Americans and pioneer settlers took advantage of the cave and its ice.

The August day I took this picture, the temperature outside was in the mid-90s. Yet I was chilly standing here near the entrance, and there's a fair amount of ice, and even more deeper into the cave. It's a cool thing to see. (yeah, I went there)

As both a lava tube and an ice cave, be careful when you visit. Ice is slippery, lava is rough to fall against, and the cave gets dark quickly the further you are from the opening. So prepare for your visit accordingly.


trout lake gifford pinchot national forest guler ice cave

Guler Ice Cave (P14A0351)

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