Washington June 07, 2016
Hiking To These Aboveground Caves In Washington Will Give You A Surreal Experience
Lake Lenore Caves make for a fascinating place to explore in the lower Grand Coulee of eastern Washington. You can take a short, well-maintained trail along the north end of the lake to find seven ancient overhangs that used to serve as shelter in the prehistoric days.
These rocky caves were formed thousands of years ago by the Missoula Ice Age Floods. The rushing water caused huge chunks of basalt to pluck off the walls, making them geologically unique from most other caverns.
All seven of the caves can easily be reached along a short mile-and-a-half trail from this parking area, just off State Route 17. The parking area also features several information stands that explain more about the area's ancient history.
From the parking lot, the trail leads up a small staircase, where you can either turn left or right. The path to the right is easier, and much more developed. It follows along a ridge and passes by all of the various sized caverns.
The caves aren't very deep, but they are spacious and offer plenty of photo opportunities. The trail finally leads up to the largest cave, where you can sit, catch your breath and enjoy the views overlooking Lake Lenore.
Years after the Ice Age floods, early natives in the area used these caves for shelter and storage. You can even still find some of their ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks.
Even though the trail only goes for about a mile-and-a-half, it's easy to spend a whole day exploring in and around each of the caves. You will need a Discover Pass for parking (which can easily be purchased online
While you're in the area, check out
a short drive north, and
to the south.
Have you been to the Lake Lenore Caves before? Or would you like to go hiking out here?