When you stay at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins, you’ll want to explore Washington State on all levels of elevation. Climb miles up trails to reach the tops of mountains and volcanoes, or go underground and explore some of the incredible natural caves. Some of the most spectacular grottos to explore are the Guler Ice Caves. When you step into these caverns, it is like you’re in a completely new world. If you go at the right time of year, you will see incredible ice formations that look like intricate crystallized sculptures. Come see the beauty of these amazing caves, and learn a little about their history!
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is filled with incredible natural caves created from the many volcanoes that are on its land. When the volcanoes erupted, molten lava flowed through the ground creating natural lava tubes. The locations of many of these tubes are not disclosed due to the Federal Cave Protection Act, but luckily the Guler Ice Caves are open to the public! These caves were originally discovered hundreds of years ago by Native Americans who used to store huckleberries in the cool cavern and obtain fresh water from the melting ice. When pioneers moved into Hood River, they harvested the ice to chill the drinks at local taverns!
When you make your way down the wooden staircase into the Guler Ice Caves, it is like you’re transported into a fairytale. The cave is filled with beautiful stalactites that rise up like statues from the ground. Hanging from the ceiling and jutting up from the floor are the incredible ice formations. These crystals range in size and shape and are created by water slowly dripping down and freezing. Some look like icicles while others are large crystallized mounds clinging to the rocks. The ice melts and reforms every year, so you can constantly go back to this breathtaking cave and see something new!
You can visit the Guler Ice Caves at any time of year, but the best time to explore them is during the spring and early summer. During this time, the snow has subsided, and the ice has fully formed. The deeper you get into the summer, the more the ice will have melted so you may not see the structures in their full beauty. Make sure to check if you need a park pass for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for the time you are visiting. These can easily be obtained online!
As for exploring the caves, they are naturally around 32 degrees, so make sure to dress accordingly. Wear waterproof non-slip boots since the cave floor is covered in water and slippery ice. Bring a flashlight and spare batteries since the cave will be completely dark! To best see the ice formations, light them up from behind to make them glow. Constantly shine your flashlight around you; you never know when one of the beautiful crystals will be illuminated.
After spelunking the Guler Ice Caves, go warm up and relax at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins. Enjoy yourself by the fire of a private cabin like Mount Adams, then relax in your hydrotherapy spa tub for two while gazing out at the tree-framed view of the Cascade Mountain Range. This incredible cabin was designed with luxury in mind. Melt into the bamboo sheets of the king-size four-poster bed, then wake up to a freshly prepared breakfast delivered right to your door! Book your stay to come explore Washington State today.