$75 for an all-day guided Ape Cave snowshoeing tour ($150 value)
- Treks are about 4–5 miles and include guides, snowshoes, poles, hot drinks, snacks, lunch, and roundtrip transportation.
- Groups learn about snowshoe technique as they traverse the snowy landscape to scenic locales near Mount Saint Helens, including hiking through the Ape Cave.
- Hikers meet at Rare Earth Adventures’ headquarters at 8 a.m., and guides drop them off after the trek, which concludes at about 5 p.m.
- View the schedule for upcoming outings.<p>
Formed roughly 2,000 years ago, Ape Cave boasts the longest continuous lave tube in the U.S. It’s here where explorers will descend to the cave floor and scramble some 1.5 miles to its upper entrance. Depending on snow conditions, a roped belay may be necessary to enable entry and exit from the cave.
Rare Earth Adventures
Rare Earth Adventures' staff of outdoor guides leads clients on expeditions through the scenic wilderness of the Pacific Northwest in hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, and snowshoe treks. With extensive training and certifications in environmental sustainability, wilderness medicine, and risk management, the guides ensure safe passage as their charges hike through the unspoiled woods of the Umpqua National Forest or scale the 848-foot face of Beacon Rock. In addition to year-round voyages near their home base in Portland, they steward a variety of international trips, leading guests on sojourns to the jungles of Thailand, the volcanoes of Mexico, and the airports of Maine.
Those hoping to demystify the backcountry on their own can enlist in one of Rare Earth's many educational programs to improve their outdoor acumen. Rather than attempting to quell an upset stomach by asking a bear for antacid tablets, guests can become their own doctor by gaining their wilderness medicine certification or learn to avoid unsafe situations while completing the outdoor leader certification.