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Yale Park and Ape Cave, Washington

Mount St. Helens the day before was certainly one of the highlights of this vacation. We are determined to see the mountain again today, but not that close. And we had a different agenda for today: visit the Ape Cave, a famous lava tube just south of Mount St. Helens. Originally we planned to go all the way to the Windy Ridge Viewpoint, but given that it is a 3 hours drive from Vancouver, WA (where we stayed over night), we skipped this part and decided to spend more time at the Cave site. Totally worth it!

The way to the Ape Cave is the Lewis River Road, WA State Route 503. Following this road will inevitably bring you to Yale Lake.

Mount St. Helens

Getting some rest in Olympia was good, but the kid couldn’t sit still any longer - Mount St. Helens was finally on! If you ask the kid, it can probably tell you more about volcanos in general, and particularly this one than you might ever learn in a lifetime. Therefore visiting Mount St. Helens was supposed to be one of the highlights of this vacation.

You can’t really go up all the way to Mount St. Helens, but there are several places from where you have a wonderful view at the volcano. There are two ways you can use: in the north it’s Spirit Lake Highway, the 504. And in the south it’s Lewis River Road, the 503. Make your decision, each route is good for one day. For today, coming from Olympia, we decided on the northern route.