Trout Lake Ice Caves

Gifford Pinchot National Forest. WA.
May 24, 2015

The Trout Lake Ice Cave is really a lava tube formed from a pahoehoe basaltic lava flow dating possibly as far back as to the late Pleistocene era.  Originally known to pioneers as the Guler Ice Cave, it supplied ice for the towns of Hood River and The Dalles. Mostly for the taverns I am sure.  A sign declares it has been known about for almost a hundred years but I am a pretty sure the local indigenous tribes knew about it way longer than a hundred years ago as they were the ones who originally showed the pioneers the cave along with how to find and access it. Today, for better or worse, you can drive right up to the entrance.
  Before making it into Indian Heaven territory, we stopped to check out a male peacock in full display for a group of females at the old abandoned school, I think it was on 141?  I did not get any decent pictures that could survive being viewed on a monitor but outside the caves this deer was casually and calmly cleaning up after some sloppy campers.
View out from inside the main cave. There are other smaller caves which a few of them can actually be accessed from each other if you climb through the right spots.

There was not much ice this year. Since it is formed by the accumulated snow on the upper ground melting through and dripping into the cave below. With our mild winter this year there was not much snow accumulation.  When I visited last year mid-summer even it had more ice then.

Back home in Portland.

    Despite there not being much ice it was really just a pit stop on a loop drive on dirt roads. On an extremely pothole ridden dirt road around the Big Lava Flow a young barred owl almost flew into the car through the driver's side window.  Although I quickly got out and visually followed it to its new perch deeper in the woods, it did not sit long enough to take a crappy cellphone picture through binoculars.