Visit the 8th continent with us

Grotto members share an underground pie.

Caves are fun, and cavers are some of the nicest people you’re likely to meet. (Ok, maybe we are a little biased.) We’d love to have you join us underground on one of our regular beginner trips!

The next trip will be scheduled depending on peoples’ availability, but will probably be in late October or November. Fill out the form below to express your interest:

 

I’m new to caving! What should I know?

You don’t need to know much, or buy much, to start caving. In fact, most of the gear you’ll need can usually be borrowed from the grotto for free!

If you want to know what to expect, a good place to start is Cindy’s guide: “so you want to cave?”

How do I find cool caves?

Newton Cave, as surveyed in 1960.

Although some long-time members are actively looking for new caves, many beautiful and exciting caves have already been found, and are waiting for you to visit! Here are a few places to feed your interest:

To prevent damage to thousand-year-old formations, and for safety, the exact locations of known caves are usually a closely guarded secret. If you find a cave that looks cool, talk to a grotto member and we can plan a trip!

(These caves are not all “beginner friendly,” but with the support of experienced cavers in the grotto, most people will find their ability to explore is limited only by their ambition and some basic rope skills.)

 

What caves do you recommend?

If you enjoy the beginner trip, you’ll soon find that there truly is a hidden world of caves beneath Washington! Here are a few of our favorite places:

Cindy Wu: Date Cave

My favorite Washington cave is probably Date cave. I visited Date cave in 2008 when I was 19. I had no idea this was a cave. At the time, it just seemed like a crack in the top of this cliff. I learned ten years later that Tom Evans discovered this cave, was the first to survey it, and was the one that named it Date cave.

Date is due for a cave clean-up trip!

Nicholas Bertucci: Wolf’s Deep Cave

On the first trip I made with Dusty K Gold [a grotto member], we rigged the cave together — paving the way for everyone else to be able to safely explore. I felt fortunate to be a part of the rigging trip. It was a great learning experience for me, as I have little knowledge in above ground rigging.

Sid [another grotto member] and I broke through the deepest part of the cave. (“Virgin passage.”) It legitimately felt like space exploration… being the first humans to make it that far. The sand we walked on was untouched!

We even had some guy write an article about us in an Oregon newspaper! I’m in love forever now 🙂

Tyler Menezes: Dead Horse Cave

I’m totally new to caving, and have only been on one trip, but WOW was Dead Horse cool.

Our trip leader, Brad, took us up a totally unmarked trail until we shortly found ourselves standing at the base of a small sinkhole. I would never have imagined such a small hole could lead to such a huge cave!

In my first few hours underground, we had explored unknown passages to see how they connected, made our way through the “Masochist’s Maze” (not nearly as bad as the name implies, just don’t veer off the main path) to a 10+ foot-tall room full of boulders, and found a beautiful underground spring.

Then, on the way home, we met more cavers who needed help lifting a rock… and it turned out we found a new cave!