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Layser Cave - Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington

Attraction Details

Layser Cave Description

Layser Cave is a small mountain cave that sits on a hill far up above the valley outside the town of Randle, Washington.  The cave is roughly 30 feet across and about 8 feet tall.  Layser Cave should not be confused with other lava type caves in the area – there is no spelunking to do here, no long tubes of discovery.  It is a small cave that was used for shelter by Native Americans thousands of years ago.

A very short trail leads to the cave from the parking lot and the cave itself is small enough to explore without the necessity of a flashlight.  Chances are good that there will not be many other people if you visit the cave due to its remote location and anticlimactic appearance.

A Brief History

With all the modern conveniences we have these days it is difficult to understand what everyday life was like thousands of years ago much less 7,000 years ago.  Layser Cave offers a chance to take a glimpse into the lives of ancient Native Americans.  This small cave was discovered in 1982 by a Forest Service employee named Tim Layser.  Upon its discovery, archaeologists were able to date inhabitants of the cave to more than 7,000 years ago.

Scientists discovered many primitive tools and animal bones within the caves.  It was confirmed that at least 108 different deer were butchered at Layser Cave by the native people who inhabited it.

Nearby Campgrounds

If you would like to visit Layser Cave and are looking for a place to stay consider the following nearby campgrounds:

Directions to Layser Cave

From the town of Randle, Washington head south on Highway 131.  Soon after getting onto 131 you will merge left on the Cispus Road.  Cispus Road becomes NF-23 and you will follow this for about 10 minutes.  As you get close to the turn off for Layser Cave you will see a sign notifying you that you are close.  You will take a left off of NF-083 and follow this up a steep and rough hill for just over a mile.  Stay on the main road – there are many turnouts that are not as well travelled.  Once you get to a large turn the road opens up a bit and there are spaces for parking.  You should see a small sign indicating the start of the trail.  The hike from the parking area to the cave is roughly 1/4 mile.

Layser Cave Map

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