Expedition to Gardner Cave (Crawford State Park, Washington)


On Saturday, May 29, 2010, Heather Ramsey, Lindsay Poppe, and Emily Sparrow ventured up to the great little town of Metaline, Washington. To the north of Metaline, at the end of Highway 31, is a little park by the name of Crawford State Park. Only a quarter of a mile south of the Canadian border, this park is remote and subtle, but it has quite the story to tell. We shall focus today on its crown jewel, Gardner Cave.

Gardner Cave is a natural limestone cavern, and is the third-longest limestone cavern in Washington State at 1,055 feet long. Unfortunately, only the first 494 feet are open to the public, as access beyond that is extremely difficult for emergency personnel.


Map of Gardner Cave (Craig Hansen, courtesy of Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission)


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