Crawford State Park Heritage Site 

With the heat wave here and not really going anywhere anytime soon, here's an idea for a fun place to hike, explore, and, best of all, stay cool during the blistering summer heat. Crawford State Park is a 40-acre forested day-use park featuring Gardner Cave, one of Washington's longest limestone caves. The best part about this cave is that you'll need to bring a light jacket or sweater because the cave temperature ranges from 39 to 42°F. The cave offers easy access to a fascinating underground landscape. 

Things to Do: 

Located in beautiful Metaline Falls, WA, Crawford State Park offers a unique day-use experience, with the highlight being a tour of Gardner Cave (Reservations are required for tours). Discovered during a 1911 federal land survey, the cave features stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and rimstone pools, illuminated by lighting. The cave is over 500 million years old, measuring approximately 2,072 feet long and 295 feet deep. 

Crawford Gardner Cave
Washington State Park / Getty / Canva

Crawford Gardner Cave

Park Features: 

Crawford State Park Heritage Site is settled right along the US-Canada border in the northern foothills of Hooknose Mountain. This park is perfect for day hiking, with an abundance of well-maintained trails. There is also loads of opportunity to see wildlife, with a wildlife sanctuary being very nearby.


  • Dogs allowed on leash 
  • Fires allowed in designated areas 
  • Cave tour reservations are required 
  • Cave tours are conducted by reservation only 
  • Wear closed-toe shoes 
  • Flash photography is allowed 
  • No animals, including pets and emotional support companions, are allowed in the cave (trained service animals are permitted with proper documentation of training) 
  • No overnight parking or camping 

Tips for Visitors: 

  • Wear jackets and sturdy, closed-toe shoes. 
  • There is a steep, 200-yard walk from the parking lot to the cave entrance and several flights of stairs in the cave. 
  • Free cave tours are available Thursday through Monday at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. Family tours are available daily at noon. Reservations are required. 
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Crawford Gardner Cave
Washington State Park / Getty / Canva

Crawford Gardner Cave

Day Use: 

  • One sheltered picnic table and seven unsheltered picnic tables 
  • Two small barbecue stands are available for use 
  • Short walking trail (approximately half a mile) leading to the Canadian border 


LOOK: The history behind all 63 national parks in the US

The National Parks System manages 63 national parks. Stacker analyzed NPS info to compile the history and features of each. 

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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