Weekend Getaway: BOULDER CAVE

What: Boulder Cave is the perfect Halloween weekend getaway. Not only does the cave draw hikers, but it also is popular with bats. In fact, it draws so many bats - about 65 each winter - that the cave is closed to hikers Nov. 1 to April 1 to protect the creatures. The trail to the cave is 1.5 miles roundtrip. There also is ample camping opportunities in the area.

When: The cave is open until Nov. 1.

Where: Near Cliffdell.

Getting there: Follow Highway 410 over Chinook Pass. Turn south at the Boulder Cave sign between Mileposts 95 and 96 and continue to the trailhead at Boulder Cave Campground. The location is west of the large slide that has created a detour on Highway 410.

Cost: $5 per vehicle

History: The cave was formed by lava flows thousands of years ago. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the trail in 1935.

Of note: The cave is about 200 feet long and rangers request that you stay on the path. The rangers also recommend good shoes, especially for exploring nearby Devil’s Creek. The creek has a natural waterslide – if you can handle the cold this time of year – and a small waterfall. Look out for glass and other trash if you play on the mellow slide. The cave is located in Wenatchee National Forest near the Sawmill Flat, Halfway Flat and Little Naches campgrounds. Camping is $8 at Halfway Flat and $17 to $34 at Sawmill Flat and Little Naches.

Information: Naches Ranger District, 509-653-1400

Craig Hill, The News Tribune