Hike to Hawk Creek Cave

5 miles 900 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Rose Freeman

Explore an ancient cave with expansive views of the Columbia River. See Hawk Creek Falls. Hike along a sandy beach. Distance: 5.0 miles round trip, 900 feet elevation gain.

The ancient rock walls, cave, and falls of Hawk Creek provide an unreal day hike experience! The best time to hike to Hawk Creek cave is early spring/summer before the water level of Lake Roosevelt is back to it's regular level by July. Any age explorer will be inspired on this adventure!

Drive to Hawk Creek trailhead (47.8109, -118.3104) and begin hiking on a well marked fisherman's trail through the pine trees. Take in the views of the creek behind you and the ancient rock walls through the canyon. When the trail tapers off, cut down to the beach and continue hiking on the sand for 2 miles. It is best to hike here in spring before the water levels rise and the beach is inaccessible. When you reach the end of the beach, take the game trail up through the canyon to the right. This trail becomes hard to follow up through the tall grass, but continue upward and onward toward the rock formation on the ridge above! When you reach the plateau, take a left and look for the large rock cave. Enjoy lunch in the cave and take in the views of the Columbia River! Return the way you came.

When you return to the trailhead, make sure to stop by Hawk Creek campground on your way out and check out Hawk Creek falls! We hiked here in late February and the falls were roaring into the turquoise pool. If you choose to stay overnight, the campground is open year round!

Our favorite place to stop on our way home is Edna's to get shakes and fries! Happy adventuring!

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Easy Parking
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Overall rating: 

Couldn't find the trail.

Wasn't able to find the trailhead. But did find the campground with the waterfall.

Such a rewarding hike!

We made it to the cave, it was awesome! The directions were spot on. Once you start to see the beach end, start heading right and up towards the game trail(very hard to see the trail just head that direction) . At this point, the hike will become more difficult and the problem is the cave opening is pointing toward the other direction so just keep looking and you will find it. There are lots of bugs and snakes. We also stepped on some cactuses so I would highly recommend hiking boots and long socks or pants. Bring lots of water it's super hot during the day! Definitely try this one out I loved it!

A few caves!

We have been visiting this specific beautiful place for about 3 years now. I was curious about the caves but unsure about exploring on my own until I read this submission. I agree it’s a little confusing as there are some caves visible when you enter to the trailhead and I do not believe these are the caves she wrote about. I hiked to the visible caves with my 8 year old daughter yesterday, just sort of following random game trails and making our own way. For that, we took the Hawk Creek trail until it ends (just when you get above the beach). There is a small canyon with a wide and visible game trail that looks right up to a large cave. I would recommend doing this in the springtime as the grass becomes very tall here in the summer. There may be another way to get to these (there are two caves) but this route worked well for us and was fairly easy. As for the other caves we have not made our way down the beach quite so far so I’m unsure about those until our next visit! It’s a beautiful area no matter where you end up! It’s also wonderful to SUP through in summertime when the water is a bit higher.

🥇Top Contributor

about 3 years ago

couldn't find the cave...

I agree with Micah, the coordinates to the trailhead were way off. My GPS took me right where I was suppose to, but there was nothing. I drove around wasting time and gas and couldn't find it, so I eventually left. Very disappointed!

More than one cave!

As long as you head up towards the basalt cliffs and follow them, you will find a cave. You do not even need to step onto the beach before you can see the first cave. There is also a geocache near the first cave. We explored several caves in this area. Very cool.

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