Crawford State Park Heritage Site

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Gardner Cave tours

Cave tours operate with a limited capacity Thurs-Mon, May 15 - Sept. 15. General tours for adults and older children are offered at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. Family-focused tours are offered at noon.  Reservations are required, each visitor must individually register online for tours.Reserve A Tour Button Opens in new window

Crawford State Park feels like it's at the end of the earth, and its star attraction, Gardner Cave, feels like the center of the earth.

Tucked away in the northeast corner of Washington, near the U.S.-Canada and Washington-Idaho borders, Crawford State Park is an unassuming day-use park – on the surface. But a tour of Gardner Cave reveals an underworld of deep geologic wonder. The cave is a 500-million-year-old cavern that measures approximately 2,072 feet in length and 295 feet in depth. Its floors, ceilings and walls are rich with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone and rimstone pools. These features, which your interpretive guide will teach you to recognize, are illuminated by electric lighting. Flash photography is allowed inside the cave. 

Hailed as a "natural wonder" by the 1911 federal land survey that mapped it, Gardner Cave is not only one of Washington's longest caves, it offers easy access and one of the most intriguing underground landscapes in the western U.S. 

Nab one of 10 first-come, first-served picnic tables; choose a sheltered table, a table at the cave's entrance, or a table on the U.S.-Canada border, among others. Warm up in the park or cool down in the cave but remember to layer your clothing. This park at the "end of the earth" gets hot in the summer, while the cave remains approximately 39 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

Visitors are recommended to wear 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. 

Park features

Crawford State Park Heritage Site is a 40-acre, forested day-use park featuring Gardner Cave, a unique and tour-worthy cavern.

Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.

  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. Camping
  4. History

ADA amenities/facilities

  • Restroom

Use our interactive ADA recreation map to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities. 

Picnic & day-use facilities
The park provides one picnic shelter without electricity, plus two sheltered and 11 unsheltered picnic tables. A restroom is also provided. All are available first come, first served.

Gardner Cave Tours

Tours are Thursdays through Mondays. General tours are 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m; kid and family tours are at noon. 

Visitors should wear a jacket and sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Cave temperatures average 39 degrees. Be prepared to walk long distances and navigate slippery surfaces and multiple stairways. Pets are not permitted in the cave.  

For special tour and reservation questions, call (509) 446-4065 or (509) 238-4258.

Additional information

  • The surrounding area has many events and outdoor activities. Contact the Metaline Falls Chamber of Commerce and the National Forest Service. Metaline Falls is located in the Colville National Forest.
  • Printable park brochure (PDF).