Explorers find their way into 8,000-year-old lava caves deep beneath Washington


Washington is known for a few things. They produce some of the best coffee in the country, houses the largest building in the world (the...

Washington is known for a few things. They produce some of the best coffee in the country, house the largest building in the world (the Boeing assembly plant), and apples, of which it produces more than any other state. But one thing you might not expect is that deep beneath the surface of Washington lies a series of mysterious, ancient tunnels... tunnels that are largely unexplored. Now, a brave group of explorers have found their way in.

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The tunnels, thought to be at least 8,000 years old, stretch on for more than two miles and are hidden hundreds of feet underground in Washington. The incredible network of secret, multicolored caves are the product of centuries of lava flow directed into a deep canyon. 

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Recently, photographer Josh Hydeman grabbed three of his friends, Eric Guth, Garry Petrie, and Jason George, and together the four of them set out to explore the secret caves, an adventure that could have been deadly for the inexperienced.

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"The cave was first mapped in 1993 - we found out about it through a grotto which is the name of a caving club," Hydeman told the Daily Mail. "On the west coast all cave locations are kept secret so access is gained by word of mouth. For this cave you can actually drive almost to the very entrance - plenty of other caves require long hikes but not this one. It's a very unique lava cave as most are one level or one tube but this is five."

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You can check out some of the beautiful photos they captured below.

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Want to scope out some equally awesome caves that aren't so dangerous? Head to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, home of the retro-awesome Underground Lunchroom, visit Lockport Cave where you can take a crazy underground boat ride, or visit Devil's Den, an underground spring where you can scuba dive through the cleanest water you've ever seen.

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Places explored in this article:

This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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