Layser Cave

Located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest high above the Cispus River and within sight of Mount Adams, Layser Cave is one of the more significant archaeological sites in western Washington State. Found to have been inhabited for over 7,000 years and abandoned approximately 3,500 years ago when Layser Cave, as well as other shelter sites in the region, were inundated by ash and pumice generated by an eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Discovered in 1982 by U.S. Forest Service employee Tim Layser, the cave had been untouched by humans for thousands of years. Archaeologist excavating the cave located animal bones and stone tools within the many layers of soil comprising the floor of the cave that allowed them to date the caves period of use.

Today Layser Cave is an interpretive site for the U.S. Forest Service and while the site is in a fairly remote corner of the forest away from any major metropolitan area, it has seen its share of looting, vandalism and the occasional bonfire/party. If you happen upon this site in your travels, as with all sites, please respect it and take only photos!

The view from just above Layser Cave. Mount Adams peeking over the nearby ridge. The view from just a...
The entrance of Layser Cave. The entrance of Lays...
Looking towards the rear of the cave. The Cave measures approximately 40x60ft. Looking towards the ...
Zoomorphic figure? Graffiti seen in the upper right. Zoomorphic figure? G...
Pictographs outside the caves entrance. Modern or prehistoric? Pictographs outside ...
Faint pictograph just outside the caves entrance. Faint pictograph jus...
Looking back into the cave; the two individuals give perspective to the size of the cave. Looking back into th...
Faint pictographs just inside the cave. Faint pictographs ju...
A closer view of the pictographs. Time and the elements have taken their toll. A closer view of the...

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