Crawford State Park Heritage Site is a 49-acre, forested day-use park featuring Gardner Cave, with a slope length of 1,055-feet, the third longest limestone cavern in Washington. This tourable cave is filled with stalactites, stalagmites, rimstone pools, and flow stone.
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.
The park provides one kitchen shelter without electricity, plus two sheltered and eleven unsheltered picnic tables. A restroom is also provided. All are available first come, first served.
The main activity at Crawford State Park Heritage Site is touring Gardner Cave. With large groups and holidays, extra tours can be given. Park staff limits tour size to 25 people. A call before arrival will help in accommodating large groups. Call Crawford State Park at (509) 446-4065.
Suitable walking shoes or hiking boots are recommended for touring the caves and surrounding area.
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.
Crawford State Park Heritage Site has no overnight camping. Seattle City Light has a campground, with standard campsites and restrooms, next to Boundary Dam, one mile outside of the park.
Reservations & Fees
Reservations for the Seattle City Light campground can be made online or by calling 888-CAMPOUT (888-226-7688). For fee information, check out our camping rates page.
Pend Oreille County-settler Edward E. Gardner lends his name to Gardner Cave as its apparent discoverer circa 1900, although there are other discovery claims. Gardner Cave was reportedly found during a hunting foray by the homesteader, farmer, placer miner, future Metaline saloon keeper and alleged bootlegger during Prohibition. Edward Gardner homesteaded adjacent land on the Pend Oreille River, but never owned the cave.
Metaline businessman William H. Crawford operated a general store and acquired ownership of about 160 acres that included Gardner’s Cave in 1920. This was likely an investment opportunity given the local potential for timber, placer and hardrock metals within the Metaline Mining District. Crawford’s investment was short lived as he deeded 40 acres containing the cave to Washington State Parks in 1921 for public purposes, after logging the land.
A 1911 federal land survey assigned a length of 1,100 feet to what they called Little Mammoth Cave – “a natural wonder of considerable interest.” Gardner Cave is significant as an uncommon limestone cavern in Washington that is accessible to the public.