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El Capitan Trail




After a staircase, the trail enters a Karst (limestone cave) system (12,000 feet of mapped passage). A Forest Service guide, only available Thursday to Sunday, must accompany hikers beyond 100 feet inside the entrance. Reservations must be made with the Thorne Bay Ranger District (907-828-3304) two days in advance. The maximum group size is 6 people, (no child packs or carriers).


0.25 mile one-way


400 feet elevation gain


Cave is dark and enclosed, and is prone to flooding, 365 steps, steep and strenuous. This is a seasonal trail, best explored from May – September.

Starting Point:

This trail is 71 miles from Thorne Bay and 94 miles from the ferry terminal in Hollis on the FSR 20. There will be a sign to turn off on FSR 15 and then it is 1 mile to the cave.

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