Washington has plenty of caves that you can explore, but what about grottos? Washington’s Manresa Grotto is registered as a National Historic Place and here’s what we know about it and where you can find it.
The Manresa Grotto is free to visit and is located in Kalispel Country on the Kalispel Indian Reservation. It marks the site of early Catholic missionary efforts, but before its settler use, the naturally formed cave was a sacred site of the Kalispel people. The grotto is relatively easy to access, located along LeClerc Road. You’ll find the entrance marked by a sign that reads “A beautiful grotto exists.”
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In order to access the mouth of the grotto you’ll walk up a switchback trail that is very short and no more than a half-mile round trip. Inside you’ll find a massive, naturally formed room steeped in multiple histories. A Washington Trails Association Correspondent notes that the grotto can be “eerie” to visit alone on a rainy day. So grab a friend and pick a sunny day to enjoy the grotto.
While the Kalispel reservation is in Usk, Washington, it’s important to note that Kalispel Country spans more than 2.3 million acres, ranging from the “peaks of the Selkirk Mountains to the meadows of Montana.” What’s more, the reservation wasn’t officially established until 1914.
As aptly said by the Washington Trails Association, “it’s important to recognize the ancient, unbroken connections the Kalispel Tribe holds with these places, as well as the current work being done to protect and maintain them. Next time you hit the trail, take a moment to honor the land on which you stand and the many footsteps which have come before you.”
With that, enjoy Washington’s beautiful grotto.
Where: Kalispel Indian Reservation
Information on the Manresa Grotto is from the Washington Trails Association and is accurate as of publication date.