When the DNR reworked the trail "recently" they put up a no trespassing sign at the "Talus Trail" and removed the bridge. The signage says that access was revoked because of worry over the bat's health as they are an endangered species.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
The area is named for the cave-like talus formations that bats call home but hikers will likely know it as Oyster Dome. Here you'll find Bellingham's closest multi-pitch routes on the highest quality rock in the area.
From I5 take Alger Exit (#240). Go .4 miles until Barrel Springs Road is found. Turn left onto Barrel Springs Road and travel .7 miles where a gravel road cuts right, sporting a Blanchard Hill Tailhead sign. Follow this gravel road as it winds to the right, around a ridge and past a 40 foot tall overhanging grey cliff band and past a large parking area on the right. You will then follow the gravel road as it winds to the right, around a ridge and past a 40 foot tall overhanging grey cliff band on the right. Just after passing the cliff band m turn left onto another gravel road with an open gate at its start. Follow this gravel road to its end (known as hang glider's lookout). At the roads end, you an park anywhere as long as yo stay out of the way of the hang gliders. There are two trailheads located here. You will not want to hike the one that starts in the trees unless you want the long way to the Bat Caves. Instead, follow the trail that starts on the west or ocean side, of the parking area that sports a Bat Caves and Ice Age sign at its start. The trail will start in the clear cut. Bellingham->Trailhead: 15-20 Minutes. Trailhead->Bat Caves: 30-40 Minutes.
These days Chuckanut Drive is on Google's Street View so, if it's your first time, you can scope out the trail head's appearance before you go. Also, the trail can be viewed on Google Maps.
The caves are just the gaps between large boulders that fell off the cliff. They are very fun to explore though. Some of them go pretty deep. The Oyster Dome is the top of the cliff in the picture. It's named that because you can see the oyster farm in the water below. There are some bolts at the top but I don't know about the climb yet. I saw 2 guys attempt to go up once but they quickly became stuck and turned back. There are some campsites up there. You cannot park or camp at the overlook but if you park outside the gate you can camp near the top at the campsites. No fires so bring a backpacking stove. I always camp next to the caves though.
Our campsite next to the caves. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012
I plan on climbing that by next summer. But I will need some help and guidance to get up to that level. This refereed to sometimes as Blanchard Hill or Blanchard Mountain. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012
This is just 1 of the many caves. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012
There are 2 paintings that have been there for years. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012
This one is much newer but I don't like it. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012
This is in the first cave we went in, just under the sabre-tooth painting. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012
Another pic of the cliff. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012
This is near the base of the cliff. I think there are 3 cave openings under that one slab. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012
By this point in this one cave we had passed 2 drops about 20 feet and this one was about 12 feet. Almost lost my flashlight in a pool down there. Bring rope with you when you go in here or you can get stuck. Submitted By: Charles Porter on Jul 11, 2012