Big Four Ice Caves Trail

Granite Falls, Washington 98252

Big Four Ice Caves Trail

Big Four Ice Caves Trail Professional Review and Guide

"The nearly level trail, smooth and well maintained, crosses a series of water-spanning bridges and marsh-spanning planked walkways before arriving at the ice caves in the snowfields at the base of the 4,000-foot north face of Big Four Mountain.

Hike to a stopping point beneath the tall, wide cirque headwall, dappled with snow patches and waterfalls. The ice caves are formed when the undersides of avalanche snowbanks melt from the action of water and wind. They vary in size and shape from year to year. They do not open until midsummer and are never safe to enter — ceilings have been known to collapse."

Big Four Ice Caves Trail Reviews

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The view throughout and at the end of this hike was BEAUTIFUL! The forest is so quiet and serene, and it was lightly raining while we walked which just added to the lovely ambiance. When we emerged from the forest at the cliff face and ice caves, it was truly one of those moments where you just go "wow, nature is amazing!" We explored the entrances to the ice caves but did NOT go inside, because we were thoroughly warned about how dangerous it is to enter them. Nature is beautiful, but it to be treated with a great deal of respect, as it can be unpredictable. I highly recommend this hike; it is not very strenuous and is beautiful. You can get epic photos without venturing inside the caves-safety is more important than trying to become the next NatGeo photographer.
For some how is just recovery from knee surgery, this was not a difficult hike. I will say thought that you have to walk 2 mile to get to the trail head because the road is snowed over. Then the trails have 3 feet of snow...that's really cool. Once you get to the top however, the Ice Cave has been covered by and avalanche...DOH! I really want to go back once all that snow is gone.
Packed snow covered the trail the entire way... Made for slower going that expected, but not at all uncomfortable in 50 degree temps. The destination is well worth the trek, even with two young kids in tow.
Being from the east coast, I wanted to see as much of Washington as I can. I thought the Ice Caves would be something wonderful. They were, in a way. This is very unique. A free standing arch of ice. I am told that at one time it was a very deep cave. Now, the front 50 to 75' has fallen. There remains roughly 75' of arch behind a 20' high & 70' long pile of ice. The trail is maintained with wooden walkways & bridges. For a 1 mile hike it goes quickly. I think everyone should take their children to see this wonder. From what I saw, unless there is a few heavy snowfall & cold winters, this will be gone. This is a good weekend day trip / drive.

Big Four Ice Caves Trail Photos

Trail Information

Granite Falls
Nearby City
200 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Day hike
1,700 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,900 feet
Top Elevation
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District
Local Contacts
Green Trails No. 110 Silverton
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018