Hike to the Big Four Ice Caves

Details

Distance

2.2 miles

Elevation Gain

200 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Michael Matti

Explore unique ice caves on this easy hike that the whole family can enjoy. Remember, the inside of the cave is very dangerous, with potential for falling ice.

Disclaimer: Hiking into the caves is extremely dangerous as there is potential for the ice to fall. We do not recommend hiking inside of them and if you choose to do so, you're doing it at your own risk.

This is a short hike at just 2.2 miles roundtrip with little elevation change. The hike takes you through the forest to the side of Big Four Mountain where the Big Four Ice Caves are. The official trail ends at the viewpoint of the first cave entrance but you can walk further or even go inside the cave if you choose. There are plenty of warning signs and people have died inside these caves so please be careful, use your best judgement, and enter at your own risk. It is really wet inside the cave and almost feels like a light rain if the ice is melting and dripping. At the back of the cave is the waterfall that carved the cave.

For the location of the hike Google these coordinates: 48.067916, -121.514354

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Known for

Photography
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic

Nearby

Reviews

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very easy hike, hard drive. dangerous sight

takes a while to drive here. hike is very easy, probably too easy. Inexperienced hikers come here constantly and don't heed the warnings. These are not caves, just melting snow above runoff creeks. They constantly collapse and people are killed often. You can see the entire thing from the mouth without actually entering. I know people think it won't happen while they venture in for a moment, but it does.

Fun day trip in a remote part of the country

Big four ice caves was a fun day trip for small children, couples, novice hikers, etc. It takes roughly a mile to get to the ice caves. Nicely maintained trail As well. No need for crampons based on the current snow fall. It was more bare than we expected with snow already melting in the area. A bit disappointed with how many people were climbing on the ice or touching it in general more aggressively than they should have, but people helped correct those individuals as well. Overall a fun experience I would recommend to anyone.

Caved and Finally Did This One

I went with my friend when it first started snowing last week and it was gorgeous! The hike itself is short and easy with great views along the way. Definitely don't recommend going into the caves especially during the winter time - when I went, it looked like there was a ton of snow that collapsed inside and sometimes we could hear the rumbles of an avalanche.

Must Do

Being such a quick and easy hike, this is a must for anyone in the Seattle area. With well-maintained trails, its hard not to enjoy this hike and the ice caves themselves. I brought my parents here when they came up for the weekend to give them a taste of the Pacific Northwest and this was the perfect hike. Highly recommend it!

Must!

One of the best short hikes to rewarding views! Just be careful in the caves as they do collapse - I witnessed a caving in during my visit last year.

I enjoyed the view on the easy hike to the caves and while I understood the warnings about entering I had to do it anyways. It's pretty surreal to walk inside with a beautiful waterfall near the back of it. I definitely recommend this hike with- with some caution of course!

This is an amazing spectacle and an easy hike to get there. But be warned, do not enter the ice cave there have been tragic deaths of some who have ventured inside. The ice cave is made from build up of avalanche snow over the winter and the cave develops as water melts and the wind blows into the rock face. The cave can collapse or fail at any time. Be safe and admire from a safe distance.

Great to look at but be super careful before venturing inside. 1 person died and 4 were injured in a collapse just yesterday. Don't go inside if there is fresh snow on the mountain because of avy danger or when it is warm and/or direct sunlight because the cave is susceptible to collapse.

The cave was unreal. There are signs warning that it is dangerous to enter, but the temptation is hard to resist and the sights were worth it.

It's a very easy hike to a beautiful location. Recommend it to anyone with a few hours

1575 total saves

4.3/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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