We have been wanting to explore the Big Four Ice Caves for over a year!
Zach has been wanting to try out this trail for a while because the caves always look so cool in pictures. Who doesn’t want to see ice caves all year round?!
Location: North Cascades, Mountain Loop Highway, Washington
Length: 32.2 Miles, round trip
Elevation Gain: 220 ft.
The trail was really easy and well maintained. It starts off with a board walk, becomes paved, and ends up having small gravel.
We ended up going in November, which I did not think would be pretty, but ended up being absolutely beautiful. The meadow grasses were a warm golden color, the mountains we just recently dusted with snow, and the clouds were drifting slowly through the valley.
The trail then takes you over a metal bridge that crosses a clear blue river. So beautiful!
We ended up going pretty early on a Saturday in order to beat the crowds. This ended up being a great decision as we had the trail to our selves the whole way there and only started seeing louder groups on our way back to the car.
After all the lush green the trail opens up to a wide area of pebbles and mountain faces staring at you. At the base of the cliff face are the Ice Caves in all their cold and unfeeling glory.
We did not get up close to the caves as their were multiple signs stating the danger of ice falling and not to touch them to preserve them. However, we did hike up past the caves to look at the cliff faces on the other side.
We really enjoyed this short trail! I definitely recommend it. This trail can be busy due to its easy nature and being very popular, even among those who don’t normally hike. Getting an easy start is key to enjoying the area without crowds or loud music.
I would love to go back in the summer to see all of the ice! I’ve heard it is a very surreal experience, so hopefully we will be able to go back soon!
Do you have any Washington Trails you love? Let us know!