Hike to the Big Four Ice Caves

Big Four Ice Caves

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

Pack List

  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • Hiking Boots, however the trail is well maintained so you could be fine with just about anything on your feet.
  • Warmer layers, it is colder when you are near the caves, and much colder if you're inside them.
  • Water
  • Flashlight (for if you go into the cave)
  • Camera+tripod (for shooting inside the cave)
  • Waterproof jacket (for inside the cave)
Show More
RT Distance 2.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 200 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

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!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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