Big Four Ice Caves Trail

photo: 1916 - Cavern Beneath Millions of Tons of Ice in the Monte Cristo Mining District of Western Washington. Photo by Frank J. Nowell (1864-1950).

Type: Nature Trail
Length: 1.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? $5.00

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Directions

Location: Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest; Darrington Ranger District, east of Silverton in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest between Twin Peaks & Vesper Peak.
State(s): Washington
Counties: Snohomish
Latitude: 48.0659
Longitude
: -121.5107

From the Verlot Public Service Center (11 miles east of Granite Falls), go east on the Mountain Loop Highway 14.5 miles to the Big Four Picnic Area.

Description

The one-mile Ice Caves Trail crosses the river about one-third mile from the trailhead and continues beyond the river to the base of Big Four Mountain, where the ice caves form. The easy hike gains 200 feet, and ends at the 4,000 foot tall north wall of the Big Four Mountain featuring the lowest elevation glacier in the lower 49 states.

Warmer Weather Increases Danger at Big Four Ice Caves: Hikers should be aware that there is increased risk of collapse of the ice caves in warmer weather. Visitors are urged to stay on the trail, NOT to enter the cave and to take extreme caution in the area outside the caves below Big Four Mountain as well, which is prone to falling rocks and ice.

Additional Details

Width: 36 inches.
Primary Surface: Crushed Rock
Secondary Surface: Crushed Rock

Average Grade: 10%
Maximum Grade: 12%
Elevation Low Point: 1,700
Elevation High Point: 1,900
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
1978

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Park Ranger:
Erica Keene
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Darrington Ranger District
1405 Emmens St.
Darrington , WA 98247
(360) 436-1155

 

Photos

Trail to Big Four Ice Caves. Photo by Robert Ashworth.

Trail to Big Four Ice Caves. Photo by Robert Ashworth.

One of Big Four ice caves. Photo by Steven Pavlov.

One of Big Four ice caves. Photo by Steven Pavlov.

 

Big Four Ice Caves. Photo by Robert Ashworth.

Big Four Ice Caves. Photo by Robert Ashworth.

1916 - Cavern Beneath Millions of Tons of Ice in the Monte Cristo Mining District of Western Washington. Photo by Frank J. Nowell (1864-1950).

1916 - Cavern Beneath Millions of Tons of Ice in the Monte Cristo Mining District of Western Washington. Photo by Frank J. Nowell (1864-1950).

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