Exploring the Big Four Ice Caves

Big Four Ice Caves

After living in dry, arid and beachy Los Angeles for the past three years, I can’t express the excitement I had to move to the Pacific Northwest. The move had been on my mind for a long time as I’d always felt more at home here, despite only visiting twice before. I love the mountains, the endless forests, the gorgeous small towns and cities, and yes, even the rain (which by the way, seems to be exaggerated. It doesn’t rain THAT much).

As with any major cross-country move, the process is stressful and time-consuming. Dealing with movers, landlords, packing and unpacking, organizing a new apartment, finding where everything is in your new city, finding a new job… the list goes on.

Needing an adventure break, I looked at a list I had been keeping for several months prior of places I wanted to see once we were officially here. Close to the top of my list: the Big Four Ice Caves. Being that it was already mid-April and the caves were already starting to melt away, we figured it was the best choice.

Big Four Ice Caves

The Big Four Ice Caves are only 1.5 hours from downtown Seattle. Once you get to the trailhead, the hike to the caves is easy (and super pretty through the forest) for anyone to do and only a 2.2 mile loop. The caves are formed by melted snow that build up along the northeast facing side of Big Four Mountain, typically shielded from warm sunlight.

North Cascades

Mountain Loop Highway

Big Four Ice Caves

Gorgeous walk to the ice caves.

Big Four Ice Caves

Slightly obsessed with forests 😉

Big Four Ice Caves

View of the caves once you reach the end of the forest trail.

Once you get to the caves, there are warning signs about not entering them due to avalanche and collapsing snow bridge risks (there have been deaths as recent as 2011) in the late Spring and Summer. We went into the caves (I know, I know) and I don’t want to be hypocritical, so use your best judgment. The time we spent in the caves was limited as we just went in to take a few photos, but be aware of the risks.

Big Four Ice Caves

Would you go in?

Big Four Ice Caves

Big Four Mountain has some pretty spectacular waterfalls to admire as well. If you walk past the caves towards the right, you’ll see them cascading down from the 1938 ft. peak. Oren and I found some large boulders to sit on atop a hill between the ice caves and the waterfalls to enjoy the view; it was breathtaking.

Big Four Mountain

View from our hilltop post.

Big Four Mountain

Incredible.

Big Four Mountain

This forest wonderland again on the way out 🙂

Big Four Mountain is only one of literally hundreds of amazing places to see in the Pacific Northwest, but if it’s any indication of what’s to come in future adventures, I can tell we’re really going to love it here. For more detailed information on visiting the site, click here.

Big Four Mountain

Josie Claire

Josie Claire

Hi Guys! My name is Josie and I'm a traveler, writer, photographer and adventurer with a curiosity for anything and everything. Introduced to travel at a very early age, I've been addicted ever since and have explored over 33 countries, documenting my stories along the way.
Josie Claire

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2 Comments

  • Reply May 5, 2015

    Michelle

    I basically want to live in the forests the entire weekend I’m there 😀

    • Reply May 5, 2015

      Josie Claire

      Doable 😉

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