Summary: The trail starts at the site of the old Big Four Hotel, now gone, but area is turned into a picnic area. A board walk provides a easy passage through a bog, beaver pond area. Then a little bit of pavement, just before you cross the South Fork Stilliguamish River and a short bridge across Ice Creek. Then continue on up the hill, through old growth timber, lots of blow downs
in this area. Looking across the stream you can see De Campo Peak from here. Finally you reach the base Big Four Mountain, towering 6,135 ft above you, after a short walk to the outlook you can see the ice fields and sometimes the ice caves. Remember walking in ice caves is dangerous, there is falling ice. People have been killed and seriously injured in these caves. Trail has been improved for wheel chairs. If you look back down the trail you can see Devils Peak, to your left and Mt. Dickerman on your right.
Trailhead: Take State Route 92 to Granite Falls, then continue on the Mountain Loop Highway. It's about 26 miles out of Granite Falls. Velot Ranger Stations is along the way, and you pass through Silverton, before you get there. There is a sign that says Big Four on the right side of the road (Lat:48.05512 Lon:-121.51894)
Trail Guides for Big Four Ice Caves:
Hiking Snohomish County
by Ken Wilcox (Northwest Wild Books)
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Verlot Ranger Station, at 360-691-7791
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Kim Mann
Trail Reviews Page 2 of 12 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Katherine on 8/14/2010
The caves are there and are looking fantastic. They don't look very stable (the water was dripping everywhere) but there are two visible right now. The hike is easy and you could do it with a light stroller. I don't think you could do the entire hike with a wheelchair, however, and the area near the caves is pretty rocky.
Reviewed by Aaron on 8/14/2010
From below: "Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous." It's absolutely terrible what happened to the young girl there a few weeks ago, though that incident certainly shouldn't discourage others from visiting this fantastic area. Please understand that it's August and the ice caves may not be entirely stable.
Reviewed by SJ on 8/11/2010
Grace, an 11 year old girl died up there 7/31/2010. She was in a safe place and died of an avalanche. They need to close down this trail and ensure a safe place to view the ice caves from.
Reviewed by do on 8/3/2010
this web site sucks bad. the worst ever.
Reviewed by Deborah on 7/31/2010
This is a wonderful hike, just as described previously by others. Stay off the ice. An 11-year old little girl died today from injuries suffered from ice falling on her.
Reviewed by Simon on 7/30/2010
Great and pretty easy hike - most of the trail is very well maintained, and there's a big new bridge across the creek. There's one spot by some blow-downs where you have to cross a small stream on planks of wood. We went right up to the ice caves, which were both beautiful and interesting. You really should stay out - we saw an ice fall that would have squashed you flat inside one while we were there. Pick your spot carefully to go on the snow/ice too. Waterfalls are looking fantastic, too. Definitely recommended. Oh, you probably could not do this trail in a wheelchair either, despite what it says above.
Reviewed by Bill on 7/21/2010
If you don't have a parking pass, there are envelopes in the parking lot where you can pay your $5 and drop it in the box. No need to turn around. It's well worth it!
Reviewed by Katie on 7/17/2010
REALLY WISH THIS WEBSITE WOULD'VE TOLD US WE NEEDED A PARKING PASS!!! HAD TO TURN AROUND AND LEAVE. THX!!
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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