Big Four Ice Caves Trail

EASY 177 reviews
#1 of 85 trails in

Big Four Ice Caves Trail is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Granite Falls, Washington that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
390 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

snow

From Granite Falls follow the Mountain Loop Highway east for 26 miles to the trailhead, on the right (elev. 1750 ft). Privy available. You can also hike from the Big Four Picnic Area, which is 0.5 mile before (west of) the caves trailhead off of the Mountain Loop Highway.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful scenic trail for all skill levels. We enjoyed rock skipping at the river near beginning of trail and the cool breeze by the caves cooled us down.

hiking
1 day ago

Easy, short, family friendly hike (great for young kids and the elderly). Nice paved parking lot, but would recommend getting to the hike early in AM to guarantee a parking spot (as it is quite a popular hike). We went around noon though, and had no problem finding a spot. Bugs were not too bad, but would recommend bringing bug spray anyways. Getting to the ice cave was easy and quick, and once there you will see a flat large rocky area directly in front of the cave where people sit and have lunch. This area is beautiful, and a great way to cool off and enjoy a snack/or lunch. I wouldn't recommend going in the ice cave though, as it can collapse.

hiking
1 day ago

3 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

5 days ago

Doesn't get much easier than this one. Trail is in great shape, paved parking lot. Wednesday morning stroll, and it was surprisingly not busy. Beautiful payoff with very little effort.

7 days ago

Went on a rainy day to avoid the crowds. Definitely the way to go. It was still busy, but nothing like it it was a sunny day. Probably the most groomed trail I've ever been on, so it's more like a nice stroll. Perfect length for the younger ones. Should go without saying to stay OUT of the caves but lo and behold, there were several kids wandering and their parents not caring. There is plenty to see without getting to close.

nature trips
13 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Very accessible hike. Paved parking lot right off Mountain Loop Highway. Nice trail. I stayed on the trail, but other hikers ignored the warning signs and approached the Caves going in and climbing on them. Not a good trail to take if you prefer solitude or trail etiquette, crowded with off leash dogs & dog poop left behind on trail. Garbage left behind by others. Trail blocked by large groups who wouldn't allow you to pass, and unsupervised young children, even a group smoking pot at the river. Still enjoyed the hike though.

hiking
19 days ago

Quick easy hike. Did it with my 3.5 year old and her cousin who's the same age and they managed to make it up and down easily. BRING BUG SPRAY. The flys are the worst and they bite. But with a short trail it's easy to go quick to avoid the bugs. They don't hang around the cold air near the caves so that was nice. Interested to do this hike again at the end of summer to see how much everything changes.

hiking
22 days ago

I did this hike late in the day, crossing my fingers that there would be some parking left. There was tons of parking, so I was delighted! The trail is super easy, but with plenty of interesting bridges and tree stumps (it's ridiculous that tree stumps in Washington can be beautiful, but they were!) before coming to the caves. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was easy to hop off the end of the "official" trail and get up close to the ice caves, so I did just that. Don't climb on them or go inside them, but get close enough to actually enjoy it! The best one was a bit of a climb up a rocky slope but so worth it--you could see all the way through the cave to the waterfall cascading down the back against the mountain. I guess not all hikes have to be grueling to be worth it. Definitely worth the time!

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
30 days ago

Took the family. The kiddo did great. he loved it. Very busy trail. But the view at the end was worth it.

I haven't done a lot of heavy physical activity in a while due to health restrictions. I struggled to make it to the top. But there are many places and benches to stop and rest if you are out of shape like me. ☺

1 month ago

Easy and beautiful trail! The last ice cave has a beautiful waterfall at the end of it if you peek down it from the right angle. I would recommend staying on the designated trail though. Avalanche debris field galore if you veer off!

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago