83 votes

Big Four Ice Caves

Granite Falls, Washington 98252 USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Wed 12a-11:59p
  • Independent
  • Not Wheelchair
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“a perfect day hike!”

From the trailhead hike through hemlock fir forest for a half mile to a junction with a spur trail leading to the Big Four Picnic Area. Go right for a three-fourth of a mile loop along elevated boardwalks over a marshy area popular for the song birds during the spring. Keep your eyes open for signs of beaver activity. The picnic area is the site of the former three-story 50-room Big 4 Inn built in 1920 and destroyed by fire in 1949. All that remains is the hearth and chimney from the lodge fireplace. Enjoy impressive views of the 6,153-foot Big 4 Mountain from here. A short connector trail leads from the picnic area back to the trailhead.To see the ice caves, turn right at the junction and cross the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River on a footbridge. Do not proceed beyond this bridge during times of avalanche activity. From here enter a dense pacific silver fir forest more common at higher elevations. Notice the increasing number of trees broken off by avalanches. As you leave the forest only small scattered trees remain as plants usually seen in high alpine areas dominate, even though the total elevation gain from the trailhead is only 200 feet. The viewing area at the end of the trail provides a close-up sight of the avalanche accumulation at the base of the massive north wall of Big 4. The caves are melt outlet openings at the base of permanent snowfields created by winter and spring avalanches and are usually exposed during late July or August through October.

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Reviewed by

  • 155 Reviews
  • 30 Helpful
July 27, 2014
Rated 5.0

A long, long drive to a not-too-long, not-too-hard hike. Worth it, most definitely. Stunning views.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 11, 2015

Looks like the US Forest service has closed access to the caves because the danger of collapse is too high at the moment.

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Reviewed by
Joel Schat

  • Photographer
  • 237 Reviews
  • 527 Helpful
June 26, 2015
Rated 4.0

Stay out of the caves during the summer!

I visited 6 months ago and since then the cave has shrunk in half! That being said it is a short hike to get to a really really beautiful ice cave! Highly recommended!

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Big Four Ice Caves

Granite Falls, Washington
98252 USA


Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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