Big Four Ice Caves

Granite Falls, WA
Length: 2.20 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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This beautiful trail is a great hike for every family. It is 2.2 miles roundtrip with only 220 feet in elevation gain, making it an easy trail to carry babies on, push an all terrain stroller, or let the little ones build their hiking muscles on. The Mountain Loop Highway closes during the snowy winter months, but otherwise this trail is usually accessible from Spring to Fall.

Start at the large trailhead and walk past the rock wall on a broad gravel trail that quickly turns into a boardwalk. When you come to the junction, turn left to continue on to the ice caves. If you turn right, the trail leads you through some marshes until you reach a picnic area and the bones of an old hotel, making this a nice side trip on your way back from the caves.

Pretty soon you’ll arrive at a large, white, metal bridge that crosses the crystal blue waters of the Stillaguamish River. Once over the bridge, the gravel trail begins to climb gently until you reach the end. The trail ends at a stone circle viewing area with a memorial stone for Grace Tam, a young girl who died in 2011 when the ice caves collapsed and she was hit with debris. Please heed the warnings and do not go past the safety of the circle, even if you see others doing it.

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Trail Features

Stroller friendly Yes
ADA accessible Yes
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception None
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Lake, Natural Play Area, Picnic Area, Shaded Hike, Viewpoint, Waterfall, and Wildlife Viewing

The ice caves are formed by melting snow, wind, and waterfalls from the cliff above. They are not actually made out of ice, but rather out of snow under an avalanche chute at the base of Big Four Mountain.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $5.00

Parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass or a $5 day use fee payable at the ranger station in Verlot. There is no paybox onsite.

Trail Contributor

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Hello! I am a former Journeyman Wireman turned stay-at-home mom to my four beautiful children. After growing up in the hot desert of Las Vegas, we decided to make a change and move to beautiful Snohomish County WA. I found my community here through Hike it Baby, and I now work to facilitate that for others. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods, come join me on a hike!