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“Short, pleasant, easy hike - good for humans of all ages and dogs too”
Review of Big Four Ice Caves

Redmond, Washington
Level Contributor
106 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Short, pleasant, easy hike - good for humans of all ages and dogs too”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

My wife and I and our puppy (4-month old lab/ border collie mix) did this hike on a partly cloudy, warm, pleasant Saturday morning in late June. There was abundant parking available in the large trailhead parking lot. There are self-pay envelopes at the parking lot that you can use to pay the day use fee ($5 if I recall correctly), but if you don't carry around small bills, be advised to stop at the ranger station you will pass 15 miles beforehand to buy your day pass.

The trail is very easy and well-maintained, and features some picturesque wooden bridges and one longer metallic bridge. As of late June, the ice caves were still hidden by snow, but as far as I am concerned, the setting at the end of the trail is spectacular even without the ice caves visible. Impressive rock faces with streams of water coming down them; abundant greenery. Our puppy loved running around on the snowfield (her first experience on snow) . . .probably the lowest elevation snow you'll find anywhere in the area in the summertime.

The trail was fairly crowded; if the parking lot were full, the trail traffic would probably turn the experience into an unpleasant one. There were a lot of dogs (including ours), all well-behaved. Kudos to the Forest Service for allowing dogs on the trail (their friends who administer the National Parks do not allow dogs on trails at most National Parks, even though they do allow horses, mules, and llamas . . .go figure). Lots of kids. Several older folks who might not get around as easily as they once did, but for whom this trail is very feasible.

If you are seeking quiet solitude, my advice would be go on a weekday or go early or late in the day.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank kwa829
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
53 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“ICE CAVES July 2013”
Reviewed July 3, 2013

I grew up going here. I remember when we used to be able to go to the end inside to the waterfall. We also used to climb waaaay up on it.
VERY DANGEROUS now. Don't climb on the roof of the cave. The entrance to the cave is now only about 3 feet high.
The walk is very nice. They have done a lot of trail,bench and bridge work to improve the hike. Tons of trees have been cut (or fallen) and cleared from the path.
Take bug spray! Take $10 to put in the box by the walkway entrance and put the ticket on your car. Nobody was there to watch if you pay or not, but our parks really need the money so they can keep the trail useable.
There were several other families there, and once you are at the caves be careful not to slip. The heat was felt through the trees, but it was very refreshing at the top.
Sit and enjoy the view!

Visited July 2013
1 Thank SmallWonders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Big Four”
Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

Been there off and on throughout my life. Always a fun hike and easy. The road is often closed due to wash outs and other issues but you can find that info on washington DOT webpage. That search is worth it. Remember you are in the woods 20 some miles from any town so you will have limited cell services and ranger services too.

Visited June 2012
Thank cloyna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Everett, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good times”
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Very good place i used to go camping and hiking when i was a child and it was so fun. I think more people should go camping hiking or even just having a good old picnic would be an excellent time to get away far enough when you've just had to much and need to clear your mind.

Visited May 2012
Thank Heather B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Washington
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“I enjoyed this very much. It's near Granite Falls, WA.”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

When I went, there was a waterfall at the back of the cave. I was warned that my camera may get wet, so I covered it with plastic (except for the lens, of course). I got some very eerie looking images. Beware that ice water rains on you, and that there is water under and around the rocks under your feet. It is only a short walk from the parking lot to the ice caves, so you don't have to hike a mountain to see it!

1 Thank BothellPhotoGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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