Hike with the Kids - Big Four Ice Caves

This is a hike that my husband and son have done together for the last two summers and it was finally time for me and baby girl to join in the fun.  It's a perfect hike with little ones: just two miles round trip and only 200 feet of elevation gain.  I would say that it's also nice that a good portion of the trail is made up of boardwalks, but boardwalks on trails tend to make my kids go sloooooow.  They either peer down through the slats as they walk or make a game of walking on each board without touching the gaps.  Also slowing us down: there are TONS of dogs on this trail.  But, since it is such a short hike, we weren't in any kind of rush and we all love to stop and pet cute dogs.

Once we wound our way through the forest, the view that opens up on Big Four Mountain is pretty cool.  You can walk down to the rocky flats and feel freezing cold breezes coming from the caves, which is nice on a warm summer day.  It's also fun for the kids to play with snow in the middle of August. 

It should go without saying, but if you go on this hike - don't go in the caves or walk on top of them.  Lots of idiots, FAMILIES even, going inside.  GAH. 

We found a nice flat rock for our special 'hiking snack' (which I recommend bringing to keep the kids happy) and then we headed back toward the trailhead.  The views of Mount Dickerman and Devils Peak are pretty stunning as you turn away from the ice caves.

Devils Peak on the left, Mt. Dickerman on the right

Right by the parking lot is a nice picnic area with bathrooms, lots of picnic tables and space to spread out a blanket for a post hike lunch.  Perfect summer outing with kids, just over an hour away from Seattle.  Highly recommend.

Here's the official info from the Washington Trails Association.


  1. Fun! My family has done this hike a couple of times and we always love the cool breeze that comes at you when you get close to the caves. So fun that your kids are old enough to make the trek:)

    1. yep, getting 'em used to the little ones now so that hopefully we can go on longer/harder ones together in the future!

  2. Great photos - have I said it already, I'm so jealous of your scenery and hiking opportunities! Looks like you had great weather! :)

    1. it's ridiculously beautiful out here; it still seems like yesterday that we left Chicago, so it still seems novel and wonderful to us, too :)