Looking for a cool place to take your pooch? The Big Four Ice Caves has you covered, literally. This pawsome trail in the North Cascade Mountains ends up at a small network of ice caves. Although people and pets are not allowed near the caves, there is plenty of exploring to do in the area.
The trail is short and sweet, and combines natural surfaces with wooden boardwalks. After crossing the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River, you enter a thick fir forest. The fragrant air will definitely invigorate your pup’s spirits! As you pass through this area, notice the amount of trees that have been taken down by avalanche activity.
When you reach the open meadow, Big Four Mountain comes into view. Crystal clear water cascades over the cliffs creating an impressive waterfall. Be sure to stop and snap some photos of your pooch with this puptacular background.
The trail ends at an observation area that provides up close views of the caves. Formed by melt run off, these caves are part of the permanent snow fields created by avalanches. During the winter and spring they are covered, but they are visible from about July to October.
While the ice caves are pretty furrific, they aren’t the only things that make this hike beautiful. If you visit at just the right time, the wildflowers will be on full display. The waterfalls, snowcapped peaks, and lush forests also add to the hikes beauty. While walking through the marsh, listen for frogs and see if your pup can spot a dragonfly or two.
Primitive restrooms are available at the trailhead. You’ll also find a delightful picnic area. Bring a sandwich and some biscuits for your pup and stick around for lunch. While the barking lot is spacious, it fills up quickly, especially on the weekends. Try to arrive early to secure a spot. Don’t forget to bring water and clean up bags. No bones about it, your pup will love this trail!