After completing Lake Twenty-Two I continued onto the Mountain Loop Highway to see what other adventure awaits. That’s when I arrived at the Big Four. I had originally heard about the Big Four Ice Cave on the news when someone died inside the cave back in 2015. It is not the first time mother nature has taken a life here. It’s an ice cave formed in the shadow of a mountain below an avalanche chute. It’s extremely unstable nature shouldn’t be underestimated.
When I arrived at the Big Four ice cave I noticed a single tour bus but an otherwise empty parking lot. It was around 4:30 PM on a Monday. In the summer months this place swells to capacity and beyond. I got out to stretch my legs and walk around a bit. There was an absolute silence to the place.
I checked out the bulletin board. It usually has a map, tips, warnings, among other important information. As I’m reading the signs I hear, before I see, a group of Asians who were on a scenic tour. We take a moment to exchange pleasantries when the unnerving howl of a pack of either wolves or coyotes comes roaring from the woods. A few of them glance at me with an ominous look. I laugh nervously as I wave them goodbye.
There was another couple who showed up briefly but after sharing what I just heard with them all their interest went straight out the window. They decided not to continue. On I went to the cave! The entire time I was walking towards the base of the Big Four I was spooked. It was an enjoyable hike but much more tense than the usual trek. But the trail itself is very easy. Elevation gain is minimum and there are no roots or rocks to contend with. It’s a little over 3 miles out and back.