I'm still exploring the Pacific Northwest, but I'm convinced if you've got family in town and want to show off a little bit, it's hard to beat The Big Four Ice Caves. This summer Lily was getting a little stir-crazy so I decided it was time to head back to go see the snow, which is still a pretty good novelty in the middle of July. My parents were in town as well, so I got to show off one of my favorite little places.
Return to the Big Four Ice Caves
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, WA
Lily - 2 Years 8 Months / Photography by: Ian Grant [book a family session]
Lily was ready to go and easily set the pace for the 2.2 mile round trip hike. It's actually quite doable for a toddler, but nevertheless I was relieved that she was able to tackle the whole thing without getting cranky and wanting to be carried two minutes in. To be honest, she made it probably 9/10th of the way round-trip. Right at the end she demanded to be picked up and then within about 2 minutes immediately passed out in my arms, but I mean when you see the energy in these photos it's pretty obvious why!
There were some breaks to be had that mainly involved looking for wolves and bears which Lily was convinced were around in plentiful numbers. We never saw any, but that was probably because they picked off some other toddler before her. They just weren't hungry at the moment thankfully.
The view of the snow pack is stunning with a gorgeous waterfall going down right into it. It's a sight that stops you in your tracks after running too far ahead of your dad.
The caves weren't too large when we were there, but you really can't beat the sights and the drastic 30 degree temperature drop as you get close to the snow. Lily was in awe, but her true instincts took over and she grabbed the nearest stick to try and get everybody cold and wet. Not nice. After that she decided to eat the snow, but apparently it tasted gross like dirt.
This is a child explorer's dream! Sure you can get bruised up and a little cold when you fjord through a river, but with a little supervision they can have a blast. Just don't go in the caves, bad idea. There are signs everywhere reminding you that you're on borrowed time. The state park system got sued awhile back because clearly it was their fault for not reminding people to not go in the caves because they collapse randomly. Seems like common sense, even to Macklemore at the beginning of his Can't Hold Us music video.
What better way to end a fantastic day then with epic water drinking/spitting photos. The photos make themselves.