local adventures // big four ice caves

"Life is either a great adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

One of my goals for 2014 is to make time for more adventures.

In my opinion, some of the best adventures can often be found close to home. Taking a day trek to a favorite park or scenic vista has many advantages, including but not limited to, ease of accessibility, opportunity for spontaneity and free or low-cost recreational activities. Not to mention, it just feels great to get outdoors!

We recently took a family day trip to Big Four Ice Caves in Snoqualmie-Mt. Baker National Forest and it was the highlight of my winter. The caves, which are located at the base of Big Four Mountain, are only a short drive from Seattle, but it feels as though you are a world away!

A few travel tips:  Check the park's website before you make the trek, as the trail to the caves can be closed due to a variety of natural variables. Make sure you wear hiking boots. I personally recommend bringing a metal hiking pole, as much of the trail was covered with ice and snow. Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, safety first. This hike poses threats such as collapsing ice fields, avalanche and the potential of falling ice (as in boulder size chunks). Going into the caves is highly dangerous and could be deadly.  Though we did not encounter any dangerous situations, it was important that we knew the risks ahead of time.

That being said, I highly recommend this hike for all ages and ability levels. It is only mildly strenuous and the scenery is gorgeous.

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