Big Four Ice Caves Picnic Area
|MARCH 8, 2008 - It was raining heavily in
the morning, so I took my time driving to the parking area at the end of
the plowed portion of the Mountain Loop Highway, and the weather was
much improved by the time I set off. It was pouring rain the
last time I was here
in 2007, so the hike looked quite different this year. Last
year the snow on the road was getting thin by late February, but it is
still several feet deep this year, thanks to heavy snowfall. The
area is marshy with lots of little streams, ponds, pools, and creeks
along the road, and moisture-loving alders thrive in this environment.
I heard avalanches thundering down the sides of Big Four Mountain from
my safe vantage point, and saw flashes of bright blue as several
Stellars Jays flew in to greet me. The bridge across the
Stillaquamish River was destroyed in the 2006/2007 floods, so
after a short rest, I turned around at the picnic area and headed home.