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.