Cleveland's Outing to Big Four Ice Caves Trail head - Overlook

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Cleveland STEM High School
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Trip Type:
Snow Shoeing
8:30 am – Students arrive at Cleveland High School – breakfast, gear distribution, introductions, expectations, etc.
9:00 am – Load the vans! Leave for Big Four Ice Caves Overlook
11:00 am - Arrive at Deer Creek Gate (On the Mountain Loop Highway where the gate closes for the season)
11:00-12:15 pm - Snack and snow shoe to the Big Four Ice Caves trail head and parking lot
12:15:12:45 pm - Lunch
12:45- 1:30 pm - snow shoe to overlook
1:45-3:00 pm - snow shoe back to vans
3:00-3:30 pm - snack and closing circle
3:30-5:30 - Drive back to Cleveland HS
5:30 - Return to school, collect gear, say goodbye
We met at the school at 8:30 am and started gearing students up for the day and lunches packed and breakfast handed out. The roads were clear driving up to the Deer Creek Pass road closure and where the Mountain Loop Highway closed for the season. About 10 miles from the closure we stopped at the visitor center for a bathroom break. The bathrooms and visitor center were closed. Farther up the road bathrooms were opened but students ok to wait so we moved on. Quick note this center also sells northwest forest passes, I pre purchased my pass for $5.00 online so would recommend doing this for future trips since not a guarantee the center will be open. Arrived at Deer Creek Pass vans able to turn around and park off to the side. This was around 11:15 when we started snow shoeing. The trail was packed down so able to snow shoe but also some able to walk and carry there things. Again with the late season trip happy the snow cooperated and beautiful scenery.

The snow shoe to Big Four Ice Caves trailhead was around 2.5 miles. At times slow going varying levels of speed among the group but this was ok and with the weather on the warmer side students and leaders in a positive and happy mood. We arrived to the trailhead around 1:00pm and had lunch a nice shelter was there but students and leaders also ate outside. Weather sunny and great views! At this point it might have been ambitious to hope we could also continue on to the Big Four Ice Caves Overlook. I think it is possible but would need to start earlier or hike the trail in the fall or spring once the snow has melted and you can drive to the Ice Caves trail parking lot and then hike from there.
The group started back to the vans around 1:30pm and arrived back at the vans a little after 3pm. After a closing circle loaded the vans and back to school arriving around 5:30pm.
A great day of fun!!