Trail to Big Four Ice Caves will likely reopen, but with warnings

VERLOT, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says it will likely reopen the trail leading to the Big Four Ice Caves next year but is looking for ways to deter hikers from entering the caves.

The trail has been closed since July 6, when rock and ice fell and killed 34-year-old Annalisa Santana of California.

The Everett Herald reports that the Forest Service is forming a team of trail builders, landscape architects and social scientists to figure out how to keep people away from the dangerous areas.

The snow and ice formation about 70 miles northeast of Seattle is the most popular hiking attracting in the Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

But the caves can be dangerous, and there have been three deaths from collapsing ice in the past five years.