A lot of people will get outdoors this weekend to enjoy the summer weather. But Forest Service rangers are warning people to not get too close to a beautiful but dangerous remnant of winter - the Big Four Ice Caves in Snohomish County.
"People have died here unfortunately," said District Ranger Peter Forbes, of the Darrington Ranger District of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
The caves draw about 50,000 visitors annually, but multiple incidents with falling ice and rocks at the caves have left people injured or killed. The most major event occurred in 2015, when one hiker was killed and five others were injured after a massive collapse at the caves. The ice caves were subsequently closed for about a year.
"It's not like a glacier where it's relatively stable. These things are made of snow. It can quickly melt and they can collapse without warning," said Forbes.
Officials are renewing the warning before what should be a busy, warm weekend.
"We want people to enjoy the national forest, but we want them to be safe doing it and not put themselves or others at risk," said Forbes.
Rangers often supervise the caves, Forbes said, but when they're absent, people often get close to the caves. Multiple signs warn visitors ot stay back on the trail.
Kimeree Bates hiked to the caves with her family Friday, and sat at the viewpoint watching people take pictures at the mouth of the caves.
"What concerns me is the big chunks of ice on top," she said. "They look like they could fall anytime."
"With my kids, it's not worth the risk," she added. "Just my opinion."
She recalled a 2010 incident, when a little girl was killed at the caves.
"It was horrible," she said. "I don't know what I'd do if that happened."
"It's not worth it," she said. "You can see it from a distance.