Hiking Ice Cave Trail in the White Mountains

Ice Cave Trail set in the White Mountains of Arizona is a refreshing hole in the ground. The trail leads to Blue Ridge Cave (a.k.a. Ice Cave) located off Porter Mountain Road in Lakeside, Arizona.

The trailhead starts as a dirt road leads to a vulnerable, picturesque meadow where Porter Creek carves out the land and horseback riders follow each other through the tall grass.

The 3.5 mile trail winds along Porter Creek and the south side of Scott Reservoir before connecting to Blue Ridge Trail.

Scott’s Reservoir is a rather turbulent and murky lake. It is low from lack of rainfall.

Scott’s Reservoir Lake in Lakeside, AZ. (Photo/Kendra Yost)

Midway along the trail is the ice cave.

The ice cave is located approximately 500 feet off the main trail near the 2-mile point where the protective fence is barely visible off to the right. There is a marker that indicates the turn-off, taking you off the main trail.

The cave, actually a lava tube, is a constant flow of cool air (about 52 degree F). The cavern entrance is a hole in level ground most likely created by a cave-in.  Climbing inside the confined black hole required a flashlight that I did not have.

The first trail to the cave was marked by a group of local Boy Scouts around 1920, and it has been visited regularly since.

A tepee built of sticks sits along the trail. (Photo/Kendra Yost)

During the summer there is abundance of colorful wildflowers, wildlife and beautiful alligator junipers and oak trees. The cold air flowing from the cave is refreshing on a warm summer day.

The trail is moderate for hikers and difficult for mountain bikers.

The elevation for this hike takes place at 6,700 to 7,200 feet.

“We made it!”

To get to Ice Cave Trail from Show Low, go southeast on SR260 (toward McNary) to Porter Mountain Road (FR 45).  Go left at the stoplight and continue 1 mile to the trailhead on the right.

[All photographs taken with a Galaxy III Samsung. GIF’s by Google+.)

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