Ice Cave Exploration

In preparation for BCA’s annual Earth Day outing set for April 25th, executive director Jan Swenson, board member Tama Smith and hiking guest Colleen Riley set out a week earlier to reconnoiter the Ice Caves on the Maah Daah Hey trail. It was a gorgeous spring day for hiking. We spotted the caves amid a huge rock face wall surrounded by leafing aspens. Once inside, we saw beautiful ice crystals growing in the crevasses of the cave.

Along the way we spotted newly emerged wildflowers, like crocus, prairie smoke and blue bells. Along the way we also picked up a few hitch-hikers — wood ticks!

We then drove to check out the Magpie campground which was the planned meeting location from which to start the hike on the 25th. From Magpie, we decided we just couldn’t leave the badlands until we also hiked to Goats Pass.

Goats Pass, also on the MDH trail, is now only traversable by foot, mountain bike, or horse. But in the old days it was used as a short cut for local ranch folk in their cars and trucks!

While our preview was a splendid day for hiking, when the 25th rolled around the national weather service predicted 70 percent chance of thunderstorms with winds over 20 mph and temps in the 50’s — a sure forecast for slippery gumbo trails and big shivers. So we reluctantly and sadly called off the hike. But we will reschedule it!