Apostle Islands Ice Caves

Apostle Islands Ice Caves

in the Winter the sea caves turn into ice caves and the main thing we can enlighten people to is that there is more than one Apostle Islands Ice Cave location. As a matter of fact there are more than one mainland ice cave locations, you just have to know where to look and we have provided a map below. Anything that is a sea cave in the summer becomes and ice cave once icicle start forming on the sandstone ceiling of the cave. The best ice caves are in a location where the water flows over or seeps through the sandtone. Anywhere that would have a tiny waterfall after summer rains is an excellent place to look for an ice cave after sub zero temps. Some of the best sea caves do not have much water that flows to them, so they are not as impressive at ice caves and some sea caves that get overlooked in the summer become the most amazing ice caves in the Winter because they have water that flows over or seeps through. The flow that falls over the cliff makes the largest formations and basically the taller the cliff, the taller the formation. The flow that seeps out of the sandstone can have wonderful clarity and shades of blue and finding the seeps are not as predictable as the frozen waterfalls. The Bono Creek Caves is one spot you’ll notice does not have much flow or seepage, Roman’s Point get some of the best.

Meyers Beach Ice Caves

Most people walk on the frozen surface of Lake Superior and this is what is referred to as the hard water ice cave season. Typically you need at least 6″ of clear ice to start exploring the ice caves on foot. If you don’t know the are you are exploring very well, you should wait for 8″ and if it is your first time wait for 12″. The Ice caves at Meyers Beach have not been opened to foot traffic since 2015. The ice caves in Chequamegon Bay are much safer and the hard water season lasts longer. The most famous Hard Water ice caves are the Meyers Beach Ice Caves. The Meyers Beach Ice Caves have not been opened to the public since 2015 but these photos were taken by Tad Paavola in 2017

Open Water Ice Caves

The ice caves are accessible from December to March and throughout that stretch there will be ice and open water at many of the ice cave locations. Typically and the beginning and end of ice cave season you can get to them by kayak or boat and this is what we refer to as the open water ice cave season.

Apostle Islands Mainland Ice Caves (Not Meyers Beach)

There are mainland ice caves at several locations including Bono Creek, Houghton Point, Van Tassel’s Point, Red Cliff, Spirit Point and Roman’s Point. The NPS does not really tell people about these ice caves but www.bayfieldkayak.com started doing tours to these locations in 2018. They were the first outfitter to do ice cave tours in the Apostle Islands. These photos all come from their tours of the mainland ice caves in Chequamegon Bay.

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