Everything You Need to Know About the Apostle Islands Ice Caves

Bayfield, Wisconsin, is an amazing area that is well known for its beautiful landmarks and incredible attractions. Located near the scenic shores of Lake Superior, countless people flock to Bayfield each year to take advantage of abundant outdoor activities both on and off the water. One of the area’s most beloved natural attractions is the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. Whether you explore the caves via boat tour, diving excursion, kayak expedition, or on foot, the unique beauty and mystical atmosphere makes for an adventure that you won’t soon forget. After you’ve admired the caves, plan a visit to one of Bayfield’s best restaurants or historical landmarks by clicking here. With our guide, building your dream vacation is as stress-free as a stroll down the Lake Superior shoreline.  

Frequently Asked Questions About the Apostle Islands Ice Caves

When Are the Ice Caves Open?

Your ability to visit the Apostle Island Ice Caves depends heavily on the time of year and the current weather conditions. In the event of thin ice or inclement weather, the caves will likely not be open to the public. Before you plan your visit to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, always check with the National Park Service to see whether the conditions are safe. You can also call the ice line at (715) 779-3397 or visit the Apostle Islands Facebook page for information. If the caves are inaccessible, you might still be able to catch a glimpse of the red sandstone cliffs and caves from a distance thanks to the numerous hiking trails that surround the area.

How Do You Get to The Caves?

The Ice Caves are located in Bayfield County at the western end of the Mainland Unit of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. There is a parking lot at the end of Meyers Beach Road along the north side of Highway 13. If you’re coming from the twin cities, expect about a four-hour drive. From the Meyers Beach Parking area, a round-trip walk to the caves is anywhere between 2.5 and 6 miles, depending on how many caves you decide to see and how long you wish to brave the weather.

Visiting the ice caves isn’t just a winter activity! In the warmer months, the caves can still be accessed via boat or kayak tours. You won’t get quite the same experience that the winter ice formations present, but this is still an incredible way to see the natural beauty of Lake Superior firsthand.

What Do I Need to Bring?

Once you’ve determined that it’s safe to make the trip to the ice caves, there are a few things that you need to know. In the winter months, the shores of Lake Superior can be extremely cold and windy. It is crucial for your safety and comfort to wear plenty of clothing and make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots. You may even want to bring a ski pole so that you don’t lose footing on the slippery ice. Water and snacks are also a good idea, as seeing most of the caves will take you a few hours. Additionally, it’s always advised to bring a phone and a first-aid kit in case of emergencies. Lastly, don’t forget your camera. The ice caves deliver some of the most spectacular views in Wisconsin!

Where to Stay in Bayfield County


Tan guest room with fireplace, bed topped with tray of wine, cheese, crackers and grapes, and view of corner spa tubComplete your adventure to the Apostle Islands by unwinding in the warmth of a beautiful Wisconsin bed and breakfast! Stay in the cozy Pinehurst Inn Bed and Breakfast in Bayfield, WI, for the finest lodging in the area. Our lovely property features relaxing accommodations that are all equipped with the finest amenities. For example, the Birches Room in our Garden House is a luxurious and eco-friendly room that features a king-size bed, a large Whirlpool tub, a private deck, and a fireplace. Enjoy incredible views of the gardens from your balcony or revel at the majestic beauty of Pikes Creek Valley through your window. Your getaway to Bayfield, WI, is at the tip of your fingers. Book your stay now! 

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