Centuries of wave action, freezing, and thawing have sculpted shorelines throughout Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Some of the Great Lakes’ most spectacular scenery occurs where these forces interact with sandstone to create extensive sea caves. Nature has carved delicate arches, vaulted chambers, and honeycombed passageways into cliffs along the mainland near the Lakeshore’s western boundary, north of Meyers Beach. People come to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in winter to visit the ice caves and witness Lake Superior’s ever-changing handiwork.
Report by Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: March 7, 2014
Cave Conditions: Open! For the most up-to-date information, check out their Facebook page
Please call (715) 779-3398, ext. 3, before you venture out to the ice caves.
Sunday, February 2 Pioneer Press Story with some great photos.
Sea Caves Watch
The Sea Caves Watch website features real-time images of conditions at the Mainland Sea Caves. Check this before you go out to see real-time conditions.
Meyers Road is about 40 miles north on State Hwy. 13 from Ashland.
From Ashland, take Hwy. 13 going west towards Superior. At the roundabout, take the first right towards Washburn, continue north on Hwy 13. Go past Bayfield about 10 miles and Meyers Road is on the right side.
Meyers Beach is a Recreational Fee area. Please pay your fee before heading out on the ice or trail. Please use the west side of Meyers Road for overflow parking. Traffic cones will be placed in the parking lot to block off areas for emergency vehicles.
NOTE: Because of the extremely high volume of visitors to the caves this year (more than 50,000 people have toured the ice caves during the past month!), the local transit system BART, is running a shuttle bus service on the weekends. The buses are available on Saturdays and Sundays only. The buses run continuously to and from the Meyers Beach access point and Cornucopia. Hours for the shuttle service are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost is $2 per one-way ride. The distance from where the shuttle bus drops off visitors and the beginning of the trail out to the caves is ¼ mile.
Can I take a snowmobile?
No, snowmobiling and ATV use are not permitted within ¼ mile of the mainland from Saxine Creek to Sand Point.
Can I take a bicycle?
No, bicycles are not permitted off-road within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, including on the ice.
How long should I plan for?
Most people find that 3 hours is a good amount of time for the hike out, time at the caves, and the hike back. At the present time, this might take longer, however, as thousands of visitors have been traveling to the area to view the caves, which are accessible from the mainland for the first time in five years.
When are they open?
The ice caves are a feature of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and do not have set hours. We advise planning your trip during daytime hours.
Should I bring my snowshoes?
Snowshoes are not advised except right after a significant snowfall! The trail is currently well packed down and a good pair of boots will serve you well. A ski pole and yaktrax or stabilizers on your boots are helpful though as the ice near (and especially in) the caves is, well, ice, and slippery.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes! All dogs must be leashed and you’ll need to pick up after them, but they are welcome.