Apostle Island Ice Caves May Open This Weekend

Officials Say Conditions Need To Remain Stable For Saturday Opening

Eric Vilendrer (CC-BY-NC-SA)

If conditions remain stable, Lake Superior’s ice caves in far northern Wisconsin will open this Saturday.

Rangers with the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore feel there’s enough ice between the mainland and Sand Island for safe access to the caves this weekend. Nevertheless, Chief of Planning Julie Van Stappen said the experience will be very different from last year. The ice leading to the caves is bare and slippery, and the formations aren’t as delicate.

Also, said Stappen, the caves may not be accessible for long.

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“I think it is going to be fairly short and it’s anyone’s guess,” said Stappen. “We don’t have a lot of solid ice beyond the shelf, so we have no idea how long it will last. But we’re going to really monitor it closely, and keep a careful eye on it.”

The U.S. National Park Service urges visitors to use cleats on their boots and avoid standing below large hanging ice features if they visit the caves.

Here’s the announcement of the possible opening on the lakeshore’s Facebook page: