Sea Caves/Ice Caves

Icicles at ice caves

February 2016 - It's not looking good for direct access to the ice caves this season, but you can hike on the trail and view them from above. See more at "When the caves are not directly accessible" below...


The ice caves will be officially "closed" for the season starting today at 7:00 PM. The ice is really beginning to melt in the warmer temps and there are gale force winds in the forecast.

Stay on top of the latest conditions on the NPS Facebook pageThe ice line also has updated conditions at 715-779-3397 ext. 3.

The new $5/person fee (16 yrs. and older) is only in effect when the ice caves are officially deemed accessible by the National Park Service staff. At other times, the regular $3/car parking fee is applicable.

When the caves are not directly accessible, you can still hike on the mainland trail above the caves and view them from that vantage point.

Also, when there is solid ice on the Chequamegon Bay but not out at the caves at Meyers Beach,check with  the Washburn Chamber of Commerce for other possible places to get out on the ice to view ice formations even when the mainland caves are not accessible.

General information about visiting the ice caves when they ARE accessible:

Be prepared for a 3 hour hike (round trip) once you get to the ice. Allow extra time for parking and the walk to the stairs at the Meyers Beach access point. Dress for the weather and be prepared with proper footwear for conditions. Be sure to read the Park Service's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before you head out. On busy weekends, there is sometimes a shuttle that runs from Cornucopia to Meyers Beach.

Find more information on the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau Ice Cave page on their website.

A great place to start your visit is the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center which is open 7 days/week, located near the intersection of Hwy 2 and Hwy 13 - a perfect starting point for your trip along the Wisconsin Lake Superior Scenic Byway.

In summer, there are lots of ways to view the caves including:

Sand Island Sea Caves

  • Hike the mainland trail above the caves
  • Kayak to the caves in the summer
  • Take a boat tour with a local guide
  • Charter a boat
  • Take a cruise with Apostle Islands Cruises
For more information on the self-guided options, make sure to check with the National Park Service before heading out: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Also, visit the following sites for additional area information including dining, lodging and shopping:

South Shore:
Cornucopia, WI
Herbster, WI
Port Wing, WI

Bayfield Peninsula:
Bayfield Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Bureau (online lodging search)
Washburn Area Chamber of Commerce

Central Bayfield County:
Iron River Area Chamber of Commerce

Southern Bayfield County:
Cable Area Chamber of Commerce

The Business Directory (see menu on left) lists all area business and is searchable by category.