Visit the Apostle Island Ice Caves

From our area to the top of Wisconsin is about 10 hours.  The choices were either to drive it all in 1 stretch, spend the night near Bayfield to arrive first thing in the morning. Or leave the night before, break it in half and arrive around noon on Friday.  10 hours is a long time to sit so I voted to break it in half.

I had a Marriott certificate that was going to expire at the end of April, I had earned that over spring break last year.  So I started on the Marriott site looking at a map of their hotel locations.  We settled on the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Close to the highway and free breakfast.   Had we not used the certificate it would have been $129 a night for two queen beds.  Staying there would leave us a 5 hours drive the next morning.

Up bright and early the next day, that hour time difference to central time came in handy.  Its an easy drive, lots of birch and pine trees the whole way.  We ran into some freezing rain, light snow, snow plows, semi trucks and low speed limits from time to time.  Arriving at our destination a little after 12:30 to find that cars were parking a mile or two up the highway from the park entrance.  That adds to the walk a bit!  We wore and highly recommend Yak-Trax. They are about $30 a pair but priceless after walking around on the smooth ice.

The walk on the beach/lake was pretty packed down by people for the most part. If you got out of the path to pass people it had some parts where you sank in the snow a bit.  Still safe but harder to walk in.  For a while we considered leaving our ski poles behind to pick up later, unsure if we really needed them.  Some people towed their kids in sleds, some had their dogs along.  It was a happy group walking the mile from the beach stairs to the first ice cave area.

This is the first ice area you come to:


I didn’t realize that the ice was all along the shoreline. I thought we might see 2 or 3 ice caves.  It goes for a couple of miles.  People encouraged others to go into the caves, told you have much room you would have. Kids called to each other to come check out this one!  They would slip into one cave an pop out another on the side.  People took photos for each other, smiled when the kids slide down an ice hill.  It was a fun, festive atmosphere for adults and kids alike!

15 16 17

We couldn’t imagine how tall the rocks were or that the colors of the ice would be so vivid!  I loved the blue color of this area!


Some were more of a yellow and brown.


The ski poles came in very handy when you stepped up on the smooth ice next to the rocks.  Even more helpful when it was time to step down. Some places the best way to get down to lake level was to slide on your bottom like the kids.

We spent a little over 3 hours at the Apostle Island Ice Caves.  They did have Porto-johns set up for visitors in the parking lot, and shuttle buses ran from town if people wanted to catch a ride to the cave area.

We drove the 3 and a half hours back down to Wausau, Wisconsin to spend the night before going to Green Bay the next morning.





Categories: Trip Reviews | Tags: , , | 24 Comments

Post navigation

24 thoughts on “Visit the Apostle Island Ice Caves

  1. this looks like a very cool and interesting place to visit, thanks for sharing it!

  2. Ashley @ A Southern Gypsy

    This ice is insane – I can’t handle that cold of weather haha. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler! 🙂

  3. Wow, that place looks amazing! What a great place for kids to explore!
    Thanks for sharing your outdoor post on The Maple Hill Hop!

  4. Oh wow, ice caves. So cool looking. I’ve never been inside one but I can see them being a lot of fun to explore. They look huge too. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler! See you next week 🙂

  5. That looks SO cool! It must have been so awesome to explore those ice caves. Fantastic photos!

  6. I found your blog on the Ivy and Elephants linky party, and I’m so glad I stopped by! I love the pictures of the Ice cave and I was amazed! My husband and I travel a lot, and I’ve never seen anything like them! I write a blog about our travels and have several posts about traveling on a budget. Stop by if you can, and take a look.

  7. What a fun experience! The ice caves are beautiful and sound like a very memorable experience.

  8. looks very cool!

  9. These ice caves look amazing. Seems like a really interesting walk and activity to do. Love your photos! Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler.

  10. Absolutely looks like my kind of day. Gorgeous ice formations.

  11. Very cool (literally). Do these happen every year in the winter time?

  12. What a great place for an adventure!

  13. This looks stunning! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  14. What an amazing place! Would love to see it some day. Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.

  15. whoa. Nature at its best.

  16. There were ice caves along Lake Erie near us too… a harsh winter but with a lot of natural beauty..Michelle

  17. Wow! These are VERY different from the ice caves we have in Washington that open up in July/August. Very cool!

  18. malaysianmeanders

    I wouldn’t have expected that the caves stretched on for that long. It looks like such a great place to explore. I would defnitely want some of those Yak-Trax on my shoes. What a great invention.

  19. Pingback: Apostle Island Ice Cave Trip Recap | stretchingittotravel

  20. Reblogged this on stretchingittotravel and commented:

    The ice caves are set to open again this coming weekend on February 28th!!!!

  21. what a wondrous place…looks kind of magical!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: