Ice Caves...A Spectacular Adventure

gals icecave.jpg
Ice Cave

Adventuring this past weekend with gal pals took us to the ice caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. This place, right in our backyard is pristine and rather untouched in the summer, but this winter has transformed into spectacular displays of ice and caves, real caves with cubbies, crevices, ice and frost formations that look more like underground stalagmites and stalactites. The stark contrast of the gradient sandstone cliffs along the lakeshore and ice is what has drawn "cavers" from near and far. As a local I was rather skeptical that this year the ice caves would look any different than in years past, but they are quite amazing and worth the trip up to Cornucopia to hike, ski or snowshoe out to view their majesty. It won't be long before mother nature's ice display will be transformed into drops of water that collectively become waves crashing into the cliffs this spring and summer. Instead of trekking out on frozen Lake Superior we'll be paddleboarding along the shore in the summer sunshine.

If you go be prepared. The conditions change daily. Be sure to check the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore site for up to date ice conditions. Here's a few things we recommend:

  • Buff neck gaitor and warm hat
  • Touchscreen friendly gloves for snapping photos
  • Wind proof pants and water resistant pants. You'll want to climb in and crawl around the caves when you're out there.  My personal favorite is the Sporthill's Zone 3 Pant. It's a go anywhere, do anything outside winter pant
  • Winter boots with good soles such as the Sorel Joan of Arctic
  • IceTrekkers to keep you upright on the ice and snow packed trail
  • Water and a CLIF Bar or Honey Stinger Waffle to refuel
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses even on a cloudy day to keep the wind and glare off your face
  • Ski, snowshoe or trekking poles for stability