Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands Ice Caves Close For Season

Cars of visitors line up along highway 13.

Cars of visitors line up along highway 13. Photo via NPS

After welcoming over 35,000 visitors since opening on February 28th, very strong winds and warm temperatures have closed the ice caves on Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

Only open for 9 days—they was a precautionary closure on Wednesday March 4th due to a weather warning—the majestic ice caves routinely drew multiple mile long stretches of parked cars along Highway 13 near Meyers Road, the access point to the frozen Lake Superior.

In a Facebook post, National Park Service staff cite the wind and warm temperatures increasing the potential of falling of ice formations and unpredictable ice conditions as the main factors that led to the closure.

Despite the short season, it was longer than what was expected after strong winds in late January that left open water in their wake and the accessibility of the ice caves this winter uncertain.

Access to the ice caves depends on ice that meets a rigid list of conditions set out by the National Park Service to ensure the safety of visitors. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore staff monitor and check the ice and open the caves only when they deem the risk low.

[via Facebook]

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