The news of the Apostle Island Lake Shore Ice Caves being accessible this weekend was very exciting! I was bummed last winter when I was much too busy with curling and life to make the 4 hour drive up to the shore. When I found out that my bestie Katie wanted to go hike out to see the caves, I was pumped.
We decided to go with the up early to leave option, meeting at 630AM! These trips are never without coffee for me and I’m happy to say, the sun is finally up at 630 in the morning.
We weren’t sure what we were getting into when we got to the entrance and saw cars parked for maybe a mile before and after the parking lot entrance. Luckily, we were prepared for hiking (it’s a mile from the beach entrance to the caves).
The ice was ever so slightly terrifying to walk over. You could see the bottom! There were lots of cool ice structures to see, some from cracks in the ice, some from what must have been a different sheet of ice the broke up into pieces and then froze again. Take a look at a couple pictures I snagged.
They weren’t joking when they said you would want some type of ice grips on your shoes or hiking poles. We went with the poles, and plenty of layers to make sure we stayed warm. As you would expect from a diabetic, my back pack was full of everything: water, snacks of all varieties, meter, extra hat and mittens.
We found a cute little cave, and I decided I should try to see if I could fit. It was tough to climb up the ice, but I made it! Of course, the only way down was to use the ice like a slide. I think the people around may have thought I was crazy.
We spent 4 hours hiking around, which was totally worth it to see the sites. I was impressed by all the different types of ice sculptures the lake made. It didn’t seem like we walked that far, but my fitbit told me that I took 19,000 steps! And we sure were glad that we got there early. Cars were parked a mile father away when we were leaving. I’ll leave you with a couple pictures from hiking around.
A quick stop at Grandma’s in Duluth for some (much needed) food, and back home we went. The 8 hours in the car were worth the 4 hours of hiking. Not sure when I’ll get to see something like this again.