Check out Wisconsin’s Red Cliff Ice Caves

Each individual winter, the water reliably freezes in Pink Cliff Bay, a sheltered cove carved into the Bayfield Peninsula. This indicates that you can obtain the glittering ice caves and formations that embellish the bay’s sandstone cliffs. But this special ice exhibit only lasts a several months each and every 12 months. So, when the temps drop and the ice thickens, seize your traction cleats or snowshoes and make your way to Red Cliff Bay.

Crimson Cliff Bay sits a few miles north of Bayfield and is aspect of the Pink Cliff Band of Lake Excellent Chippewa reservation. It is also 20 minutes thanks east of Meyer’s Beach front, a location together the Apostle Islands Countrywide Lakeshore that serves as the launching pad for the lakeshore’s famous ice caves. The Apostle Islands ice caves, on the other hand, lie along an uncovered area of Lake Top-quality on the peninsula’s western shore, where by effective winds and waves routinely occur up from the shoreline. This helps make the ice much too unsafe to traverse most winters – and therefore leaves the amazing caves inaccessible.

Crimson Cliff Bay, in distinction, is tucked into a quiet pocket on the peninsula’s jap shore, with shallow waters that swiftly freeze every winter season. So the cliffs are effortless to stop by with your favorite folks, and the ice is just as magical.

In Pink Cliff Bay, icy sculptures form each individual winter, many thanks to the drinking water that continuously seeps through the porous rock and out on to its confront. Once exposed to the air, the h2o freezes into intricate crystals lengthy, jagged icicles thick slabs of ice and almost everything in involving. The demonstrate is a colorful a single, way too, many thanks to the minerals in the rock, oxygen ranges and other components.

Take An Extraordinary Tour


The very best way to practical experience this stunning wonderland is by signing on for a tour with Rustic Makwa Den. Operator Troy Gordon is a member of the Pink Cliff, as are virtually all of his guides. This indicates your tour will not only showcase the area’s magnificent purely natural scenery but will consist of a cultural exchange as your guides tell you about their tribe’s extensive historical past in this location.

“You happen to be truly having a exclusive tour,” Gordon suggests. “There are so many beautiful factors to see, as well as our guides talk about our life in this article on the reservation.” Friends also enjoy having a tour led by just one of the Initially Peoples, he states.

Rustic Makwa Den delivers everyday ice cave tours when the bay freezes, which is typically someday amongst late December and early February. Commencing from the Famous Waters Vacation resort Casino, the excursions operate about two hours, and are quick ample for youngsters and amateur ice-hikers. In fact, the handful of caves open up for exploration have a tendency to be on the smaller aspect, so children have an a lot easier time checking out them than grownups.

Presently been to Pink Cliff? It is really well worth a return vacation, Gordon suggests, as the ice formations are under no circumstances the exact same. “The magic of the ice is that you under no circumstances know the place it will form, or what you may see.”

Explore Frog Bay Tribal Countrywide Park

While you are in the region, make guaranteed to save some time to take a look at Frog Bay, the nation’s very first tribal countrywide park. This park capabilities approximately two miles of trail winding by an old-advancement hemlock-cedar forest and down to the shores of Lake Outstanding, the place you can spy five of the 21 Apostle Islands. The acreage is also dwelling to bobcats, black bears, wolves and approximately 100 hen species.

A smattering of interpretive signage features some details about the crops, animals and the Anishinaabe, a culturally linked team of Indigenous peoples that consists of the Lake Outstanding Chippewa. Stroll the trails to master and recognize the prosperous background of the land.

“We want to give people today a feeling of place so you can acknowledge the place you happen to be browsing,” says Gabrielle VanBergen, who until not long ago was deputy administrator of the Red Cliff treaty all-natural resources division, “and truly get in the amazingly long, extensive historical past this land has experienced.”

Continue to be A When, In Type


As the Bayfield Peninsula lies in 1 of Wisconsin’s more distant places, plan to stay a couple of days. The Famous Waters Resort & On line casino is in close proximity to the bay, and all 47 of its rooms offer you sights of Lake Outstanding and the Apostle Islands. Close by Bayfield features innumerable lodging possibilities, from the posh Aged Rittenhouse Inn – Wisconsin’s initial bed-and-breakfast – to the Harbor’s Edge Motel to condos, cabins and cottage rentals. This means that whether or not you’re touring with your sweetheart or the children, you will be capable to come across the ideal place to stay.

Further Pleasurable All over the Location

Gas up alongside one another for your adventures at The Fats Radish in Cornucopia that serves up dishes such as Lake Outstanding fish tacos and connoisseur mac ‘n cheese, or test the Copper Trout for creative pizzas crafted from fresh asparagus, dry-treated prosciutto, smoked bacon and more, enabling you to share fantastic food items – and fond recollections of your excursion – with your family members or mates.

If your route house will take you by way of Ashland at the base of Chequamegon Bay, pop in at the Northern Excellent Lakes Visitor Middle. This instructive facility incorporates kid-pleasant exhibits, an artwork gallery and an interpretive path as a result of the property’s wetlands. A 5-story observation tower makes it possible for you to encounter additional of the area’s elegance even though capping off a quality getaway with your crew.

Up for additional outdoor wintertime adventures? Take a look at these 6 amazing winter season climbing spots in Wisconsin.