Mid-January to mid-February is the most likely time to catch safe ice for walking to the ice caves, but even then conditions can change within a few hours.
Ice Cave Hikes - Getting to the ice caves
The Apostle Islands Ice Caves form every winter, but only during exceptional winters does the lake freeze well enough to allow you to walk out and view them. The Mainland Ice Caves run by the NPS can be accessed on foot via the parking lot at Meyers Road and are the most well-known. Other sea/ice cave formations can be found on Sand Island and Devils Island, but these are inaccessible during the winter except for those with specialized gear and knowledge.
When the Mainland Caves are closed due to unsafe conditions more protected cliff cave areas may be an option for viewing beautiful ice formations outside the National Lakeshore, but since these out-of-park options could potentially take you on unsafe ice or privately owned land we don't provide directions on how to access. You will need to explore, or if you are unsure contact us to organize a tour for your group. $25 per person gets you a guide trained in ice rescue, and they will tell you about the geology of the area, bring snacks and hot drinks, and help with photo ops!
Enjoy the photos and maybe we'll see you on the ice!