Apostle Islands ice caves set to open Saturday

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore ice caves set to open Saturday if conditions don't change

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore officials say the popular ice caves are set to open to the public Saturday if conditions don’t change.

The National Park Service made the announcement Wednesday. But officials urge caution for people who make the trek on Lake Superior ice.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports lakeshore planning chief Julie Van Stappen warns the ice is slippery.

Van Stappen says unlike last year, “it’s almost glare ice for a good chunk of the way.” Officials recommend people use crampons and use ski poles.

The ice caves drew more than 138,000 tourists last year as the deep freeze made the caves accessible to pedestrians for the first time in nearly five years. The park system plans a $5 fee this year for visitors age 16 and older.

For the latest updates on the Apostle Islands, visit the National Park Service’s website.

Below you can see photos of the ice caves from last year.

Apostle Islands ice caves set to open Saturday

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Apostle Islands National Lakeshore officials say the popular ice caves could be open to the public this weekend.

Lakeshore planning chief Julie Van Stappen says they’ll check the ice Wednesday, then make the call. The ice must be locked in and thick enough on the trail out to the mainland ice caves.

High winds are in the forecast for the area this week. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Van Stappen said it’s hoped the extensive ice cover on the lake will protect the ice cave formations from breaking up.

The caves were open to the public last winter for the first time since 2009. An estimated 138,000 people visited the caves last season.

For the latest updates on the Apostle Islands, visit the National Park Service’s website.