Current Conditions

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Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is open year-round; however, the islands become much more challenging to access during the winter. It is always a good idea to check on current conditions before setting out.

This site is updated regularly to reflect the latest conditions, as is the Ice Line at (715) 779-3398 x3 and Facebook. If needed, contact the park headquarters directly at (715) 779-3398, during normal business hours.

 

Winter Conditions

The mainland area of the park, accessed from Meyers Beach is often accessible during the wintertime. During major snow events, it may be a few days before the road to Meyers Beach is plowed. Sea Caves Watch provides real time imagery, wind, and waves at the sea caves.

Updated on March 23, 2020
  • The NPS is closely monitoring the situation related to COVID-19. Visitors can be assured that national parks continue to maintain high standards related to the health and wellness of staff and visitors.
    • The park is keeping open spaces available where possible. Remember there are still winter conditions in the park including snow covered shorelines, icy trails, and frigid waters in Lake Superior.
    • No islands are accessible to boats due to ice in harbors and along island shorelines.
  • Current status of Meyers Beach Road: OPEN
    • Meyers Beach parking fees have been suspended beginning March 18, 2020 until further notice.
  • Current status of the Mainland Lakeshore Trail: OPEN
    • The main trail is relatively packed and can be slick.
    • Traction devices and hiking poles are recommended, as the packed trail may be slick, especially in and out of the ravines.
    • If you are choosing to hike during this pandemic, practice social distancing of at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Current status of the Mainland Ice Caves: CLOSED
    • The frozen surface of Lake Superior is currently CLOSED to public access at the mainland ice caves due to unsafe ice conditions.
    • Open water and frozen chunks of ice are floating around the caves and Meyers Beach area.
    • With the current conditions and time of year, the ice caves will not be opening for the 2019/2020 winter season.
  • Current status of Meyers Beach and Little Sand Bay Beach: OPEN
    • Beaches can be beautiful this time of year but are very narrow and contain unstable shelf ice. Shelf ice extends from the beach over the frigid water. Fluctuating temperatures cause shelf ice deterioration every spring, making it unsafe for travel. Walk only on the sandy shorelines.
 

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Summer Conditions

Sea Caves Watch provides real time imagery, wind, and waves at the mainland sea caves, as well as, wave conditions near Stockton Island and Sand Island.

 

Stay tuned next winter for current photos from the Mainland Sea Caves.

Winters in Northern Wisconsin can be quite frigid at times, with strong winter winds across the Lake, making it feel even colder. For the safety of our staff and visitors, the park will be closed under the following weather conditions:

  • Wind Chill of -40oF
  • Air Temperature of -25oF
  • Combination of -35oF wind chill & -20oF air temperature
  • Extreme snow conditions resulting in delayed removal of snow will close areas until snow can be removed (Meyer’s Beach & Little Sand Bay).

During a park closure due to weather, park offices will be closed, snow removal operations may be delayed, and the Meyers Beach area will be closed, including the ice caves (if accessible at that time).

Last updated: March 23, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

415 Washington Avenue
Bayfield, WI 54814

Phone:

(715) 779-3397

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