Take a tour through the ice caves of Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands

You can forgive Lake Superior for a braggy name. After all, it’s the largest of the Great Lakes.

Because of Superior’s massive size, you’d think that it would take an extremely cold winter to freeze even a part of it. And you’d be right, because frigid is exactly how you could describe last year’s winter.

In 2014, the Great Lakes reached a 20-year high of 88 percent ice coverage, and Lake Superior reached 95 percent. The safely walkable layer of ice offers a rare opportunity to make the mile-long trek out to the ice caves of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin and explore them by foot.

Luckily for those of us not local to the area, among the 35,000 sight-seers was photographer Eric Miller, who shared their icy beauty with the world.

Pete Miller from Minong Wisconsin with dog Max looking out of a sea cave

Minong, Wisconsin, resident Pete Miller peers out through an opening in the ice cave with his dog Max.

Icicles form on ceiling

The ceiling of the cave looks fearsome with a thick layer of icicles and hoar frost.


A nighttime photo of the cave interior taken by photographer Paul Johnson

Ice formations sunset rock face apostle islands national lakeshore

The setting sun casts an eerie glow on the rock face.

Frozen rock face along apostle islands national lakeshore of lake superior near cornucopia wisconsin

Two spectators are dwarfed by the wall of ice.

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

As night falls, the caves become peaceful and secluded.