The rare back-to-back run of years of solid ice for visitors to trek out to the Apostle Islands Ice Caves has come to an end. With a strong El Nino keeping conditions unfavorable for stable ice for form and spring nearly here, the window for ice-making conditions that would allow visitors to make the journey on foot along the frozen Lake Superior shoreline has essentially closed for the year.

In a message on the Facebook page of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (seen below), staffers posted that essentially this year's chances to see the caves have dwindled down to nothing. Historically, the caves are usually accessible once every few years, however conditions have allowed for visitors to see the caves for a few years in a row. In years where conditions are favorable (consistently cold with no major wind events to break up ice formation), the caves are opened by the Park Service sometime between late January through the beginning of March. We'll just have to see what next winter brings.