Paddle Through The Apostle Islands Sea Caves On These Epic Kayak Tours!

Ever imagined paddling through awe-inspiring sea caves, past ancient shipwrecks, and under towering sandstone cliffs? 

Credit: Instagram: coffeenhikeswrach

The Apostle Islands Sea Caves on Lake Superior offer just that—a breathtaking kayaking experience like no other. 

Perfect for adventure-seekers and nature lovers alike, this is your gateway to explore the raw beauty of Wisconsin’s most cherished natural wonders.

Credit: Rustic Makwa Den

Why Kayak the Apostle Islands Sea Caves?

The Apostle Islands are home to some of the most stunning sea caves in the world. 

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Carved by the relentless forces of Lake Superior, these caves feature intricate arches and chambers, where the sound of water lapping against sandstone walls creates a serene symphony. 

From the vibrant hues of the Red Cliff to the hauntingly beautiful night tours lit by LED lights under starlit skies, each paddle stroke leads you through a gallery of natural artistry.

Credit: Rustic Makwa Den

A Closer Look at Apostle Island’ Sea Cave Options

Red Cliff Sea Caves

At the heart of the Apostle Islands lie the majestic Red Cliff Sea Caves. 

Here, kayakers can glide through tranquil waters, exploring hidden nooks that are inaccessible by any other means. 

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The caves near Red Cliff showcase mesmerizing formations of the Chequamegon sandstone, so vividly red that it inspired the name of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe. 

Paddlers can also encounter the Fedora shipwreck while exploring these caves, so close that it feels within arm’s reach under your kayak, adding a touch of mystery to the adventure.

Meyers Beach

The Meyers Beach Sea Caves, located on the mainland portion of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, are perhaps the most famous and photographed. 

These caves are characterized by their extensive chambers, narrow tunnels, and echoing sounds of lapping waves. 

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In winter, the caves are adorned with icicles and frozen waterfalls, offering a magical icy landscape. 

During summer, the clear waters and overhead openings create a serene paddling experience, allowing kayakers to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty.

Sand Island & Devils Island

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Aside from these, other notable areas include the Sand Island Sea Caves and the Devils Island Sea Caves. 

Sand Island’s caves are fascinating, with large caverns and deep recesses that sometimes allow kayakers to paddle right through. 

Meanwhile, Devils Island features some of the most intricately carved caves in the park, with delicate arches and small keyhole openings that thrill more experienced kayakers.

Each area of the Apostle Islands offers kayakers a unique view into the power and artistry of nature’s geological processes, making it a bucket-list destination for paddling enthusiasts. 

Whether exploring the towering cliffs of Red Cliff, the echoing chambers of Meyers Beach, or the intricate carvings of Devils Island, the sea caves of the Apostle Islands are a mesmerizing encounter with the wild.

What to Know Before You Go

Safety and Gear

Safety comes first when kayaking on the unpredictable waters of Lake Superior. Tour providers equip adventurers with high-quality gear, including wetsuits, spray skirts, and personal flotation devices. For those new to kayaking, tandem options are available, offering stability and comfort as you navigate through the waves.

Best Time to Visit

The best kayaking conditions are typically from late spring to early fall, when the lake is calmest. It’s essential to check weather conditions before setting out, as Lake Superior is known for its sudden mood swings.

Choosing Your Tour

Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a beginner, there’s a tour tailored for you. Beginners might prefer the sheltered routes around Basswood and Madeline Island, while more experienced kayakers can take on the challenges of Sand Island or Devils Island.

Local Kayak Tour Providers

There are plenty of local kayak tour providers who offer awesome tours of the Apostle Island Sea Caves. Below are a few of our favorites.

Rustic Makwa Den: Known for their intimate group tours, Rustic Makwa Den offers both day and night tours, allowing you to experience the sea caves under different lights. They are veteran-owned.

Apostle Islands Adventures: Offering a range of tours from beginner-friendly excursions to expert challenges, they’re known for their knowledgeable guides and safety focus.

Superior Paddling: This operator specializes in custom tours, perfect for those who want a tailored experience exploring the caves and surrounding areas.

Making the Most of Your Visit

What to Bring

Prepare for your kayak adventure by packing sunblock, a windbreaker or raincoat, and plenty of water. Depending on the weather, you might also want shorts or a swimsuit to wear under the provided wetsuit. Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning scenery!

Respecting the Environment

As you enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Apostle Islands, remember to practice Leave No Trace principles. Preserve the pristine conditions of the sea caves for future visitors by minimizing your impact on the natural surroundings.

Final Note

Embrace the call of adventure and discover the Apostle Islands by kayak—a truly unforgettable experience.