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Ultimate Guide to Devil’s Island Sea Caves, Wisconsin (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

Ultimate Guide to Devil’s Island Sea Caves, Wisconsin (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

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Devil’s Island Sea Caves are on the western Lake Superior in the Bayfield Peninsula. It is so named as the indigenous people from ancient times believed that the evil spirits were made prisoners of this island. The residents of the islands misinterpreted the howling of the winds as the sound of the devils from the sea caves. 

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Devil’s Island Sea Caves, Wisconsin

The tourist guidebooks describe Devil’s Island Sea Caves as the crown jewel of Lake Superior, and rightly so. It has managed to attract visitors from all around the globe with its fantastic sea caves, hiking trails, and beautiful natural surroundings. 

History of Devil’s Island Sea Caves

Devil’s Island is known for the most beautiful and dramatic rock formations and caves that are found on its Northern shore. The caves were sculpted out of billion-year-old sandstone bedrock that got exposed through the island’s surface. The red and gold-colored sandstone was deposited in the area from the streams of the western hills.

The undulating of the climate over a million years helped lay a sandstone crust about 1800 ft thick. The ripples on the rocks that we see are from the gentle waves that passed a billion years ago, and they look like ripples on the sand bottom of the lakes caused by waves and currents. 

The caves are on the Northside of Devil’s Island, and they are exposed fully to the entire Lake Superior. It has helped create a network of red-banded sea caves along the Northern coast of Devil’s Island. When the surf on the lake becomes too heavy, the waves thunder against the sea caves, and a howling sound is created when the wind blows through these caves. Long ago, the residents interpreted the noise as the sound of the evil spirits. 

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Geological Cave Formations

Apostle Islands are a geologically rich area. Lake Superior has undergone drastic changes in the last billion years due to changing climatic conditions, glaciation, and sandstone deposits. The last Ice Age glacier had moved out of the area 12,000 years ago, leaving behind dunes and rich sandstone formations.

The Devil’s Island formation is composed of sand flats periodically covered by water, resulting in thin and easily eroded layers that are perfect for sea cave formation.

Mother Nature has beautifully carved vaulted chambers and delicate arches into the cliffs on the northern shore of the Devil’s Island. The sea caves are also a popular destination in the winter. The frozen water of the lake coats the base of the cliffs, and one would see massive pillars of ice hanging from the cliff tops after the hardening of the waterfalls. 

Wildlife in Devil’s Island Sea Caves

Devil’s Island is part of the Apostle Islands, and you will come across a wide variety of wildlife such as woodcock, snowshoe hare, whitetail deer, etc. Small mammals like chipmunks and red squirrels are also commonly seen here.

Is Devil’s Island Sea Caves Haunted?

Devil’s Island Sea Caves are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Wisconsin and one of the twenty-two Apostle Islands. There are no evidence, records, or documents to prove that they are haunted.

How Big is Devil’s Island Sea Caves?

Devil’s Island spreads over an area of 14 hectares. 

Devils Island Sea Caves Lake Superior
Photo Credit: Go-Wisconsin

Devil’s Island Sea Caves Tours

Devil’s Island Sea Caves are around 25 miles from Bayfield, the nearest town. One can sign up for a boat trip to get to the islands. The total duration of the tour varies from 3 to 4 hours, and it will take you through the heart of the Apostle Islands and into the Devil Islands. The caves here are said to be the jewel of the Apostle Islands.  

Tour Prices and Discounts

Several tour operators arrange boat trips to the islands, and the charges are usually around USD 170 pp. The camping charges at the primitive camping zone are USD 15 per night, and the camping reservation fee is USD 10 per trip. 

Is Devil’s Island Sea Caves Cold?

The weather remains comfortable in the spring and summer, but winters can be harsh. Sub-zero temperatures and bitter wind chills are pretty common in winter. One must carry adequate warm clothes to counter the chilly conditions. 

What to Wear?

People can wear anything in which they are comfortable, but you should carry appropriate swimwear if you plan to scuba dive or swim in the waters. 

Devil’s Island Sea Caves Hours

The caves can be visited 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 


What to Do at Devil’s Island Sea Caves (Beside Tours)

After the cave tours get over, you can participate in several activities to keep yourself busy at Devil’s Island. 

Scuba Diving

The north side of Devil’s Island provides an excellent opportunity for scuba diving for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful underwater rock formations. 


Many come to the Apostle Islands to experience the adventure of exploring the sea by boat. The sea kayaks are hugely popular for traveling among the islands and sea caves. When the weather conditions are favorable, operating the kayak on Lake Superior involves a lot of fun and excitement. 

Hunting and Trapping

Regulated hunting and trapping are allowed in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Hunting on the island offers a primitive experience and requires careful planning. 


hiking is a popular activity

Boathouse Trail is the longest trail on the island. It extends from the light station to the boathouse and small boat harbor at the island’s south end. The trail follows the remnants of the road that the Coast Guard once used to move people and supplies from one side of the island to the other. 


There are enough angling opportunities to catch Lake Trout, Brook Trout, and Brown Trout. The best season to go fishing is spring, as the water temperature attracts salmon and trout in large numbers. 

Best Time to Visit Devil’s Island Sea Caves

Many people prefer to come in the summer and spring, but if you want to see the frozen cliffs and walk over the frozen waters of Lake Superior, you can come down in the winter months. However, if you plan to come in winter, you must call up the Apostle Islands Ice Line (715 – 779 – 3398) to know the present ice conditions. 

How to Get to Devil’s Island Sea Caves

Apostle Islands are considered by many as a rewarding destination. There are no roads or vehicle access to any of the 22 Apostle Islands, including Devil’s Islands. Getting to these islands on Lake Superior would require some form of water transportation.

You can take out your boat and travel to any of the islands, such as Devil’s Islands, or you can take a shuttle or water taxi to reach the place. NPS authorizes Apostle Island Cruises to carry out specialized sightseeing tours and shuttles to any specific islands, including the Devil’s Islands. 

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Hotels Nearby

There are RV parks and campgrounds in the Apostle Islands, and you can choose one as per your budget and need. Hotels, motels, and B&B options are also available on the islands. 

Devil’s Island Sea Caves Fun Facts

  • The Northern tip of Devil’s Island is the northernmost point of Wisconsin. 
  • The rumbling in the sea caves could be heard even away from the shoreline, which the residents had interpreted as the sound of the evil spirits. 
  • There are no human inhabitants on the Island except the Park Service volunteers. 
  • People flock to the nearby town of Bayfield as it has a lot of restaurants, hotels, and good shopping options. 
  • Falling ice around the cliffs and caves is common. 
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 Devil’s Island Sea Caves Details 

  • Length: Devil’s Island spreads over 14 hectares.
  • Time Recommended: 2 nights minimum
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Kids aged ten years and above will enjoy
  • Dog-friendly: Dogs are not allowed on the tours but on campgrounds and trails. 
  • Fees: Camping fees start from USD 15 per night
  • Hours 24/7

Visiting Devil’s Island Sea Caves

Do you need more information before visiting? Call (715) 779-3398 or email NPS through the form for an information packet. 

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