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Ultimate Guide to Grand Island Ice Cave, Michigan (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

Ultimate Guide to Grand Island Ice Cave, Michigan (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)

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Grand Island Ice Caves on Grand Island, Munising, are spectacular and look dramatic. If you ever get an opportunity to travel to Munising, you should not miss seeing this endearing sight. Getting to Grand Island involves a 0.6-mile hike across the frozen Lake Superior from Sand Point in Munising.

Snowshoes are a must, but many people don’t have access to this sort of footwear but still manage to get across. The snow is deep in many places, but it is so packed that you can easily walk across without any equipment! However, many people prefer to get across snowmobiles too.

Grand Island Ice Cave Cover Image

The biggest attraction of the ice caves is the beautiful ice curtains and icicles that hang from ceilings and look like stalactites. But, how are they created? The water from Lake Superior seeps into the crevices and caverns along the sandstone bluffs, creating beautiful ice formations.

History of Grand Island Ice Caves

Grand Island Ice Caves play a massive role in Munising’s tourism, and it attracts people from all around the world. The east side of the island usually freezes later, but it looks picture-perfect once it does! People go out every day on foot or snowmobile to have a clear view of the unique ice formations.

Do not expect to see solid towers of frozen water when you come here. The columns are made up of tiny beads and icicle-like formations separated by vertical channels that allow water to pass through them. Things are more stable inside the ‘caves’.

The entrances to the caves are not like traditional openings; there is a huge chance that you may have to get up on a mound and squeeze through a tight opening to get inside. The actual formation of the opening will depend on how the cave had set up in the weeks before your visit.

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Geological Cave Formations

When you come to Grand Island Ice Cave in winter, you will get to see some of the most dramatic and spectacular sights on earth. The formations such as the ice curtains and the ice stalactites are a real treat for the eyes.

Wildlife in Grand Island Ice Cave

No specific information is available on the type of wildlife that can be viewed here, but we assume that you will find the usual species that you will see in every ice cave.

Is Grand Island Ice Cave Haunted?

It is not haunted, and it receives lots of tourists every year.

How Big is Grand Island Ice Cave?

The ice formations are more than 30 ft tall and stretch for hundreds of feet.

Grand Island Ice Cave
Photo Credit: Exploring the North

Grand Island Ice Cave Tours

Grand Island Ice Caves are much bigger and more dramatic than the nearby Eben Ice Caves, but it is worth every effort of reach here. You need to cross a snow-covered sheet of ice to reach the ice caves, which is the first challenge you will face here. The ice will be covered with a thick layer of snow, but the depth will vary from one place to another.

So, you must invest in high boots or a pair of snowshoes to counter this challenge. If you have hired a snowmobile, it is an excellent option to cross the ice, but if you have chosen to walk across, you should not hurry as walking through the snow is challenging and strenuous.

When moving towards the cave, always try to reach the mid-point of the cave complex as it offers the most dramatic formations. When you come near the caves, you can head towards the northeast or southwest.

The crowds are larger in the southwest as the formations are a bit higher, and the cave complex’s entire length looks stunningly beautiful. Once you are here, snap photos of the ice formations and the ice stalactites.

Tour Prices and Discounts

There are no tours available at Grand Island Ice Cave.

Is Grand Island Ice Cold?

This region experiences freezing temperatures, and any visitor should be dressed appropriately in heavy woolens or a jacket.

What to Wear?

It will be cold and chilly, so it will be good to pack in lots of warm clothes and heavy jackets to beat the chill comfortably. Many tourists prefer to wear snowshoes so; you may invest in a pair of snowshoes for a great experience at Grand Island Ice Caves.

Grand Island Ice Cave Hours

The caves are open throughout the day, but it is good to visit the caves during the daytime to avoid any mishap.


What to Do at Grand Island Ice Cave (Beside Tours)

There are no tours available for the Ice Caves, but a few private operators would offer snowmobiles to traverse the frozen lake. You can view the beautiful ice formations and ice caves and check out the Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse and the Grand Island North Lighthouse.

Best Time to Visit

If you want to visit the Grand Ice Caves, ensure that the lake is frozen. Keeping this in mind, the best time to visit Grand Island Ice Cave would be from late December to the end of February.

How to Get to Grand Island Ice Cave

In the downtown of Munising look out for the intersection of M-28 and E Munising Avenue and then head east on Munising Avenue. Proceed towards the big old Neenah Paper Plant, which is easy to spot as it is the largest structure in town.

Head past this plant and stay on this road as it takes a curve along the harbor. Before the road takes a sharp uphill climb, go left on Washington Street. When you follow this road, you will be going past the lakeside neighborhood and the medical complex, and both of these will be on your left side.

The road will change its name to Sand Point Road and follow it until you reach National Park Service’s Pictured Rocks headquarters. You can park your car wherever you get your room; it will be a bit crowded if it is a weekend.

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Hotels near Grand Island Ice Cave

The hotels near Grand Island Ice Cave are almost non-existent. The best option for you is to get a hotel in Munising or Marquette.

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Visiting Grand Island Ice Cave

Do you need more information before visiting Grand Island Ice Cave? Call (906) 387-3700 for an information packet.

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