Kayaking the Sea Caves of Lake Superior at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Bayfield, Wisconsin

By on February 13, 2019

One of the coolest things we did this past summer 2018 was to check out the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore by kayak. We were thankful this was scheduled for later in our trip because as of early and mid-July that year, the “sea caves” that we witnessed were still “ice caves.” We were there on a perfect 72-degree day in early August.

The company we chose to go out with was Lost Creek Adventures. They offer half and full day trips, as well as camping tours and SUP tours. We decided on a half day but will definitely do a full day trip next time. The half-day trip does an out and back vs. the full day trip starts in one spot but ends in a different spot so the views are always changing! The full-day trip is $119 a person and the half-day trip is $60 a person. They provide you with a wet suit, tadem seak kayak, basic kayaking instructions and a guide.

Which trip is right for you? If you are not an experienced kayaker, it is important to get some experience before you kayak at a destination location. The non-experienced kayakers can slow the group down significantly because they don’t know how to paddle and don’t have the stamina to keep up. If you have some experience kayaking, definitely try out the half-day trip. And if you are up for an adventure, the full day trip is fantastic and what we really wish we would have done.

If you have read our blog post on the Pictured Rock National Lakeshore, you know we love getting out in a kayak to view these natural wonders made of rock. There is something to be said about overwhelming the senses by getting in the water (or at least in a kayak) and touching the rock, going in a sea cave, and seeing the colors up close. At Pictured Rock they have a lot of colors but they don’t have sea caves. Check out the video below to see what I am talking about when I say, “sea caves.”

Entering our first sea cave

This was one of several sea caves we kayaked through. Some of the caves were quite narrow, some were open on top but quite high, and some we just zipped in and back out. The way these rocks have formed, and continue to take shape, is something everyone should see. There was one cave Brian and I chose not to go through because you had to lay your body flat against your kayak in order to get inside. We are not that flat and it looked way too intense for us. But everyone who did go it said it was cool, maybe next time for us.

It would be great to experience this in the winter months, which is most of the year in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I cannot imagine walking on this water but we sure would try if given the opportunity.

Inside a sea cave

The water was quite choppy, as a matter of fact, the Apostle Islands are known for the weather which is one of the reasons we suggest going out with a guided tour. The weather can change rapidly. It may look like it’s going to be a perfectly calm day but a storm can blow in from seemingly nowhere. We were very lucky that day and just had choppy water. Fortunately, the guide had a few ginger chews to help my unsettled stomach. Next time I will be prepared!

On the half-day tour you either get to see Romans Point or Houghtons Point, depending on the weather and wind. I think, and I should have taken better notes, but I think we went to Houghtons Point. If you can tell from the pictures and know which formation this is, please comment below. Thanks!

Inside a narrow cave with breathtaking color and height

This is someplace everyone should visit and there is more to do than just sea kayaking. We camped at Buffalo Bay Campground and Marina where there is also a hotel and casino, you can find out all about the campground, hotel, marina, and casino at the Legendary Waters website. We loved this campground! We were within a short walk from the hotel where we could use the showers, the indoor/outdoor hot tub, and the swimming pool. They only have 34 RV sites so I would encourage you to book early in the summer. You can rent canoes and pedal boats at the marina.

We fell in love with the little town of Bayfield, Wisconsin even though we had very little time there. There was shopping, a marina, and fantastic food! We spent most of our time in Joanne’s Scandinavian Store, grabbed lunch at The Fat Radish which had outstanding local food, and made sure to get out National Parks stamp at the Apostle Islands Visitors Center. We will definitely go back to Bayfield!

We hope this has inspired you to want to visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. If you do, tag us in a photo at #cruisinwiththecolemans. If you have already been there, tell us what you liked during your visit!

Until next time, keep cruisin’!

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