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Awesome Eben Ice Caves Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

eben Ice caves in Michigan's upper peninsula
Eben Ice Caves in Eben Junction MI

Discover the Eben Ice Caves in Michigan

Have you heard about the Eben Ice Caves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula?

If you’re eager to see a real Michigan ice cave, where you can try ice climbing, think about taking a road trip to the U.P. this winter.

Truly one of the most unique geological formations in Michigan, the Ice Caves have become one of the most-visited winter travel destinations in Michigan. Located near Munising Michigan in the Rock River Canyons Wilderness Area of the Hiawatha National Forest, this not so hidden gem is a must on any pure Michigan winter bucket list.

Imagine glittery ice caves and ice stalactites all spread out in a wintery national forest, just waiting for you to explore.

Whether you’re looking for a breathtaking view or just a fun and interesting adventure, the Eben Ice Caves will not disappoint.

These magical ice formations are one of the of the most beautiful things to see during winter in Michigan, and we’ve put together a guide to help you plan your day trip to visit the ice caves for one of the most unforgettable outdoor adventures.

eben Ice caves in Michigan's upper peninsula

Visiting the Eben Ice Caves

How to get there: The caves are located south of Lake Superior near Au Train and Munising (they are actually in Eben Junction, MI). Follow M-94 West (Rock River from Munising for about 22 miles. At Eben Junction, turn right onto North Eben Road (m365) and follow about 1.5 miles.

You can follow the yellow signs marked ice caves. Turn right on Frey Road for the parking area. The trailhead parking lot is located on the right. Depending on current conditions and crowds, you can park in the lot or along Frey Rd.

Hiking to the Ice Caves in the Upper Peninsula

Follow the Ice Cave trailhead through a farmers field to a wooden path leading to the caves. The Ice caves are located about a mile from the parking lot. Exploring the Eben Ice Caves can be tricky. We highly recommend that you dress appropriately and think about using ice cleats to help you traverse the icy ground safely.

Please note that you must cross private property to access the Eben Ice Caves. The owners have generously provided port-a-pottys and also operate a small concession stand for hot chocolate coffee and other treats. Please be mindful of the property owners and treat the area with respect.

eben Ice caves in Michigan's upper peninsula

About the Eben Ice Caves

What are the Eben Ice Caves

Located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the caves are formed by melting water from the nearby Eben River and are part of the larger Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. A fascinating geological formation, and they are a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the natural wonders of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Also known as the Rock River Canyon Ice Caves, the Eben Ice Caves are a fascinating natural formation, made up of an intricate system of tunnels and chambers.

The caves are a popular destination for hikers, as the trails around the area offer stunning views of the caves and of the surrounding area.

The trails can be quite icy, so it is important to come prepared with appropriate clothing, footwear, and safety equipment. Again, we highly recommend that you wear ice cleats as the trail to the Eben Ice Caves an be slippery.

How Were the Eben Ice Caves Formed?

These caves are believed to have been formed over time by the melting of the nearby Eben River, and are made up of intricate and colorful ice formations. The caves are filled with ice of different colors, ranging from deep blue to light blue, and are a stunningly beautiful sight.

When is the Best Time to Visit the Eben Ice Caves

The best time to visit the Eben Ice Caves is typically from mid-December to early March when the ice formations are at their peak.

During this time, the weather is usually cold enough to keep the ice caves frozen, and the frozen waterfalls and icicles create stunning natural sculptures. However, it is important to note that the caves are also dependent on weather conditions and can be affected by changes in temperature, precipitation, and wind. It is recommended to check with local authorities or park rangers before planning a visit to ensure the caves are accessible and safe to explore.

eben Ice caves near munising mi

Why Should I Visit the Rock River Canyon Ice Caves (aka the Eben Ice Caves)

The Eben Ice Caves are an incredible sight to behold and a great way to explore the beauty of nature. The caves provide a unique experience and are a great way to escape everyday life and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Whether you’re a photographer, a hiker, or just looking for a unique experience, the Eben Ice Caves are sure to provide a memorable experience.

Hotels Near the Eben Ice Caves

Hotels in Au Train, MI

The Au Train Island View Lodge is located just 18 miles away from the Eben Ice Caves. This four-bedroom holiday home offers beautiful Lake Superior views and comes with a fully equipped kitchen, a comfortable living room and sleeps 12.

Hotels in Munising, MI

The Pictured Rocks Inn and Suites offers a wide selection of accomodations ranging from King Suites to Doubles. Cleand and comfortable, you’ll find a hot ub, pool and sauna here, too. The Alger Falls Motel is a good choice here, too, dependably clean with a microwave and refreigerator in every room.

More Natural Phenomena to See in the Upper Peninsula in Winter

Sand Point Ice Curtain in Munising MI

You might want to drive over to see these cool ice curtains, located just inside of the Picturted Rocks National Lakeshore.

Ice pillars up to fifty feet high have been discovered between Munising Falls and Sand Point Beach and are now marked by signs.

They are especially notable for their colorful walls of yellow, blue and white hues. Visitors must park away from Sand Point Road and take a walk from either Munising Falls or Sand Point Beach to the base of the formations to get a close-up look. Visit the Alger County Chamber of Commerce for more information.

Guide to Michigan's Northern Lights

See the Northern Lights

While you’re planning your trip, remember that northern Michigan and the U.P. are great places to catcha glimpse of the Northern Lights. Use our guide to Seeing the Northern Lights in Michigan for more tips on how to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.

Michigan Waterfalls Map

More to Do in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the Winter

Explore Michigan’s Frozen Waterfalls

If you’ve ever seen pictures of Tahquamenon Falls in winter, you know that it is a stunning wonderland, especially when blanketed in fresh snow. You can hike to fall or take a dog sled to check out these beautiful waterfalls, too. Here are a few more waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula worth checking out in the winter:

  • Munising Falls
  • Dead River Falls
  • Wagner Falls

More Travel Destinations for Winter Fun in Michigan

After you’ve seen the Ice Caves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, you’ll be hungry for more amazing winter adventures in Michigan. Here are some great trip ideas for winter fun in Michigan.

  • New Buffalo in southwest Michigan – fun hiking travels and cute downtown on the shores of Lake Michigan
  • Ann Arbor in southeast Michigan- hip downtown shopping area with great restaurants near the iconic University of Michigan campus
  • Bay City in Mid-Michigan – great antique stores and fun downtown area
  • Traverse City – close to some top ski resorts, great downtown, breweries, wineries and more
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eben ice caves michigan upper peninsula