The Ice Caves of Leelanau

February 17, 2014

IMPORTANT SAFETY UPDATE! The Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department has declared the ice caves on Lake Michigan unsafe!! The winds have moved the ice and there is now open water within feet of the caves, and the strong winds expected today and tomorrow will continue to push water and ice inland. There are also large cracks in the arches and they are expected to start collapsing soon.

Lake Michigan ... ice cave sunset II

Lake Michigan … ice cave sunset II, photo by Ken Scott

Ken Scott took a trip out to the massive ice caves off the shore of the Leelanau Peninsula near Traverse City. You can see a fantastic video of his explorations and should definitely take a minute to watch his cautionary video showing the cracks that can form in these massive structures. There are few things less forgiving than the Great Lakes in winter, and with temps forecast in the upper 30s for tomorrow, things could get very dangerous.

View Ken’s photo bigger and see more in his Ice Cave slideshow.

Although ice caves and similar formations form every winter on Michigan’s shoreline, these ones are particularly incredible due to the greater than normal mass of ice generating more force. They have made it all the way to national news and have drawn thousands of visitors. A couple more features are at Huffington Post, another nice YouTube video showing the structures and the crowds and this mLive article with directions.

4 Responses to “The Ice Caves of Leelanau”


  1. […] Little Finger has been getting a lot of national media attention for the fantastic ice caves that have formed off the Leelanau Peninsula, but it’s a good time to check out the Thumb as well! Turnip Rock is on private property and […]

  2. Karen Tedhams-Howard Says:

    Thank YOU – what a wonder of the Almighty, and He gave it to you to let us see! Thank you again for the beauty and awe of what nature can do.


  3. […] winter some incredible ice formations piled up of the coast of the Leelanau Peninsula, and the photographer on the scene was my friend […]


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