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Apostle Islands Tours specializes in adventure facilitation for Kayaking and Paddleboarding adventures in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. Apostle Islands Tours has been operating in the Apostle Islands since 2008.
Our kayak season begins when the water temperatures in the Apostle Islands reach 50 degrees. For the 2018 season it looks like that won’t happen until June 15th (apporoximately). We are allowing reservations as early as June 7th but if the water is not 50 degrees we will offer you an option to reschedule or a 100% refund. Our season ends October 8th.
If you do not have kayak experience we highly suggest that you go on a tour with a guide. It takes kayaking skills, you must be in good shape and you must be able to swim to kayak without a guide in the Apostle Islands. Tours are appropriate for beginners and inexperienced paddlers as we only launch in safe paddling conditions and guides are equipped to tow if necessary.
If you are visiting Bayfield from June 15th to Labor Day please book your rentals and tours in advance. That is our busy season and with prior notice we can guarantee a reservation for you.
Sea Caves can be found at the following locations and are listed from most impressive to least; Devil’s Island, Sand Island, Meyers Beach, Romans Point, Madeline Island, Red Cliff, Stockton Island, Outer Island, Ironwood Island, Cat Island, Bear Island, and Chequamegon Bay. You can expect crowds at Meyers Beach. The other sea cave locations you will have mostly to yourself. You will need waves of 1.5 foot or less to enter the sea caves.
However, there are other factors that will have an impact on your sea cave experience i.e. motor boats, crowds, accessibility, protection from the wind and extraction points.
Devil’s Island is the hardest to access and is really only accessible by boat if you want to get out there and back in a day. Sand Island is much closer than Devil’s and can be accessed by kayak in one day and there are very few crowds at Sand Island.
Sand Island does not have as many caves as Romans or Meyers but it is a much shorter and intricate stretch of caves. There is the added bonus that they are on an island and the 2 mile open water crossing keeps the crowds down. You rarely see motor boats at these caves. The crossing to these caves is dangerous, you are exposed from every direction, even a South can create waves and white caps by the time you are half way through the open water crossing to Swallow Point.
Meyers Beach is often crowded, sometimes you have to wait in line 30 minutes or more to get in to a cave and sometimes there are gas fumes in the caves from motor boats. The caves are amazing at Meyers but we suggest the 8 am early bird tour or the 4 pm sunset tour if you want to avoid the crowds.
Romans Point is a hiddent gem, it has caves that are as good and as numerous as Meyers Beach but without the crowds and fumes. It is a bit more sheltered from the wind and has several public launch locations. The private property owners have ladders leading down the cliff, which makes this the sea cave location with the most extraction points. Romans Point is appropriate for all ages and our personal favorite sea cave location.
Videos of Roman’s Point Caves
Madeline Island: There are about 1/4 as many caves at Madeline as those before it on this list but they are fun caves to paddle and if you look closely you can find one tunnel cave and one underwater cave. The caves won’t be as amazing as Devil’s, Sand and Romans but it is very protected from a West wind, so a good option for sea cave paddling on a West wind day, which is primarily what we get through the summer months. This location will have more crowds than Romans but still much fewer than Meyers.
Red Cliff: There are about 1/2 as many caves as Madeline Island but the accessibility and protection from the wind are better than anywhere else in the Apostle Islands. You will experience about the same amount of crowds as Madeline and you almost never see boats going into the caves like they do at Meyers Beach. The caves are accessible from the Red Cliff Ojibwe Reservation in Red Cliff, wi and you can put in right at the boat ramp at the casino. There is food and restrooms at the casino and lodging.
The rest of the caves: The rest of the caves on the list consist of a few caves at each location and mermaid rocks (sandstone that pops up above the water and looks like a mermaid would like haning out there). The caves in Chequamegon are the most accessible and protected among Stockton Island, Outer Island, Ironwood Island, Cat Island, Bear Island, and Chequamegon Bay.
You must be able to swim to rent any kayak from us. Sea kayaks are the only kayaks allowed for island crossings. Any person that can eskimo roll, rodeo re-enter and T-rescue a sea kayak and can demonstrate those skills on the day of your rental will pass our free safety test. If you do not already have these kayak skills we offer a 1 hour training session for $25 per person. Safety test requirements are being able to execute a successful; wet exit, re-entry and T-rescue.
Tours, Stand up paddle board rentals and sit on top kayak rentals come with free instruction. $25 safety course and safety test are only for sea kayak rentals and is not required for kayak tours.
Instruction is free for all our kayak tours, you do not need a $25 safety course and our prices include guide, kayak, wetsuits and all gear. Sea cave tours do not begin until water temperatures are at 50 degrees at the tour location. If you book a tour that has water temperatures lower than 50 degrees we will refer you to a boat tour. The trip minimum for all of our kayak tours is four people, most often the tour you sign up for will have 4 people booked by the time you launch, however If you would like a private tour for just two people you will have to pay for four people. If you are signed up for a tour that only has two people and you do not want to pay for a private tour we will put you on a different tour that has enough people signed up. We suggest you pack yourself a lunch or eat a meal before your tour. Please come with weather appropriate clothing. When you book a tour or rental and weather forces a cancellation, we do our best to accommodate you. We allow you to choose between a 100% refund, rescheduling for another day, or an alternate tour for $55. To hold a reservation we require full payment. If you cancel less than 48 hours before your reservation you receive a 50% refund. No show results in no refund. If we make it to the sea caves the tour has been conducted, regardless of how far along the tour travels. If we do not launch the sea cave tour due to weather you do have the option of a 100% refund.
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