MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The current conditions at the ice caves at the Apostle Islands are not allowing for access at this time and may not be ready until the end of the month.

According to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, despite freezing cold temperatures, thick ice has not formed near the caves on Lake Superior.

“There are many factors that affect the ice. One giant factor is the area is not protected from the wind. Sometimes, when the ice does start to form near the caves it can be blown out, as we saw last month,” Apostle Islands officials said.

Officials say their wave cam showed open water near the caves last week.

“For all of us hoping the ice caves will happen, we’ll have to wait to see,” officials said.

Officials say that with current conditions, if the caves do indeed happen, it will not be until the end of February at the earliest.

In 2014, a deep freeze made the caves accessible for the first time in nearly five years and hundreds of thousands of tourists visited.

The ice caves are located off the Wisconsin shore of Lake Superior in Bayfield.

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