Eben Ice Caves: The UP's Must Visit Winter Destination Now
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a dream during the summer and when winter comes through, a winter wonderland. Because there are so many options to choose from, make sure to spend your time doing the best. If you’re lucky enough to be in the UP during the winter, make sure to include the Eben Ice Caves on your must stop spots!
Eben Ice Caves Overview
- What are the Ice Caves
- Where are they?
- Where is the trailhead?
- How difficult is the hike?
- What to Bring
What are the Eben Ice Caves?
The Eben Ice caves are one of Michigan’s top winter attractions that should be experienced by all Winter visitors. When the temperatures start to drop, the formation of majestic ice caves begin.
Eben Ice Caves Current Conditions (1/11/21)
As of 1/11/21 the Ice Caves are formed but not as dramatic as last year yet. The warm winter hasn’t let the caves really showcase their majesty but it’s still a worthwhile trip at this point, especially only 30 minutes from Marquette.
Directions to Eben Ice Caves
The Eben Ice Caves are located in Eben, Michigan, about 30 minutes south east of Marquette.
The ice caves are apart of the Hiawatha National Forest and are a must visit spot during winter. Here are the Directions from Marquette to the Ice Caves:
- Follow Highway 41 S out of town until you hit M-94 E to Skandia
- Follow M-94 E for 12 miles and make a left onto Eben Rd
- Follow Eben Rd for 1.5 miles and turn right onto Frey Rd
Hiking to the Ice Caves - Length, Time, Difficulty
The hike to the caves is moderate. The beginning part of the trail is flat through open farm fields and eventually slopes down as you meander through a gorgeous forest of sprawling trees. You will eventually find your way to a river that isn’t clearly marked but stay right. Once you see a trail shortly after follow it up to the caves. The climb is somewhat steep but nothing drastic.
The hardest part of the hike is finding the right path up to the caves. Although it’s not very challenging, you can easily get of track if there’s snowfall or no prior footprints up the path. Luckily the paths are all pretty close and if you do miss them you won’t be lost long.
The hike should take you about 25 minutes each way and is around 2 miles roundtrip. If you need trail map for the Eben Ice Caves, head over to alltrails
If you fee like you are lost or going off trail don’t worry because there different ways to get to the caves. There is also a path that takes you ABOVE the caves if you are interested in taking in the perspective from above. That trail is about at the halfway mark and if you aren’t looking for it/fresh snow fall, you will most likely pass it by.
What do I need to bring with me?
You definitely should bring some type of winter traction device for your boots. Whether it be yaktrax, crampons, or micro spikes, you will be glad you brought them. If you’re going to go inside the caves (as EVERYONE SHOULD) you will need them to enjoy and not slip on your face
Eben Junction Area Info
- Bathrooms are available at the Eben Ice Caves! They consist of a line of Porta Potties in the parking lot.
- Food is available from the trailer that sells various fast food options and drinks. Hot Dogs, hot cocoa, and things of that nature.
- The parking lot will get busy and has overflow parking on the road you came in on.
- The New Moon Bar is just down the road and is a popular watering hole for visitors to the area.
- Hotels near the Eben Ice Caves are non existent. The best option is to get a hotel in Marquette or Munising!
Best Things to do Near Eben Ice Caves
The Eben Ice Caves are now one of my favorite destinations in Michigan during the winter. Only being 30 minutes from Marquette, make this Upper Peninsula tourist destination an easy Michigan Day trip. For more things to do near these amazing Michigan Ice Caves, check out my guides below!
Northern Michigan Photography and Prints
Thank you for reading and if you want to make your memories last forever, book me as your Northern Michigan Photographer
Don’t need a photo shoot but like any of the photos you’ve seen? Check out my prints available for sale at my Michigan Photographs store. Hope to hear from you on your trip and stay safe while enjoying the beauty of the Upper Peninsula.