Breathtaking Eben Ice Caves Guide in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Near Munising-Rock River Canyon | Map, Location, Pictures, Trailhead, Hotels-Lodging, Parking, Things to Do This Winter
See Breathtaking Eben Ice Caves Guide in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Near Munising-Rock River Canyon | By: Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Updated: December 27, 2022
Are you ready for a fantastic Pure Michigan winter adventure? The Spectacular Eben Ice Caves are located in the Rock River Canyon Wilderness in the Hiawatha National Forest.
These spectacular ice formations located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula near Munising are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Michigan this winter. Chris and I absolutely love it!
- These Michigan ice caves are also called Rock River Canyon Ice Caves.
Where are the Ice Caves in Michigan? Trailhead Map | How to Get to Eben Ice Caves
Eben Ice Caves in Michigan
The Michigan ice cave trailhead is located in Eben Junction (see our interactive map below).
- Eben Ice Cave is located 30 minutes west of Munising (22 miles) in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
- Eben Ice Cave is located 28 minutes south east of Deerton (19 miles)
- Eben Ice Cave is located 18 minutes south west of Au Train (14 miles)
How to Get There From Munising: After traveling 15 miles on M-94 westbound (follow the signs), turn right on Rock River Road. In one mile, turn left onto Munising Ave. In two miles, you will arrive in Eben Junction. Turn right onto Eben Road. In 1.5 miles, turn right onto Frey Rd. The trail head is on the right in a half mile.
Upon arriving at the Eben Ice Caves trailhead, you will cross through an open field toward a wooded path.
Parking will be along Frey Road or in the parking lot at the Caves. The ice caves are on the right side before the sharp left turn in the road. Oh, and these ice caves in the Upper Peninsula are free to visit! So add it to your things to do in Michigan this winter!
Eben Ice Caves Map and Trailhead
How to use the Eben Ice Caves Map:
- Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out.
- Click on the icons for more info and addresses.
- Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
- Click the small white rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header.
- Click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing. This will open a new tab in your browser.
Eben Ice Caves are located in the Rock River Canyon Wilderness in the Hiawatha National Forest.
How Far is the Walk to Eben Ice Caves in the Upper Peninsula?
The trail to Eben Ice Caves in the Upper Peninsula is about 1.8 miles round trip from the vehicle (per my walking app) and winds through tall trees. We walked all over so we might have added a bit of mileage. It's gorgeous!
Such incredible ice stalactites and vertical walls of ice! I'm just in awe of these incredible Michigan winter caves. It's a breathtaking phenomenon you won't want to miss!
When Are the Eben Ice Caves Open in MI?
The Eben Ice Caves in Michigan are open 24-7, so you can visit anytime after it freezes. We recommend January, February and through Mid March.
- Plan to spend about 2.5 hours there as it takes a while to walk there and back also.
What To Wear at Eben Ice Caves in Michigan: Top 4 Must-Have's
Ice Cleats at Eben Ice Caves
Plan on lots of snow (and ice) so dress accordingly. And by lots of snow there could be 1-2 feet or more, especially after a fresh snow.
1. Ice Cleats
Let just say...
We constantly saw people falling on the ice. The trip out there, especially the last bit is hilly, icy and well frankly, I wouldn't do it without these ice cleats.
We highly recommend the ice cleats I'm wearing from Amazon because:
- Super easy to put on and off
- They actually stay on and don't slip as you walk
- They are lightweight
- Come in a cute pouch for storage
You can also use Yaktrax.
2. Neck Gaiter
As you can see in the video, the wind can be fierce across the farmer's field. You need to protect your face or you will be miserable.
3. Warm Pants!
We have some great suggestions to stay warm here: Best Pants for Cold Weather
4. A Warm Hat!
Is It an Easy Walk to Eben Ice Caves? How Long is the Hike?
The first bit through the field is flat and easy as you walk through lovely wilderness areas, but then it gets very hilly, icy and a bit strenuous. (See our video above.)
If you plan to carry a child...I wouldn't. It's too dangerous with the ice and hills. If you have knee problems I wouldn't recommend it either.
These formations are created each winter by melting snow running over the edge of the small cliffs and freezes, forming spectacular "ice caves." When visiting, you can see gorgeous ice curtains and stalactites over the bedrock undercuts. The Eben Ice Caves are aptly named due to their close proximity to Eben Junction.
Things To Do in Nearby Marquette
We recommend heading to nearby Marquette to grab dinner and explore the area. Here are Things To Do in Marquette!
When Should I Visit the Eben Ice Caves?
Are you wondering when to visit Eben Ice Caves?
Due to the immense popularity of the ice caves, we recommend arriving early in the morning so you can obtain closer parking and enjoy the serenity of the caves.
- Not to mention obtaining better photos without the crowds. We were there at 10:00 a.m.
We recommend contacting the Alger County Chamber of Commerce to verify if the Michigan Ice Caves are frozen if you plan to visit prior to January 1st or after March 15th. They are a great resource.
- Generally, it is a good time to visit is after the area freezes, from mid December, January, February and through mid March. We were there January 24th.
How Long Do Eben Ice Caves Last?
It's generally safe to say the ice will last through mid March but anything after that is questionable. It's best to contact Alger County Chamber of Commerce to verify if you plan to visit after mid March.
Things To Do Near Eben Ice Caves in the Upper Peninsula
- New Moon Bar-Tavern - E2892 State Rd M94, Eben Junction, MI 49825. Hole in the wall tavern popular with snowmobilers.
Are There Bathrooms at Eben Ice Caves?
Yes! There are several porta potties/portable bathrooms provided by the landowners in the parking area but obviously not at the caves.
Trail to Eben Ice Caves is on Private Property
Since the entrance of the trail to the Eben Ice Caves is on private property, be mindful to carry out any drink containers or wrappers, etc. We want them to keep this natural phenomenon open for years to come.
The landowners also have a cute concession stand that is open on the weekends, so it's nice to buy a snack or hot beverage to help pay for the portable bathrooms/portable toilets they have on their land.
Where to Park at Eben Ice Caves
You can park along Frey Rd or in the parking lot provided by the land owners. The trailhead is to the east.
Hotels Near Eben Ice Caves
We highly recommend staying in Munising Michigan since there are lots of things to do, restaurants and activities.
Related Story: Top Things to See and Do in Munising.
We like to stay at the AmericInn by Wyndham Wetmore Munising. We have stayed here several times, we took the photos below. They have a nice pool, breakfast and homey feeling rooms.
Plus the AmericInn is close to Wagner Falls, Munising Falls and about 30 minutes from the ice caves.
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