How to Visit Devil's Island in the Apostles

UPDATED - October 2022  |  Apostle Islands National Lakeshore | Lake Superior Wisconsin


If you’ve been dreaming of a vacation full of adventure and outdoor fun, look no further than the Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin. And if you’re looking for the ultimate Apostle Islands experience, it needs to include a visit to Devil’s Island!

As one of the twenty-one islands that make up the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Lake Superior, Devil’s Island is the furthest northern point in Wisconsin and is without question one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see. Dramatic sea caves and red sandstone cliffs, majestic arches, sunlight bouncing and reflecting in crystal clear waters, and an historic lighthouse keeping watch over it all.

Sound good? Let's go!!

sunset from a sea cave on devil's island in the apostle islands national lakeshore on lake superior wisconsin.

Another spectacular summer day comes to an end from inside a sea cave on Devil's Island.



There’s only one way, and it’s across the water! If you’re up for a challenge and have the requisite skills and equipment, you can kayak out to Devil’s and then explore the sea caves and rugged coastline for an experience few ever get. A word of caution: Lake Superior is notorious for unpredictable weather, cold water, and fog. Unless you are a VERY experienced big water paddler and have bomb-proof self rescue skills, it’s best to book a trip with a local outfitter.

Easier, safer, but no less fun - book a tour with a private charter boat, some of which bring kayaks and paddle boards along for guests to use once they reach Devil’s Island, and some that will bring your kayak along for the ride. Either way - sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride while cruising through the islands. If the weather cooperates and you're able to paddle the sea caves (all the photos here were made from a kayak!) once you arrive at Devil's, it's absolutely an experience that can't be topped. Life changing, even! A charter boat trip also gives you the option to hike across Devil's Island and see the lighthouse, keepers quarters, and other historical items up close and personal. If you're comfortable hiking off-trail, there are several gigantic old-growth White Pine to be found in the depths of the forest. If you haven't guessed - This option is BY FAR the best choice if you want more than the "typical" scenic tour as described below.

While those ^ are all great options for seasoned adventurers, most people who visit Devil’s Island do so aboard a tour boat operated by Apostle Islands Cruises in the beautiful harbor town of Bayfield, Wisconsin. During the narrated Grand Tour, you’ll learn about the history of the Apostle Islands while reveling in the natural beauty that abounds here.

Pro Tip: Take the Evening Grand Tour for a chance to see an amazing Apostle Islands sunset!

devil's island, apostle islands national lakeshore on lake superior wisconsin at sunset in a seacave

Sunlight and sandstone shimmer and sway in the quiet evening waters of Devil's Island.



After you've had your fill of sea caves, sandstone cliffs, wildlife, and lighthouses, don't forget there's ample opportunity for more fun back in Bayfield, where you'll find family farms with fruits and berries to pick, orchards with every variety of apples imaginable in the fall season, and so much more!

If that isn't enough, just a short hop across the channel from Bayfield lies Madeline Island, which is probably worthy of a vacation all its own.

view from a porthole on devil's island in the apostle islands national lakeshore on lake superior wisconsin

The view from a small porthole in a sea cave on Devil's Island, on a day The Lake was dead calm.


Questions about any and all things Apostle Islands? DM me on Instagram.

Posted in How-To, Scenic, Travel.