If temps don't drop, popular ice caves might not open this year

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Warmer weather has delayed yet another winter attraction.

The National Park Service posted on Friday that the Apostle Islands ice caves of Lake Superior are behind schedule due to the El Nino.

According to the National Park service, it's at least a two mile hike on the ice to get to and from the caves. The problem is, there's still open water.

The Duluth News Tribune says there were about eight inches of ice in front of the caves last week. But it broke up and is all gone now.

https://www.facebook.com/apostleislandsnationallakeshore/photos/a.198526510176211.56639.185894374772758/1209885865706932/?type=3&permPage=1

https://www.facebook.com/apostleislandsnationallakeshore/photos/a.198526510176211.56639.185894374772758/1211024442259741/?type=3&theater

The ice caves are currently closed and the weather isn't looking too promising, but officials with the National Park Service say the caves could still open this winter. It's just not as likely to happen as it was the past two years.

Last year, the ice caves were also delayed because of weather. They opened at the end of February and then closed again nine days later.

But the popular attraction drew in about 6,000 people the first day, and 37,800 people altogether.

That's compared to 138,000 visitors in 2014 when the caves were open for more than eight weeks.

You can see pictures of how the ice is progressing here.

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