Ice caves wow visitors along Lake Michigan shoreline

Ice caves wow visitors along Lake Michigan shoreline

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Photo posted by Christina Burkhart (@C_Burkhart) on Twitter. Photo posted by Christina Burkhart (@C_Burkhart) on Twitter.

LELAND, Mich. (AP) -- Huge crowds of sightseers are venturing onto Lake Michigan's frozen surface off Leelanau County to visit ice caves formed by waves, winds and winter's prolonged freeze.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports the caves are on an ice sheet north of Leland.

Thousands of people inspected them last weekend. Lines of parked cars stretched more than 2 miles along narrow rural roads. The county sheriff's department assigned three deputies to direct traffic.

APP USERS: Click here to view more photos

The flood of visitors began more than a week ago after Northwestern Michigan College photography instructor Tom Auth posted photos of the caves online.

Auth says he's taken outdoor pictures in northern Michigan for 40 years and can't remember ice caves as big as these. Some are 30 feet tall and as wide as a two-car garage.

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