The Hidden Beauty of Wisconsin Dells – Witches Gulch

  • Jun 4, 2024
  • Reading time: 8 mins read
  • By Arunima
Wisconsin Dells

Do you like wandering in the forests, through the trees, bushes, and rivers, in the lap of nature? The scenic beauty of forests is pleasing, but the silence, the whispering of grass and insects, is a little spooky on the other hand. However, being in nature, away from the city crowd, is always a pleasure.

Well, you must have visited some gulches or ridden a boat before, but have you ever been to a Witches’ Gulch? Yes, you read it right, Witches Gulch, located in Wisconsin, a Midwestern in the U.S.A. state, is a magical place to spend your day and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience under narrow canyons. If you want to know more about this artistry, let’s hop into it.

Know More About Wisconsin 

Before talking about the Witches Gulch, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the state of Wisconsin, which holds a lot more fascinating stuff to offer. 

  • Wisconsin is bordered by two great lakes: Superior and Michigan. That’s why the state has 48 lighthouses watching the coastlines between the two lakes. 
  • Wisconsin is widely known for its dairy products, especially Cheese. The state has a great history and tradition of cheese production and is the cheese capital of the world.
  • Wisconsin is also called the Water Park capital of the world as it offers several water parks that are open year-round and are best for summer. 
  • To your surprise, Wisconsin is also a dominant producer of paper merchandise in the United States. With more than 160 mills, it produces everything from tissue paper to cardboard. Green Bay, a city in Wisconsin state, is renowned as the Toilet Paper Capital of the World

Furthermore, have a look at the best destinations to visit in New York to well spend your holidays with family, friends, and loved ones.

History of the Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells, the city where you will see the beauty of Witches Gulch, was called “Kilbourn City” till 1930. In the 1700s, a few French explorers of the great lakes region began marking map reference points. This was the first time when the Wisconsin River was marked too. The explorers marked it as “Dalles,” so over time, it was named “Dells.” 

In 1857, the railroad arrived and changed the landscape of the area forever. The Wisconsin Dells city, then, was named Kilbourn after the name of the President of the railroad company. Although the city’s name was Kilbourn, the locals always referred to the area as “The Dells.” Finally, in 1931 the city name was officially changed to the “Wisconsin Dells.”

Witches Gulch in the Wisconsin Dells is one particular area that has been the subject of mystery for years. So, come, let’s take a deep dive into it.

How Was the Witches Gulch Formed? 

A million years ago, when the region of Wisconsin Dells was the bed of a medieval lake, the terrain of the lake changed over time. Over time, wind and water carved out a wandering path through the sandstone and converted it into a deep valley. 

According to some studies, the riverbed, along with some steep walls of rocks, was formed when a glacial lake formed upon the breaking of a large ice block in the area. This event supposedly happened around 1500 years back. Now let’s have a look at what the Witches Gulch has to offer.

What Does the Witches Gulch Offer?

Witches Gulch Wisconsin Dells, as the name suggests, is a 2-mile-long narrow canyon through a hardwood forest. There are two options: you can enjoy the Witch Gulch, by walking through the canyons and, second, by riding a boat. 

At points, the canyon goes so slender, you can touch both sides at once. Although it does look like you will not be able to slip through, it plays tricks on the eyes, and there is plenty of room to walk through. 

Taken from the internet

People believe that the Witches Gulch is creepy. These canyons look paranormal to the visitors as they become foggy now and then. These are one of the few reasons why tourists are attracted to this place, and every other person exploring these canyons has their own stories and experiences. 

The Ghost Boat Tour

If you are more into spooky and fun activities, you can try the “Ghost Boat Tour” in the Witches Gulch. The Dells Boat Tours Company provides a 1.5-hour tour on the Wisconsin River. The after-dark cruise takes passengers on an excursion upriver to the eerie Witches Gulch, hailed as one of the most haunted spots in the Dells. 

Some special effects and the sheer nature of the river at night combine to form the perfect setting on the dark water. Legends believe of an ancient canyon buried deep in the rocky banks of the Wisconsin River, where dark things haunt the passages and shadows move in the moonlight. You can find out by lurking inside. Besides that, you can also visit the best theme parks in California to enjoy these holidays with vibrant cities, natural wonders, historical places, and more.

How to Get to the Witches Gulch? 

From the Wisconsin Dells, the Witches Gulch is accessible by boat only. It takes around two hours to reach the Witches Gulch via Upper Dells Boat Tours. Once you are at the Witches Gulch, enjoy the 2 miles walk through the canyons and experience the thrill and beauty at the same time. 

Witches Gulch boat tour price may vary from person to person. This price chart below will help you:

Upper Dells Boat Tour Prices
Lower Dells Boat Tour Prices
Child under 3 yearsFree

Tips you May Need while Travelling to the Witches Gulch

While travelling to the Witches Gulch, these are a few tips that can help you make your trip better and more convenient:-

Opening Time: 24 hours 

  • Preferred Time to Visit: 11 am to 4 pm
  • Address: 3951 River Rd, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965, 53965, United States
  • Contact Number: +1-6082548551
  • Witches Gulch is pet friendly.
  • Wheelchair access and parking are also available.

Things in Wisconsin Dells Other Than the Witches Gulch

No doubt, Witches Gulch is a perfect and time-worthy half-day trip, but if you want to explore more and spend a good weekend at the Wisconsin Dells. Here are a few more fun things and places to go in the Wisconsin Dells for your perfect 2-3 days trip. 

1. Mirror Lake State Park – If you want to enjoy a good sunset with a nice view, this is the perfect spot to do so. It is a 2,200-acre park with a beautiful lake, woods, cliff, and a beach to have a perfect evening with your dear ones. 

At the Mirror Lake State Park, there are over 19 hiking trails, and a few trails are used for skiing in the winter season. Some of the liked hikes are Echo Rock Trail (0.6 miles), Fern Dell Trail (3 Miles), Hastings Trail (2 miles), Ishnala Trail (2.2 miles), Kilbourn Trail (0.8 miles), Lakeview Trail (0.2 miles), Newport Trail (1 mile), Northwest Trail (2.3 miles), Pinecone Pass (0.4 miles), Pioneer Trail and Pass (1.6 miles), Ringling Pass (0.3 miles), Turtleville Trail (2.4 miles), Wild Rice Trail (0.6 miles), Wildwood Pass (0.6 miles).

 2. Devil’s Lake State Park – Located along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Devil’s Lake State Park offers majestic views from 500-foot quartzite bluffs overlooking a 360-acre lake. You can enjoy nearly 30 miles of hiking trails, lakeshore picnic areas, swimming beaches, paddling opportunities, and year-round naturalist programs.

3. Wisconsin Deer Park – For an educational petting zoo adventure, you can visit Wisconsin Deer Park. It offers an opportunity to explore, enjoy and feed over a hundred deer and other wildlife. Tourists can also feed deer by their hands and take pictures with them to make the interaction between humans with nature better. 

Here are a few reviews from some happy travelers – 

josh pagano
Sera k

If you want to take a break from work, be in nature, and experience calmness and adventures all at once, then grab your things, book your tickets, and have fun with your loved ones. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Which is better, Upper or Lower Dells?

Both the Upper and Lower dells are beautiful, but if you are out of time or looking for just a good half-day trip, then you should go for the Upper dells where you will get to see more scenic beauty.

What is the best time to visit Wisconsin Dells?

Although the city is a good place to go for all the seasons as it offers a variety of activities throughout the year, the most visited months of the year are March, July, and October.

How long does the Upper Dells boat tour last?

The Upper Dells tour lasts for around two hours.

Why is Wisconsin Dells so popular?

Wisconsin Dells is popular mainly for being the “Waterpark Capital Of The World” with the largest concentration of indoor and outdoor water parks on earth.


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