Dells of the Wisconsin River - Witches Gulch

Witches Gulch

After failing to see the falls from our earlier hike I wasn’t going to be defeated.  Today was perfect weather for a boat ride so we hopped on the Dells Boat Tour for a 2 hour trip.

Cliff views here in the Dells of the Wisconsin River are pretty amazing.  Lots of rare features that I can’t summarize in one post – you can read more here for starters if curious.  Wasn’t taking many photos on the boat ride because we boarded last and sat on the bottom level.

Overall the tour was about 2 hours.  After a 30-45 minute boat ride we arrived at Witches Gulch, a small gorge off the side of the river.  A plaque stands at the end detailing how the land was restored, donated, and “No one can own The Dells.”  Yet here we are in present day where it costs $30 to visit or be charged for trespassing if you don’t buy a ticket…

Views inside the gorge from the raised wooden walking path are quite amazing.  Temperatures are much cooler here and it is very peaceful.

Not far along the path we arrived to see Witches Falls and Witches Bathtub.  Not sure what the official drop is but looks like about 5 feet and is quite small.  Seems like water levels are low here but that’s just my estimation.

On the other side of the walking path was another small drop of maybe 2 or 3 feet and is largely obscured.

Witches Window is another labeled feature – basically a small hole through the rocks.

The tour then re-boarded our boats and crossed the Wisconsin River to the other shores.  From here the path led to Stand Rock, a large column with a flat cap.  Check the video below to see a dog perform death-defying stunts jumping across, first made famous by innovative photographer H. H. Bennett.

Heading back towards the docks there is a small feature called Demons Anvil and some other small features with spooky names.

From here the tour wrapped up & headed back to the launch point.  Fun Fact: Our boat was nicknamed Yellow Thunder after Chief Yellow Thunder of the Ho-Chunk Nation.  The US Government forcibly removed this tribe & stole their lands 4 separate times until Yellow Thunder bought 40 acres near Portage and returned his people permanently.

And after a short walk & duck boat ride we were back at the tour center right outside the Kilbourn Dam and spillway.

Here’s a short YouTube video compilation of the trip.  This is the first video I took on my new Sony a6400 and should be in 4K 24fps.  So far I’m impressed with the quality over my previous a5000.

That’s a wrap for today, stay tuned for 2 more days of adventure!

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