Discover Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

Located in the picturesque Baraboo Hills of south-central Wisconsin, Devil’s Lake State Park has beckoned nature lovers since its establishment in 1911. Spanning 9,200 acres, this park is renowned for its dramatic quartzite bluffs, which tower 500 feet above the shimmering waters of Devil’s Lake. These ancient formations provide breathtaking vistas and some of the Midwest’s premier rock climbing experiences.

Outdoor enthusiasts find ample opportunities here, with miles of scenic trails winding through dense forests and rugged cliffs. Hikers and photographers are rewarded with stunning lake views and surrounding landscapes. Sandy beaches along the lake shore offer relaxation and recreation, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or lakeside picnics. Anglers can cast their lines into the clear waters, known for bass, pike, and panfish.

Devil’s Lake State Park also boasts a rich cultural and natural history. Explore Native American effigy mounds, remnants of early settlements, and structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Whether you seek adventure on the trails or tranquility by the water, Devil’s Lake State Park promises an unforgettable escape into Wisconsin’s natural wonders.

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Top 3 Facts about Devil’s Lake State Park

01

Quartzite Bluffs

The park is famous for its quartzite bluffs, which rise 500 feet above Devil’s Lake. These ancient bluffs are some of the oldest rock formations in Wisconsin, formed over 1.6 billion years ago.

02

Glacial Origins

Devil’s Lake was formed by glacial activity during the last Ice Age, approximately 12,000 years ago. The lake’s clear waters and sandy beaches attract swimmers, anglers, and nature enthusiasts.

03

Rock Climbing Destination

It is one of the Midwest’s most famous rock climbing destinations, with over 1,500 climbing routes. Climbers are drawn to the challenging quartzite cliffs and stunning views from the top.

Where to Sleep

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Mason Street Getaway

555 Mason St, Saugatuck, MI 49453, USA
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,165
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$475.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Juniper Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$198.00 / day

Hemlock Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$194.14 / day

Greenash Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Dogwood Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Camping and transportation in Devil’s Lake State Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Devil’s Lake State Park

To get to Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin, you can follow these general directions:

  1. From Madison, WI (Approximately 40 miles):
    • Take US-12 W/US-18 W towards Baraboo.
    • Continue on US-12 W/US-18 W past Baraboo.
    • Take Exit 92 for WI-159 N towards Lake Delton.
    • Follow WI-159 N and then turn right onto County Highway DL.
    • Follow signs to Devil’s Lake State Park.
  2. From Milwaukee, WI (Approximately 100 miles):
    • Take I-94 W towards Madison.
    • Merge onto I-39 N/I-90 W towards Madison.
    • Take Exit 106A for US-12 W/US-18 W towards Madison.
    • Continue on US-12 W/US-18 W towards Baraboo.
    • Follow the directions above from Baraboo.

Once you arrive near Baraboo, follow signs directing you to Devil’s Lake State Park. The park entrance is located off County Highway DL.

Places to Stay Near Devil’s Lake State Park

Looking for somewhere to stay after your day of adventure at Devil’s Lake State Park? Whether you want the full nature experience or the comfort of a cozy room, you’ve got options!

Inside the Park

  • Ice Age Campground: Pitch your tent or park your RV here and enjoy amenities like flush toilets and electric hookups. Remember to book well in advance!
  • Northern Lights Campground: Perfect for families seeking to catch some stars before bedtime. Make sure to secure your spot early!
  • Quartzite Campground: Get closer to nature in one of the park’s most popular camping spots. It’s a favorite for a reason and tends to fill up fast.

Nearby Accommodations

Only a short drive from the park, you’ll find a variety of places to lay your head:

  • Baraboo: Just a hop, skip, and a jump away, this tourist hotspot has a diverse array of hotels and resorts.
  • Madison: A little further afield, Wisconsin’s capital offers hotels and motels for a mix of city life and nature.
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Best Time to Go to Devil’s Lake State Park

Summer

Summer

Ah, summer, when the park truly comes alive! Warm temperatures hover around 70s to 80s (°F), perfect for swimming in the lake or an adventurous hike. This is peak season, so expect more company, but don’t let that deter you—the vibrancy of a bustling park adds its own charm.

  • Activities: Swimming, hiking, boating
  • Weather: Warm, great for outdoor activities
  • Visitor Count: High
Winter

Winter

Ready for some chilly fun? Winter transforms the park into a snowy playground with temperatures often below freezing. It’s a unique time to visit, with activities like snowshoeing or ice fishing taking center stage. Fewer visitors mean more serenity and unspoiled snowy vistas just for you.

  • Winter Sports: Snowshoeing, ice fishing
  • Accessibility: Some areas may be less accessible due to snow
  • Temperature: Cold, often below freezing
Spring

Spring

As the snow melts away, spring breathes new life into the park. Temperatures range from cool to comfortable, averaging from high 30s to 60s (°F). If you’re eager to witness the blossoming flora, this is your time. Hiking is a real treat with fewer visitors and the lake’s shores just beginning to buzz with activity.

  • Temperatures: Cool to mild
  • Visitor Count: Lower than peak season
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Fall

Craving a splash of color? Fall brings stunning fall foliage, with a dramatic display of reds, oranges, and yellows. Temperatures drop to a crisp 50s to 60s (°F), and the lower visitor count offers a more tranquil experience. Don’t forget your camera; those fall colors are a must-capture!

  • Activities: Hiking, photography
  • Fall Colors: A vibrant display
  • Visitor Count: Moderate to low

Must-See Attractions

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Devil’s Lake

The centerpiece of the park, Devil’s Lake, offers stunning views and recreational opportunities. Relax on the sandy beaches, swim in the clear waters (seasonally permitted), or enjoy a lakeside picnic.

Devil’s Doorway

A dramatic rock formation that is accessible via the Devil’s Doorway Trail. The overlook provides breathtaking views of Devil’s Lake and the Baraboo Hills.

East Bluff Trail

This trail provides a more strenuous hike but rewards with spectacular vistas from atop the East Bluff. It’s a favorite among hikers and photographers for its expansive views.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Devil’s Lake State Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

If camping overnight, reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons. The park offers both family and group campsites.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a map or trail guide. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes suitable for hiking.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Devil’s Lake is home to diverse wildlife and fragile ecosystems. Observe wildlife from a safe distance, refrain from feeding them, and leave natural objects undisturbed.

Stay Informed

Check Trail Conditions

Some trails, particularly those on steep bluffs, can be challenging and may require proper footwear and caution. Check trail conditions and difficulty ratings before setting out.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Devil’s Lake State Park

You’re in for a treat at Devil’s Lake State Park! With nearly 30 miles of trails, you can hike to your heart’s content. Fancy a swim? The park boasts swimming beaches perfect for a dip on a hot day. If paddling is more your style, the 360-acre lake awaits. Plus, with year-round naturalist programs, there’s always something new to learn.

Swimming is permitted at designated areas of Devil’s Lake from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. There are no lifeguards on duty, so swimming is at your own risk.

Devil’s Lake State Park offers both family and group campsites. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons. The park also has an accessible cabin available for rent.

Yes, pets are allowed in designated areas of Devil’s Lake State Park, such as campgrounds and some trails. They must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet and under control at all times.

Yes, non-motorized boats, kayaks, and canoes are allowed on Devil’s Lake. There is a boat launch area available, and boats with electric motors are also permitted.

Yes, fishing is permitted in Devil’s Lake. Common catches include bass, northern pike, and panfish. A Wisconsin fishing license is required for anyone over 16.

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