Wisconsin Dells is known for its waterparks. It is the waterpark capital of the world, after all. But the Dells were famous and drawing visitors from all over the country and the world long before the first waterpark, Noah’s Ark Waterpark, opened in 1979. The stunning natural landscape of the Dells, Witches Gulch and Coldwater Canyon have been attracting humans for as long as humans have been there.
The Native Americans told a legend of how the Wisconsin Riverbed was formed by a great serpent, wriggling down from the north and his home by the Big Lake. As the legend goes, the serpent crawled over forest and fields and his huge body wore an immense groove in the land and the lake water rushed in behind him. When he came to the sandstone ridge of the Dells, he pushed his head into a crevice and pushed the rocks aside to create the narrow winding passage. The lesser serpents fled from him as he approached, which is the legend’s explanation for the formation of Coldwater Canyon and Witches’ Gulch.
In 1875, early landscape photographer H. H. Bennett established a studio in the city and took many photos of the sandstone formations in the dells, including stereoscopic views. The rugged gulch was relatively inaccessible in those days, so Bennett reportedly trekked the area when it was iced over. Carving steps into the ice as he traveled through the gulch photographing the incredible sandstone formations as he went. Prints of these photographs were distributed across the United States enhancing the status of the area as a destination for sightseers. While in Wisconsin Dells take some time to visit the H. H. Bennett Studio, a historic site operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
The gulch today is just as scenic and unbelievably gorgeous, but easily accessed by a wooden walkway. Even if you come to the Dells for the waterparks, you would be remiss to not take the opportunity to explore this wilderness wonderland. There are a number of boat tours which include a walk through Witches Gulch, and they are absolutely the best way to go. In addition to the chance to walk the gulch, you can view the impressive rock formations along the Wisconsin River, and you’ll learn so much from the guides about the geological formation, the legends, the history of the region and fascinating tales about individual sandstone sculptures.
The Upper Dells Boat Tour features the famous ‘stand rock’ where H.H. Bennett took the very first stop-action photo, and you will witness a trained dog leaping the great chasm, in addition to visiting the Witches Gulch. The Wisconsin Dells Sunset Dinner Cruise includes a lovely dinner and beautifully painted landscapes as the sun sets over the Dells and moonlight walk through the glen. Still others, portraying the glen as a ‘spooky’ place, and playing on the name and legends, promise a scary time. the Ghost Boat Wisconsin Dells Boat Tour includes many a spooky legend and an after dark adventure along the winding boardwalk.
When was the last time you enjoyed a special night with your special someone? A nice dinner, some relaxing music while you share the sunset, maybe a moonlight stroll? Its never too late, or too soon to plan a night out, and enjoy the beautiful Wisconsin Dells.
Take your honey on a Wisconsin Dells Sunset Dinner Cruise for an evening of spectacular scenery, gorgeous sunset views, and enjoy live music while you dine on a feast of grilled surf and turf, mixed green salad, cheesecake and more delectable dinner choices. Cruise the Upper Dells on the Wisconsin River and marvel at the sandstone cliffs, and unique rock formations.
When your cruise ends, walk hand-in-hand along the torch-lit paths of Witches Gulch, where you’ll pass even more stunning rock formations, and incredible natural views in the wooded gulch. Create some special memories with someone you love, with a perfect evening.
What do you get when you cross a jet-ski with a 40-passenger boat? Now, say we throw in about 1200 horse-power and a thrill-seeking Captain. You get a Wisconsin Dells Jet Boat Adventure and the ride of your life!
Ask one of these speed and spin loving captains what makes their Jet Boat Tours the best, and they will tell you, “Its two things… Upper Dells and Lower Dells” Offering the only Jet Boat tours that allow you to experience the Wisconsin River both above and below the Kilbourn Dam, these fun-filled tours take you past all the astounding scenery that makes the Dells area famous.
The Upper Dells features High Cliffs, like Romance Cliff, plus narrow channels and hairpin bends that make for a picturesque and exciting ride. Be ready for anything; high power slides, power stops, spin-outs. Enter the Lower Dells where you will get an up close view of the Kilbourn Dam, the first hydroelectric dam built on the Wisconsin River, and experience the power generated by a high-adrenaline jet-boat as you enjoy the unique rock formations, like the Hawk’s Bill which is an iconic symbol of the Dells, and speed by rocky islands into the wide open flats, where you’ll experience wide open speed and more heart-pounding splash and spin adventure.
This adventure is a blast for the whole family, its a sightseeing journey and an exciting thrill ride in one crazy good time.
See the beautiful Wisconsin River from aboard the Princess Kay Paddlewheel Riverboat. Its like a trip back in time as you enjoy the relaxing pace of a riverboat cruise, and the scenery along the river.
Ride on the open air deck to take in all the amazing rock formations that line the river. Or head inside to the climate controlled comfort of the dining room or the upper deck full service bar. Entertainment on board includes DJ and karoke.
There’s plenty of room and the Princess Kay is a perfect choice for reunions, weddings, or other group outings. The two hour cruise is perfect to enjoy a cocktail, and all the wonders of nature in a peaceful setting.
The beautiful Princess Kay is known as the Belle of the Dells, and its a lovely way to spend a couple hours of your Wisconsin Dells vacation.