Did you know... the mesmerizing icy creation known as the Utah Ice Castles began as a way to cure boredom one wintry day. Each year, the frozen attraction weighs more than 25 million pounds when finished and sprawls over one acre of open land in Midway, Utah. But, how did it become this fairytale ice castle creation?
The First Ice Castle
Ice Castles co-founder, Brent Christensen, came up with the concept at his residence in Alpine, Utah when his children were bored one winter day and tired of being trapped inside. After moving to Utah from California, he decided to embrace this winter wonderland and make his children an ice cave in his front yard.
His first-ever ice cave was a hit for his children and for kids all across the neighborhood! Word quickly spread throughout town. Soon, local curious neighbors started driving by his yard to see the ice cave, some even going through the cave to experience it for themselves. Eventually, Brent’s kids coined their dad's ice cave creation an “ice castle.”
With this beginning, the Ice Castles grew to become a major winter attraction in Midway each year. Now, with five locations at unique wintry destinations across the country, the Ice Castles is a company that works diligently every winter season to create magical icy creations and experiences that inspire and bring happiness, laughter, and unforgettable memories to all who visit any of its locations.
Making Today’s Ice Castles
Each year, the Utah Ice Castles are made entirely by hand. Brent Christensen is the lead artist and architect that makes each year’s castles unique and memorable. A team of 20 to 40 ice artists assist Brent in building the castles with man-made icicles. These dedicated workers grow roughly 12,000 icicles every day over the course of two months before the Ice Castles are complete and ready for visitors.
The handmade icicles are harvested for the castle design, then each is placed by professional artists. Icicles are intentionally and carefully placed to create frosty features such as tunnels, slides, fountains, thrones, arches, and more. Overall, hundreds of thousands of icicles are made for each destination.
Once the castle is finished, it covers approximately one acre in size and weighs over 25 million pounds. The magic of the castles is illuminated with LED lights at night. Each LED light is frozen inside the ice to make the experience even more radiant and breathtaking.
The Ice Castles are purposefully located next to a natural water source so the ice melts back into the local environment when the winter temperatures warm and start melting the castle.
Visit the Utah Ice Castles
With a new, unique design every year, thousands of visitors come to the area to view the captivating frozen fortress and experience its interactive activities. Bring your family and friends, also perfect for a date night activity, and walk through frozen tunnels of all sizes, witness the LED-lit sculptures, sit on frozen thrones, race down icy slides (adults and kids welcome), and enjoy your evening outdoors and under a starlit sky. Add another level of merriment to your experience and book a peaceful horse drawn sleigh ride through Rocky Mountain Outfitters to ride right up to the Ice Castles entrance. Get tickets online ONLY.
Be sure to dress in warm, waterproof layers! We recommend snow boots, waterproof pants, warm base layers, winter coat, gloves, and a beanie or something to cover your ears. This is an outdoor attraction during the winter season. Winter nights get pretty chilly.
Let's Get Social
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Read more about Other Icy Fun Adventures in Heber Valley and plan your trip to Utah this winter!