Winter adventures are not limited to skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding! One of the many reasons I love Utah is that there’s opportunity for unique winter adventures. Two years ago, when I first moved to Utah, I discovered the Ice Castles in Midway, UT (outside of Park City). Yesterday, we revisited the Ice Castles for a different experience– a glowing, nighttime winter adventure!
This was the last time I went to the Ice Castles in 2014.
Our experience was different then last time for a couple reasons. Since we’ve been, they’ve changed the location to a different part of Midway, UT. I think that during the day, the scenery is even more stunning since you’re hidden in this quaint valley between mountains in this area right next to Wasatch Mountain State Park. In addition, we went during the daytime last time which changes how you see the castles.
About the Ice Castles
In case you’re not familiar with this “ice castles” concept– they are constructed entirely of ice, frozen, running water and snow. If I had to compare the structure to something, I’d say it’s like a giant sand castle? But instead of sand, it’s ice and way stronger. The walls are about 10 feet thick, and the entire structure weighs about 25,000,000 pounds! Woah.
To be honest, I’m getting pretty tired of winter. I’m ready for it to be over already. I miss hiking in the greenery! But cool winter experiences like this makes winter more fun! One of the many thoughts I had when walking through the ice castles was, “what if one of these falls on me?!” Well, apparently, I am not the only one that had that thought cross their mind.
Science is cool… The icicles at the Ice Castles won’t fall on visitors:
Icicles at the Ice Castle are attached to ice. This means there is no weak point (i.e. a roof) limiting the strength of the structure. Connection points of icicles at the Ice Castle are proportional to the icicle. This means that the base of the icicle at the Ice Castle is the strongest, because it is the largest in mass and diameter. There is no dark material at the base of all the icicles at the Ice Castle that will heat up and cause melting.
BAM! Science wins.
Anyways, the real danger is slipping.
Plan Your Trip to the Ice Castles!
M–Th: 3pm to 9pm
Friday: 3pm to 10pm
Sat: Noon to 10pm
2002 Soldier Hollow Road, Midway, UT (Near Wasatch Mountain State Park)
Prices are generally higher on weekends and at the ticket booth. I suggest going on a weekday (if possible), and buying tickets ahead! They generally sell out on weekends, so plan ahead.
Child (4-11): $6.95
General (12+): $9.95
Child (4-11): $8.95
General (12+): $12.95
What to Wear/Bring:
Wear warm, winter boots with traction! (And warm socks. I forgot to wear good socks and my toes were freezing by the time we were done. Not fun!)
Dress in warm layers. I would suggest a ski jacket or something equally as warm (especially at night).
Bring a hat, gloves, and a scarf. Again, it’s cold and don’t underestimate the change in temperature, especially if you’re coming from Salt Lake.
Buy your ticket ahead of time! This ensures that they won’t sell out before you get there to find out, and speeds the check-in process along.
Bring a camera. Ice Castles are cool, and you’ll want to take photos to show your friends how awesome they are. Duh. 🙂