For the second year in a row, the Ice Castles have returned to Dillon, CO. These formations stand up to 40 feet tall and are made completely of ice and can take up to a month to construct.
Ice Castles was founded by Brent Christensen after he began making these formations in his own front yard. He eventually started creating the structures all over the United States and Canada, with Colorado being one of the main locations. While Silverthorne has hosted the ice castles once, in 2013, Dillon is on its second season of the attraction.
The ice castles themselves can weigh up to 25 million pounds each and are placed in a maze like arrangement. Walking through them, you’ll experience archways filled with icicles, icy blue caverns, thrones, and slippery slides. In one cavern there’s a pool of water with a glowing fountain and around another corner you’ll get to see a pyrotechnics show.
An article from Amusing Planet discusses how Brent and his team builds these ice castles. “We fuse the icicles in formations – vertically and horizontally – where we intend for the towers and walls to grow,” says Christensen. “We start on the ground and as each layer collects more ice and thickens we add layer upon layer until the structures grow upwards of 20-35 feet tall.”
We recently visited the Ice Castles and were amazed at the sheer size and complexity of the structures. Our visit was also at night, so we were able to witness the multi-colored lights glowing from within. As you walk through, the colors shift and glimmer, making it all a beautiful spectacle.
There are also a few slides within the castles and the one we took shoots you through an icy, glowing tunnel. It’s a two-person slide, so you can race the person next to you. Though the attendant at the top helping you get on may take preference with a push head start.
You can visit the Ice Castles yourself through the end of February and potentially into March. The opening dates are dependent on weather, so check their website for availability. As far as timing, you can visit in the afternoon or wait until the evening to see them lit up. Tickets start at $15.95 for weekdays and $18.95 on weekends and we recommend buying them in advance as they sell out quickly during preferred times. If you’re bringing the little ones, their tickets are a few dollars less.
The Ice Castles are a must see attraction this winter and are only located a little over an hours drive west of Denver. You’ll find the castles at Dillon Town Park, where the structures cover almost an acre.
Find out more or purchase your tickets at https://icecastles.com/dillon.