For the girl who has asked us to build her an igloo as a playhouse for her and her friends, I knew the Ice Castles were a must visit. We missed them last year when they were built in Silverthorne, CO so this year we made a point of seeking them out in Steamboat Springs, and before Spring melted them away.
Located at Ski Times Square, they were easy walking distance from the base of the ski resort, and our hotel room at the Steamboat Grand. We chose to visit at night when they are most spectacular. The ice has an eerie, transcendent glow amid a myriad of blues, yellow, pinks and greens lighting it from within.
Reagan led the way through multiple corridors, only pausing long enough for me to snap an occasional picture with my iPhone. Such a shame I didn’t bring a better camera. However, even at only 5mp, it was easy to get some great shots. It’s no wonder the Ice Castles beckon photographers of all skill levels to capture their icy beauty.
It took three men working 80-100 hours a week for three straight weeks to build the walls, archways and tunnels of the structure, which tower up to 30 feet in height and span over an acre. The ice is constantly shape-shifting with each snowfall and the rising mercury. A visitor in January will see something very different in March. And, sometime during the month of March, which only has a little over a week left in it, all their hard work will be gone.
I spoke with a member of the Ice Castles team who said she didn’t know if they would be returning to Colorado next year, and if they did, where they would be erected. I was so sad to hear this, and even more thankful we made the trip. Even if it meant reigniting Reagan’s imaginative desire to have a sleepover in an icy tomb.
Tickets: Adults $12, children 6-12 years $8, family 4 pack (2 adults, 2 children) $32. Purchase in advance at steamboat.com, or at the igloo entrance to the Ice Castles.
Hours: noon – 10pm, Monday – Saturday; noon – 8pm, Sundays.
Address: 1900 Ski Times Square, Steamboat, CO.
Better hurry! And don’t forget to bring your best camera!