Although this past winter broke records in many areas of the country due to extreme cold and unusual high amounts of snowfall, Colorado's winter has been fairly normal. The high mountain ski regions of this state thrive on fresh snowfall, and winter activities and sports are a major part of the economy. One of the fun annual attractions to see in the ski resort town of Breckenridge are the Ice Castles. Beside Colorado, Ice Castles are also located in Midway, Utah and Loon Mountain, New Hampshire, but at 9,600 feet elevation the Breckenridge Ice Castles are the highest commercial Ice Castles formation in the country!
Made by hand from over 20,000,000 ponds of ice, the Ice Castles are an amazing sight to see!
There are no additives to the water, no supporting substructure within or under the ice. They are all formed by artistic minds and hard work.
We asked the workers how the ice Castles are built. They told us that they begin by making thousands of icicles that they harvest and sculpt together in freezing water.
The blend of the icicle placement, changing temperatures, water volume used and wind, result in an amazing array of ice formations!
The Ice Castles contain large towers, tunnels, archways, caves, caverns and pedestrian pathways.
My husband and I enjoyed walking through the formations....
...and seeing the effects the bright Colorado sun gave to the ice as it shined through it.
In many areas the ice looked a beautiful glacial blue!
Although the temperature on the day we visited was in the low 30's we felt quite comfortable because the sun is always very warm at such a high elevation.
The Ice Castles are a photographer's delight!
One section of the Ice Castles lead up an embankment....
...where we could look out over ski lodges, and some of the ski runs and mountains of Breckenridge.
Those brave enough could then go into this cave and slide down to the bottom of the embankment!
Each "room" in the Ice Castles gave a different prospective.
All the formations were beautiful!
Upon paying admission, our hands were stamped so we could return as many times we wanted to during the day. We returned at night, as we were told that hundreds of LED light were embedded in the ice for night viewing.
The colored LED lights made the ice formations look absolutely magical!
They changed many colors.
It was hard to decide what effects in the Ice Castles we liked better-- the daytime or the night time color effects? What do you think?
I'd say see both if you can!
The Ice Castles in Breckenridge are located at 150 West Adams Avenue. They were open through March 22, and will return next year even bigger and better. If you plan a visit to Breckenridge, Colorado next winter make sure to include them on your itinerary--you won't be disappointed!
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