Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ice Castles in Breckenridge, CO


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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57 comments:

Barb said...

Hi Pat, I've photographed the ice on the outside but haven't ventured through the castle. Actually, I think it looks like an eyesore from the outside, but your icicle photos from the inside are fabulous. I've been wondering how long it's going to take it to melt? We might still be seeing remnants in summer unless they doze it away. I love the natural light the best.

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Very cool! No pun intended:@)

Pamela Gordon said...

That is spectacular! I love the blue colours of the ice in the sun but the lit up ones at night are really beautiful. Thanks for sharing these Pat. Have a wonderful week!

The Gathering Place said...

I've been curious about the Utah ones, but haven't made it you see them. Looks like I'd better make it next year! Beautiful!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat! Looks like an awesome attraction to visit. The lights at night are beautiful. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

Vee said...

Just stunning! Can anything look as beautiful as those daytime colors? I was very intrigued by them.

Michelle said...

These are just beautiful and I really like the night time colors!

Daniela said...

I've never seen something like that, an Ice Castle, it doesn't seem real, believe me, your photographs have really left me breathless, my friend !
Thank you for sharing such natural and inusual deep beauty !
I wish you a wonderful Sunday and new week ahead dear Pat ♡
xxoo
Dany

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The night time photos are just out of this world! It's hard to imagine this kinds of beauty but I'm glad you took wonderful photos to share! What an amazing experience! Sweet hugs!

Lorrie said...

What amazing structures. I like the daylight photos - the colors in the ice are so varied. What a fascinating place to spend some time.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Wow! I can't think of the right words to describe your photos. Just beautiful!

ellen b. said...

Really amazing. So glad you could go and experience these Ice Castles!

Skye said...

That is pretty amazing! I love the lights at night! I think I would be a little scared to walk under lol

podso said...

How beautiful. Thanks of sharing! The night time ones are just amazing!

Karen said...

What an adventure! The lights are gorgeous!

Betsy Adams said...

How gorgeous... I love big icicles/castles --and love them when the colored lights are on them.

Reminded me of our recent experience in Ohio... We saw tons of big icicles there --but the hardest part for us was having to walk on SOLID ICE... Very dangerous... Hope you saw my two blog posts from that experience.

Hugs,
Betsy

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Fascinating! Both are amazing to see, but I think I like the natural light best. You got some excellent photos of this neat experience, thanks for sharing!

orchid Miyako said...

Dearest Patricia;
OMG; What an amazing scene and I truly enjoyed the trip with your pictures in the ice castle(^_^)v I was looking forward your new post.
Thank you very much for sharing with these great pictures with us.

Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Brittany Ruth said...

Love these pictures! So Pretty!

Old Kitty said...

Ice Castles!!! Wow!!! They look so natural it's amazing to think they are actual human made sculptures!
They are stunning in both natural and artificial light!

Take care
x

Tracy said...

WOW... wow... just incredibly STUNNING!! Really beautiful--those night views with the lights! They have things like that over here too, and of course folks construct castles out of snow & ice too... LOL! LOVE V's cowboy-style hat. He's a western man now. ;o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat! Without a doubt, this is one of the most amazing, most beautiful sights I have ever seen! Absolutely glorious! Thank you for sharing this with us. And to think, artists, with a helping hand from God, did this! Makes me think what amazing wonders God has in store for us in Heaven!

xo

Sheila

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

Breathtaking photos! Lovely to see your photos after having taken so many of my own during my visit there. Some of our highlights were the same and some very different. YOU, my friend, got to experience the very cool night lights — which is something I vow to return for next year.

So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing.

Barbara said...

Hi Pat,
Thanks for the explanation as to how these ice castles are made. I had no idea. I've not seen them in person but I'm thinking we should make the trip up there next March. Walking through them seems a bit scary, but how else can one really appreciate the structure and beauty? Thanks for this fascinating post!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

How beautiful! We lived in Colorado 30 something years ago and I know we visited Breckenridge. Either we visited at the wrong time of the year, or they didn't have the ice castles back then. They are gorgeous day or night, but I think I like the daytime best! We might have to plan a March trip back to CO!!

Ann said...

I have been to Breckenridge but missed this. It is spectacular!!!!The nighttime colors are wonderful and would LOVE to visit this. The colors are so vibrant.
Ann

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

Amazing is the word I said aloud. I think that I prefer the daytime look as it is more natural. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Have a Happy Blue Monday!

Rainey Shafer said...

Your photos are amazing... I love in Colorado for 10 years and never got to see those!
Thank you!
~Rainey @ The Project Table~

carol l mckenna said...

Incredible sites and you are getting to enjoy them ~ Magnificent photography for OWT ~ xxx

artmusedog and carol

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh my. That place is gorgeous - and so are your photos. I can see how you could go crazy taking hundreds of photos here. What a find.

bettyl-NZ said...

All I can think of is 'WOW!' What a wonderful photo opportunity. The artwork is simply brilliant.

Joy H said...

So pretty, what a neat place to visit. Have a great week!

Shey Wicklund said...

Oh wow! How amazing that nature can be dangerous and create something of beauty too. Great shots!

Kusum Sanu said...

Wow! Had never seen an ice castle before!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful ice castles. Just love it.

ladyfi said...

Wow - fabulous shots of the ice castles! Looks like a lot of fun.

jeannettestgermain said...

Oh, I like to go there - amazing!Are some of the artists there to tell about their work?

sillarit said...

amazing photos and place!/ Ritva

diane b said...

Wow what a fabulous place to see. The formations are amazing and the night colours magical. Fab shots too.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

YES! I thought that is where this was when you posted a photo previously. But, didn't want to spoil the 'secret'.

It's amazing isn't it?!!!

Valerie said...

What a spectacular series of captures, Pat. Just superb! Thank you for sharing.

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Absolutely gorgeous pictures! Not sure I would go in ALL of them though!

Linda W. said...

What cool photos! I especially like the ice with the colored lights on them. Thanks for sharing.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

That is so beautiful, Pat! I love the night shots with the colored lights shining through the ice!

Shannon @saltlicklessons.com said...

I love that you took pictures in the daylight and at night. I live in Idaho and just learned about the Ice Castles in Midway, UT, this year. I've never seen any but now I am really intrigued and will have to keep it in mind for a visit next winter, maybe. That glacial blue is actually my favorite color and I would love to see it in person.

Jim said...

Awesome shots. Amazing place.

Lina Gustina said...

Your ice castle shots are awesome. Enjoying them all.
Thanks for dropping by, Pat.
Your advise about GERD is very useful!

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat, Thank you for sharing this. It is just fabulous. You are really a great photographer. I was in Breckenridge in the late sixties. A wonderful trip. I can't decide night or day. What a change to see them at night.
yvonne

Light and Voices said...

Howdy Pat. Whether you are photographing New York City or Colorado, the viewer can always expect the BEST out of you.

I love these photos of ice and snow. You would think by now I wouldn't want to see another flake but hey, this event looks like fun.

My husband, John, and I took the grandchildren to an event similar of all places in Florida. Ice carvers did an amazing job of doing the Nativity Scene, different characters and a slide to exit. It was lite up with color also.
JM Illinois

Margaret said...

WOW Pat, Absolutely spectacular ice castles!! Amazing,beautiful photos!! I loved the daytime blues of the ice and the sky! Thanks for sharing your adventure, Margaret from B.C.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I am SO SO SO glad you got to see the Ice Castles! Do you remember my post the first year there ever were Ice Castles? I was driving along in a small town call Midway and SUDDENLY I saw the Ice formations, hit the brakes and ran over to find out what they were all about! I got to meet Brent, the man who created and patented the process and he used one of my photos from that day on his website.

By the way...check out the video that was filmed in the Ice Castles by the Piano Guys. Awesome!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Dakd7EIgBE

Sarah said...

Pat, this is so amazing. I can't imagine walking around among all this frozen beauty. Thanks for taking us along.

Jennifer Bouwman said...

Amazing, thanks for sharing!!!!!

RNSANE said...

What spectacular creations! I would never want to miss seeing them at night, either. How breathtaking and beautiful.

Bonnie said...

Beautiful and amazing! Thank you for sharing your tour. Great photography.

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Beautiful photos, I can't imagine how wonderful it must be seeing this in person. Thank you so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday...
Blessings,
Cindy

Alicia Cook said...

Found your blog again. What an amazing sight and just outstanding. Thank you for sharing such wonderful pictures and story.