No bricks, no mortar, no beams. Just 20,000 tons of pure ice, snow and water. That's what makes the Ice Castle in Silverthorne so special. This gorgeous creation started construction in November, is now open 11am - 9pm daily and has been the talk of the town ever since.
The castle grounds consist of external walls, turrets inside, a grandiose main gate and a sprawling main building with ice tunnels. This hard to miss landmark is just past the Silverthorne Outlets, traveling North on Blue River Parkway, and is steadily growing each day. Currently, the main entrance and castle tower are above 20 feet in height, but are expected to grow close to 40 or 50 feet by March.
"The colder the better" that's what ice foreman Mike Warr had to say with regards to building this ice structure. Even with record warmth this winter season, the ice castle keeps growing with workers carefully assembling turrets and towers in the cold of night.
"10 degrees with a little snow is ideal" says ice foreman Red Waldron. "Not cold
enough to hurt your hands, not warm enough to melt, and a little extra snow for traction on the ice."
And while it takes an army to create this masterpiece, the inspiration and guiding hand is that of Brent Christensen, the ice castle architect who got his start outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. Through humble beginnings creating ice caves for his family in the backyard to crafting unique masterpieces in the high country, Brent has been amazed and intrigued by ice.
The Ice Castle in Silverthorne is 100% organically built using icicles to create a framework that gets filled in by ice and snow. The only man-made elements you see are the lights that illuminate the ice to give it a heavenly glow once the sun goes down. With an admission ticket one can gain entrance to the grounds for a whole day, being able to see the beauty of the icicles in the afternoon and the glow of the ice at night.
The $10 admission is well worth checking out and if you stop by the Outlets to purchase anything (from any store) hang on to that receipt. The Ice Castle will extend the admission ticket to a full week if you come back with an Outlet receipt the same day you attend the Ice Castle. Simply put, you can get a week's worth of Ice Castle access for $10 and a stop off at your favorite Silverthorne Outlet; what a steal!
Nothing quite finishes a day of skiing in the high country than waltzing through an actual winter wonderland of ice and snow. I can't imagine how extraordinary it'll be in March as it's only going to get bigger and better as the winter season rolls on.
For more information on the Ice Castle make sure to visit their website and to explore more snowy castles make sure to stop by Keystone's Kidtopia Snow Fort.
-- Chris Yonushewski