It’s not unusual for visitors to fall in love with our neck of the woods, but few have embraced and created a monument to our infamous winters like Brent Christensen. A California transplant, Christensen began “building” with ice in his Utah backyard starting with ice towers and slides for the kids. Next, he built an igloo, and added chunks of snow and ice to his original structure. Christensen says that’s when he started thinking about icicles. “At first, it was just for cosmetics. Then I found you can actually grow them in different ways.”

Grow them he did—into what has become a winter must-see. The Homestead Resort in Midway is the home of Utah’s “Ice Castles” adventure. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and serene winter landscapes, this fantasy land seems right at home.

These Ice Castles are unique, stunning creations of towers, archways and caves. Ice walls that stand up to 20 feet continue to grow throughout the winter season doubling or tripling in height! Christensen’s patented method for “growing” these ice structures involves—you guessed it: water and cold temperatures. Sprinklers spray water onto metal racks to form thousands of icicles. These are removed, planted in the ground and drenched with water; wind and cold weather determine their shapes and forms.

While these are impressive mechanical engineering feats, Christensen gives Mother Nature credit for “the real artistic side.” This pairing of human ingenuity and our natural cold winters results in a magical and mesmerizing phenomenon.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

A unique, once in a lifetime adventure. Every year brings a new Ice Castle you could never imagine. Follow Utah’s Ice Castle on Instagram and Facebook to keep up on the build schedule and stay ahead of the crowds. Timed tickets are a must and can be found online at icesatles.com. Wear a warm coat and insulated boots. Scarves, hats and gloves are recommended. Cameras are welcomed; flash advised for evening shots.

icecastles.com