A gorgeous icy creation will take your breath away. It’s the Ice Castle at the Silverthorne Pavilion which you’ll pass on the edge of the Summit County town when you’re headed to [R425R, Steamboat].

“It’s pretty big. It’s over an acre in size and we have about 20-thousand tons of ice right now,” Ryan Davis told OnTheSnow. Davis creates it each year with Brent Christiansen, who first wanted to build his kids an ice fort after successfully building them a skating rink. “He realized that if he fused icicles to icicles and then sprayed them with water that it could be structurally sound.”

Ice Castle Silverthorne Photo courtesy Ryan Davis-1

Ice Castle photo courtesy Ryan Davis.

The massive creation is labor intensive. The crew runs water in the area for three weeks, when it is cold enough. They create a giant field of ice and then shape the walkways. Davis says, “We probably hauled out 200 to 400 tons of ice by hand to make the paths. First you crush it up with a pick, then you shovel it into a sled, and then you haul it out. It is Egyptian pyramid style meaning it’s all done by hand and hard work, except we pay our guys more than the Egyptians did.”

Davis says a crew of six guys works at night to continue to grow the sculpture. “It’s an evolving piece of artwork.”

Ice Castle Silverthorne Photo courtesy Ryan Davis-3

Ice Castle photo courtesy Ryan Davis.

He says the reaction is all worth it. A lot of school field trips come through too. He also recently hosted a 75th bithday here for a lady named Carol who came with five of her friends: “I took her arm and we walked through the whole thing. She squealed and laughed and said she had never seen anything like it.”

If you’re headed up I-70 to [R113R, Copper], [R482R, Vail] or the [R25R, Aspen] resorts, take a quick break and get off at the Silverthorne exit. Head north and the Ice Castle is just off the highway about a mile. It $10 for an adult and $7.50 for kids ages 5 through 12. Tickets are good for one week. The money goes to the expense of building it because Davis says, “It’s crazy expensive.” The money also goes to local non-profits and scholarships, “…like kids from Silverthorne going to college.”

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m-9 p.m; Friday, 11 a.m-10 p.m; Saturday, 10 a.m-10 p.m; Sunday closed.

Ice Castle Silverthorne Photo Courtesy Kendra Garvin

Ice Castle photo courtesy Kendra Garvin.

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