Frozen waterfalls start to form in iconic Colorado canyon

This photograph taken last season shows the Ouray Ice Park as it glows in moonlight. Photo Credit: Markus Van Meter.

Set in the “Switzerland in America,” the slot canyon that cuts through Ouray, Colorado is one of the more stunning spectacles in the state – especially during the winter.

Also known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Colorado, the small mountain town of Ouray offers a mystic escape for winter travelers and ice climbing enthusiasts from around the entire world. It’s a frozen fairytale come true.

If you’re looking to plan a visit for an ice climbing trip, it’s almost time to grab your ice axes and crampons. The ice farmers at Ouray Ice Park have officially started sculpting the waterfalls.

Frozen waterfalls start to form in iconic Colorado canyon

Night falls over Ouray Ice Park while the waterfalls are in full swing last season. Photo Credit:

Markus Van Meter


Ice farmers are busy working away to transform the canyon walls of Uncompahgre Gorge into a frosty playground, offering more than 3 miles of cumulative vertical climbing terrain. Ice climbing routes are created by 250 showerhead-like water dispensers, which pump two gallons of water per minute per dispenser –that’s 500 gallons per minute total. The result – beautiful cascading walls of ice ready for snow anchors, ice axes, and crampons.

Frozen waterfalls start to form in iconic Colorado canyon

An ice climber scales a wall at Ouray Ice Park. Photo Credit:

Markus Van Meter

The target opening date for the 2019-20 season is currently set for Saturday, December 14, 2019. For more details, click here.



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