Ice Cave – A Fun Cave For Families to Explore in Utah’s Dixie National Forest


The Ice Cave is a wonderful family attraction in Utah's Dixie National Forest on Cedar Mountain in Southern Utah.

We went camping in the heat of summer.  But, we slipped and slid on ice!  Up in the Cedar Mountains in Utah’s Dixie National Forest is an Ice Cave.  There is ice there all year round!  My kids absolutely loved the experience of slipping and sliding on the ice in the summer, that is, until they fell on the ice.

As you head up SR 14 out of Cedar City, you pass Navajo Lake on the right.  Shortly after that, you will come to Duck Creek — to the left of the road is the Duck Creek Pond and Campground, and on the right side of the road is the Duck Creek Visitor Center.  You want to turn right and travel passed the Duck Creek Visitor Center. Shortly down that road you will see a sign that says ‘Ice Cave’.  Follow the sign.  It’s not a long drive.

My two boys posing on the fence at the start of the hike to the Ice Cave.

My two boys posing on the fence at the start of the hike to the Ice Cave.

My Toddler posing on the fence at the start of the hike to the Ice Cave.

My Toddler posing on the fence at the start of the hike to the Ice Cave.

My Preschooler posing on the fence at the start of the hike to the Ice Cave.

My Preschooler posing on the fence at the start of the hike to the Ice Cave.

From the parking lot, it’s only about a 100 yard walk to the Ice Cave.  There is a gorgeous wood fence right at the start of the walk, and we HAD to take pictures.

The informational plaque just outside of the Ice Cave.

The informational plaque just outside of the Ice Cave.

Right near the entrance of the Ice Cave, there is an informational sign, explaining why there is ice there year round.  Essentially, the warm air moving into the cave stays up at the top of the cave, trapping the cooler air in the bottom of the cave, keeping the bottom of the cave at or below freezing all year long.

There is a rope tied to help lower yourself down into the ice cave.  We used the rope to get an adult down into the cave, and then we created a human chain, lifting all of the kiddos down into the cave.

Creating a human chain and lifting the kids down into the Ice Cave.

Creating a human chain and lifting the kids down into the Ice Cave.

As soon as we got into the cave, it became obvious that what looked like mud, was mud, on top of ice! Be careful, it is very slick.

This picture is from inside the cave.  It shows the rope and the start of the mud-covered ice in the Ice Cave.

This picture is from inside the cave. It shows the rope and the start of the mud-covered ice in the Ice Cave.

The cave is a large, single chamber.  We were able to fit our entire group, and another group came in after us.  There is a wooden bench in the bottom of the cave and lots of wet, slippery floors.  We explored the cave itself fairly quickly, but the kids loved the ice, the coolness, and the constant dripping.  There were several logs that had washed down into the cave, and the kids enjoyed playing on them as well.

My fifth grader, exploring the inside of the Ice Cave.

My fifth grader, exploring the inside of the Ice Cave.

My Third Grader, swinging on a log that had been washed into the Ice Cave.

My Third Grader, swinging on a log that had been washed into the Ice Cave.

My Toddler, unsure of the uneven floor, slick ice, and various obstructions, all in the low-light environment of the Ice Cave.  She wasn't a fan of walking in the Ice Cave!

My Toddler, unsure of the uneven floor, slick ice, and various obstructions, all in the low-light environment of the Ice Cave. She wasn’t a fan of walking in the Ice Cave!

My Preschooler, with tears in her eyes from slipping and falling on the ice, but still smiling for the camera!

My Preschooler, with tears in her eyes from slipping and falling on the ice, but still smiling for the camera!

Just a word of caution:  the parking lot is fairly small, and doesn’t lend a lot of room for maneuvering.  A truck that came up after us came pulling a trailer.  It was unable to turn around, and had to back completely down the road until right at the ice cave turn-off.

The Ice Cave is a wonderful geological formation in the Cedar Mountains in the Dixie National Forest.  It is fun to explore.  Be careful, because the walls are slick!  Also, be sure to take your camera because there are some great picture opportunities.

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