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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.