Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When does the Ice Park open for the season?
A: Both the opening and closing dates are weather dependent. Typically the Ice Park will open in mid to late December and close in mid-March. Please visit our Conditions page for regular updates.
Q: What are the Ice Park's operating hours?
A: Climbing hours are Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Q: When is the best time to visit the Park?
A: We realize that the uncertainty of when the Park opens and closes makes travel plans difficult. If you are traveling from out of town, we recommend that you plan your visit between January and March (travel tip: visit midweek and you'll have the Park to yourself).
Q: What is the access to the bottom of the gorge like?
A: In some areas we have canyon access points where, with crampons and a helmet, climbers can descend and ascend a series of fixed ropes. Other areas, such as the Upper Bridge Area and the Lead Only Area are only accessible by either lowering or rappelling in to the canyon and climbing ice to get back to the canyon rim.
Q: What is the Lead Only Area?
A: The Lead Only Area is located on both sides of the Upper Bridge and is well defined by signs and orange poly rope. In this area of the Park only lead climbing is allowed. There is no top-roping or rope-soloing permitted within the lead only area.
Q: What kind of equipment do I need to climb in the Park?
A: Climbers are required to wear crampons and a helmet at all times while in Park climbing areas. Additional equipment needed to climb are rope, anchor materials, harness, ice axes, and warm clothes.
Q: Does the Ice Park rent gear?
A: Nope, please visit our Gear Rental Page for a list of vendors that rent equipment.
Q: Can I schedule an ice climbing class?
A: Sorry! The Ice Park does not offer any classes or clinics. For Information pertaining to these inquiries please visit our Guides/Gear Page.
Q: What does it cost to climb at the Ouray Ice Park?
A: The Ice Park is a free recreational venue open for public use.
Q: Why should I purchase an Ice Park membership?
A: The Ice Park’s very existence depends on donations and membership to operate. As a member you help us maintain and operate this amazing resource. Believe it or not, thousands of hours go into the Park well before it opens each year. Your membership not only helps us make ice, but also helps us expand terrain, maintain anchors and improve operational efficiencies, to ensure that you have a world class venue to climb in. Not to mention Ice Park members get some pretty awesome discounts around Ouray!
Q: Where can I purchase an Ice Park Membership?
A: The best place to purchase a membership is here!
Q: What is Dick’s Chalet?
A: The little warming hut at the upper bridge. Stop in Friday through Sunday for a hot drink or to support the Park!
Q: Is there camping available during the winter?
A: Please contact the Ouray Chamber of Commerce for information pertaining to camping.
Q: Can the Ice Park connect me with a climbing partner?
A: Yes! Check out the Ouray Ice Park Resource Hub on Facebook. There you can find climbing partners, rideshares, and climbing gear for sale.
Q: How far is the Ice Park from the City of Ouray
A: The Ice Park is ¼ mile outside of town or a 10 minute walk
Q: I’m driving to Ouray, will I need a 4wheel drive vehicle?
A: We recommend that you have a minimum of winter snow tires on your vehicle.
Q: Where can I seek and drop off lost & found items?
A: All lost and found items from the Ouray Ice Park are taken to Ouray Mountain Sports located on Main Street, downtown.
Q: Where does the Ouray Ice Park water supply come from?
A: The water we use to the farm the ice at the Park is the runoff, and some of the stored water from the two 500,000 gallon tanks that store the city water supply. These tanks are filled and replenished from the Weehawken Spring up County road 361. The water is gravity fed to the Park from the city water tanks where it reaches a vault near the Kid's Wall. From the vault it is distributed south and north throughout the Park in 2" and 4" yelomine. The very large black pipe, or Penstock has nothing to do with the Parks water supply, but instead transports water from a dam south of the Park to a hydro facility north of the Park. The Penstock still plays a crucial role in keeping water out of the bottom of the gorge during the season which makes it much more accessible and safe.
Q: What are the rules for climbing in the Ouray Ice Park?
A: Please visit our Rules Page.