Duck Creek Ice Cave
Located in the Cedar Mountains in Utah’s Dixie National Forest you will find the Duck Creek Ice Cave.
Duck Creek Ice Creek Overview
The Duck Creek Ice Cave is a small one-room limestone cave and portions of the cave floor have ice almost year-round. We were there in July and the floor did not have ice but it was a VERY COLD chamber so take a light jacket if you want to spend more than a few minutes there.
Our overall time to hike up to the cave, poke around, and return to the car was about half an hour.
IMO this cave is a must to see if you are in the area but not something I would visit Duck Creek specifically for. It is not as large as some caves in the area but the temperature drop is a fascinating experience.
There are no amenities at the Duck Creek Ice Cave, e.g., restroom, trash cans, or picnic tables.
There is not a fee to enter the Duck Creek Ice Cave area.
How to Get to Duck Creek Ice Cave
The Duck Creek Ice Cave is in Kane County, Utah, located off of SR 14, near Duck Creek Village past the Duck Creek Visitors Center on E HWY 14 Duck Creek Village UT, Duck Creek Village, UT 84762.
- 29 miles south of Panguitch via US-89 S
- 38 miles east of Cedar City via UT-14 E
- 90 miles west of St. George via I-15 and UT-14 E
Once you turn onto the road towards the Ice Cave, you will find that the road is well marked so the parking area is easy to find.
The road is not paved and can be a bit bumpy on the way to the ice cave. Each time I have visited the road conditions have varied from easy to playing a reverse “whack a mole” to avoid huge pot holes in the road.
IMO a 4×4 or a high clearance vehicle is not needed, just go slow and navigate the road well to avoid the larger rocks and bumps in the road. With that said, one time I went cars were having issues in the road dips and it was 4×4 vehicles and SXS that were able to make it up the road.
Check with the Duck Creek Visitor Center to see if they can tell you current road conditions.
What to Take to Duck Creek Ice Cave
Nothing unique is needed to enjoy the ice cave but I personally found gloves helpful to use on the very short rope. (I always keep a pair in my Jeep for playing on the rocks.)
This is an easy area to hike but I would not recommend flip flops as going into the cave requires a sturdier shoe with a good sole.
Even though the cave is well lit, you may consider taking a flashlight or a headlamp to explore areas of the cave that are not well lit.
As I stated earlier, the ice cave is COLD so if you want to spend more than a few minutes down in the cave, I would take something to keep you warm.
While the area does not have a picnic table, the scenery makes it a great place for a picnic so bring lunch and a blanket to enjoy a snack or a meal here.
Fencing at the parking lot with a niche for the entrance to start up the trail to the ice cave.
Once you park, the cave is located about 100 yards up the trail.
After you “hike” the trail from the parking lot to the cave you will see this information sign explaining how the cave is able to have ice almost year-round.
The main information reads:
Water seeping through limestone for tens of millions of years has slowly eroded a small chamber in the rock. The cave interior measures about 60′ x 40′ with a ceiling height around 15 feet high. Duck Creek Ice Cave is located in Tertiary limestone deposits that are 30 to 50 million years old. The first people who lived in this area may have used this ice cave to cache their food.
What Makes This an Ice Cave?
The entrance to this cave is higher than the floor, so warm air does not flow freely into the chamber. This allows the air to remain cool and most year-round. In cold weather, snow and ice draft into the cave and cover the steep cone of debris at the opening, remaining for most of the year. This is why people call it an ice cave. While the ice may melt in warmer months, even on a hot summer day the cave floor temperature hovers just above freezing.
Rope to use to help you enter and exit the cave. WARNING, the rocks are incredibly slick from the wear and tear of the rocks and wet so use caution.
The vividly colored limestone ceiling.
Click here to read more about limestone.