BYU-Idaho Radio · A Fun Winter at the LaBelle Lake Ice Palace
The second week of the semester at BYU-Idaho has come to a close. Freshmen and seniors alike are now looking for some fun things to do around the area. With it being winter, there are fewer choices of things to do outside. However, there is at least one “cool” exception.
The family-led LaBelle Lake Ice Palace in Rigby has been around since 2017. The attraction is quite the sight – an entire “palace” made completely from logs of ice.
“We pre-form ice logs, cut them to the length that we need, and then with them, we build the infrastructure,” said Kira Martin, director of LaBelle Lake.
The palace is ever-expanding. Martin said that throughout the winter, the family will spray down the structure and add more ice logs, continuing to grow the palace.
“We’ve been able to get a lot more people than we have in the past to come out and see it and that makes it all worth it,” said Martin.
The property holds a 7,000 square foot lodge, a home that the Youngstroms, the family behind the ice palace, has been building since they moved to the area.
“When my youngest sister was about to graduate high school, we got to this point where we thought, ‘well, should we sell the house, or should we do something with it?’ So, we decided to turn it into a wedding venue and retreat,” said Martin.
She started out by helping advertise the property’s new purpose. Taking pictures, posting them to social media, and garnering a following. LaBelle Lake became a big success. But the cold Idaho winter posed a challenge.
Martin’s husband works as a paramedic for a local hospital. He started talking with an ER doctor who served his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Finland. The doctor told Martin’s husband all about the vast ice structures that dot the landscape there.
“And from there, it just started,” she said.
Since then, the LaBelle Lake Ice Palace has served as a fun destination for locals and students alike. The palace offers a wide range of activities, including horse-drawn carriage rides, sledding, fire dancing, and hot chocolate.
If you’d like to purchase tickets, visit their website.