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Ice Stacks

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Ice Stacks are the piles of what looks like shattered glass. They are created as the ice forms on the surface of the water, and then breaks and gets pushed to shore. It happens when it has been especially cold and we haven’t had snow recently to cover it up or warmer days to melt them. Utah Lake has ideal conditions to create ice stacks. It is a shallow lake, so it is likely to freeze, but large enough that the wind creates waves, cracking the ice and pushing it up in stacks.

Ice Stacks at American Fork Boat Harbor

The two photos above as well as the group below were all taken at the American Fork Boat Harbor.

Ice Stacks at Vineyard Beach

Vinyard Beach just south of Lindon Marina is another great place to look for ice stacks.

Ice Stacks at Vineyard Beach

Crystals on Ice Stacks

If you look closely on the ice stacks, there are sometimes ice crystals that have formed. It is fascinating to see them close up.

American Fork Boat Harbor

I went back to American Fork Boat Harbor and took some sunset photos. The ice stacks are still cool to see! For more sunset photos on Utah Lake click here.

Ice Stacks at Saratoga Springs Marina

Ice Stacks can also be found at the Saratoga Springs Marina.

Ice Stacks at Utah Lake State Park

Utah Lake State Park in Provo also has ice stacks.

Ice Stacks at Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach down in Spanish Fork also has ice stacks.

Please be safe and never walk out on the ice without being sure it’s thick enough to be safe.

Stats: Distance – 0-500 feet round trip
Approximate hiking time – 5 minutes
Elevation gain – 4 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Bathrooms – At Boat Harbor, Utah Lake State Park, and Saratoga Springs Marina
Seasons to see – November-March (only when conditions are right)
Permits needed – Depends (see below)
Pets allowed – Yes

Map to the American Fork Boat Harbor free in winter, walk-ins $2 summer

Map to Vineyard Beach always free

Map to Saratoga Springs Marina free walk-in

Map to Utah Lake State Park – $10/vehicle or $4 walk-in or State Parks Pass

Map to Sandy Beach always free


We have so much beauty in Utah to explore! I love hiking and photography and can help you find your next favorite hike! All photos were taken by me!

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