Minnesota’s Famous ‘Igloo’ Ice Bar Open For The 2023 Winter Season
While the igloo ice bar on Lake of the Woods has become a tradition on the Northern Minnesota lake, it has caught the eye of more fans in recent years as Instagrammers, bloggers, and others have caught wind of - and shared - the quirky borderland attraction.
If you aren't familiar with this ice bar, we shared a story earlier this winter about it. In short, it is a structure the folks at Zippel Bay Resort built, and they bring it out onto the lake each ice fishing season.
The "igloo" is stored in a couple of pieces on shore at the resort during the warmer months, then dragged out and assembled on the ice once the lake is safe enough to do so. And that just recently happened!
The resort maintains a number of rental ice fishing houses and ice roads offshore from their resort on Lake of the Woods, looking a bit like a city on the lake each winter. Off to the side of the ice fishing village, they set up this attraction, offering a place to warm up, hot food, beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and even offer satellite TV viewing inside!
The resort shared a Facebook message the morning of New Year's Day, declaring the igloo open for the season as of Noon on Sunday, ready for folks to grab some eats and drinks and watch the Vikings game. It'll stay open through most of the ice fishing season.
For people staying at the resort, this is a cool addition to either break up a day of fishing, or to cap off your day. While the resort has geared the bar toward its guests, snowmobilers can also enjoy the establishment as a fun stop out on the lake.
For non-fisherfolk that want to check out the famous bar, do be aware of a couple of things. First, the resort charges a toll to use their ice roads - whether you're heading out fishing, or just out to the ice bar. They do this to offset the cost of maintaining those ice roads, which is a daunting task. I've seen firsthand how hard the resort's team works to prevent snow drifts and ice heaves from causing ice road issues. The roads are generally kept nice and wide, and they're even marked with roads signs, but the weather and ice conditions are always changing, keeping the crew busy.
The other thing to know is that it is out on the lake some distance. The last couple of years I've been up that way, it's been at least a mile out onto the ice. A mile doesn't sound like a lot, but when driving down the bay, over the point, and along the ice roads, it can be a bit of a drive. While the team does a good job maintaining the roads, I wouldn't recommend it for small cars, lower-clearance vehicles, or vehicles not good in snow or on ice.