Winona Ice Park
The Winona Ice Park, which is located within Sugar Loaf Park, is a manmade ice climbing park set high above the Mississippi River with wonderful views of the city of Winona below. Using the stone walls of an old quarry and hundreds of feet of hose, which slowly shower water down the cliff, the Winona Ice Park is one of just a few of its kind in the nation.
The Winona Ice Park is a premier ice climbing destination due to its location within the city of Winona, trail accessibility, and the quality of ice. This attraction is not only for climbers, though, many hikers and snowshoers have been enjoying the trail up to the park and watching the climbers in action.
1/13/21: The Winona Ice Park will open on Friday, 1/14/22! The Recreation Alliance of Winona maintains the Winona Ice Park and they have been hard at work getting the ice ready for the season. They are currently removing dangerous, unattached ice (hangfire), so please wait until Friday to climb. Anchors may not be in place by Friday, so please bring your own anchor material.
Sugar Loaf Park Climbing Permit
The Ice Park is free to the general public, but the City of Winona will be requiring a permit and fee for all Commercial Guiding Operations and Institutional Groups who will be fielding guides in Sugar Loaf Park. This includes both rock climbing on Sugar Loaf and ice climbing in the Winona Ice Park. All guiding operations and groups must fill out a climbing permit application. Please allow our staff 72 hours to process the application.
To access the application and to learn more about the climbing permit, go to the Sugar Loaf Park Climbing Permit Information page.
Getting to the Winona Ice Park
- Parking is located at the Sugar Loaf Trailhead on East Lake Boulevard by Edina Realty. Please park along the road.
- Access the park by hiking the Sugar Loaf Trail to the saddle of the bluffs. The trail will come to a fork, take the trail to the right (look for signs).
- The hike to the Winona Ice Park is approximately 20 minutes.
- To access the top of the routes, there is an approach trail at climber's left.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Sugar Loaf Trailhead is the only access point. Please do not park at the top of the bluff, that area is private property.
- Check the City website and/or Facebook to be sure the Ice Park is open. We will periodically close for maintenance or to farm more ice. For your safety, do not enter the park if it is closed as we could be clearing loose ice or debris.
- We install fixed anchors for your convenience and to save our trees.
- The tallest pitch is around 100', depending on conditions. A 60m rope may work, but we recommend at least a 70m rope. You are responsible for your own safety.
Ice Park Rules
- Crampons and helmets are required for all persons climbing
- Helmets are required for all people within the climbing area
- No anchoring to manmade structures
- No unattended fixed ropes allowed
- Please do not build anchors over the trail
- It is recommended that all children are accompanied by an adult
- Please be courteous and respectful to your fellow climbers
- Please do not cause unnecessary impact to the climbing area
- Practice “Leave No Trace” principles while on public land - pick up trash, do not damage the rock, etc.
Guiding and Equipment Rental
The City does not offer guiding or equipment for the Ice Park, however, there are local outfitters that may fulfill your needs.
A big thank you to the adjacent landowners and volunteers who support this project and make it possible. This resource is a privilege, let’s all work together to ensure access continues for years to come. Please be respectful of other visitors, adjacent private property, and the environment.
We look forward to seeing you at the park or in town enjoying a post climb appetizer at one of our local establishments - stay safe and have fun!
Facebook Pages and Groups
- Winona Ice Park
- Midwest Ice Conditions
- Winona Park and Recreation