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Snow-Sculpting Contests in the West

Pick away to create a masterpiece and win big prizes at a contest in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, or Wyoming.

Snow-sculpted teepees in McCall Idaho, image
Photo caption
A large-scale tepee village won praise at McCall, Idaho, in 2010.

In the right hands, snow sculptures can go far beyond backyard bumpkins with carrot noses and pinecone eyes. Just check out some of the artistry that pops up every year across the West.


  • Raw material should be plentiful for the snow-sculpting competition at the Fur Rendevous in Anchorage. Can anyone top last year's tentacled kraken? Feb. 22–Mar. 3.
  • Ice carvers and snow sculptors aim for crowd-pleasers at Bend WinterFest in Bend, Ore., which attracts 30,000 visitors. This year’s theme: fire and ice. Feb. 15–17.
  • The Local Snow Sculpture Competition in McCall, Idaho, has spawned dragons, enchanted trees, and a frosty cattle herd. In view of the $2,000 grand prize, ordinary snowmen need not apply. Judging begins Jan. 25.
  • WinterFest in Jackson Hole, Wyo., includes snowshoe softball, ice-skating, and snow sculpting. Last year, a 12-foot Paul Bunyan towered above the competition. Feb. 15–24.

Photography by David Ryan/Idaho Stock Images


This article was first published in January 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.