Michigan Blue Ice: Rare Ice Phenomena
Michigan winters are special. The vast, evergreen forests covered with white fluffy snow create a stunning backdrop.
As the Great Lakes freeze, the snowy tundra of the Michigan coast becomes even more imposing during winter months.
Winter in Michigan is more than snowflakes. There’s something else you need to see: beautiful natural phenomena along Michigan’s beaches.
Michigan Blue Ice, Ice Balls and Ice Volcanoes
These amazing spectacles, which include blue ice, volcanoes, and ice balls, can be seen along beaches that are usually only accessible in glacial-ice ice.
They are still here in Michigan, which is a land of incredible natural beauty even during the winter. You can’t deny that a Michigan beach is stunning at any time of year.
What is Blue Ice?
Blue Ice is the name given the massive ice chunks that accumulate along the Great Lakes shoreline in stunning blue hues.
Air bubbles and ice crystals are to be commended for this little bit of winter magic that catches our attention on Michigan’s shores in the winter months.
How does blue ice form?
These ice chunks are similar in color and structure to a glacier. This happens when the snow on top of the Ice is compressed, and the air bubbles are removed. It increases its density.
This allows the ice’s ability to absorb colors and create vibrant blue ice chunks. The sight of the ice glowing in the sunlight is breathtaking, especially on a sunny Michigan winter day. Photo by Paige Riccobono
Where can I find Michigan Blue Ice?
Blue Ice is rare and takes the right conditions to form. Blue Ice is not a common phenomenon. Blue Ice forms most often on northern Lake Huron, near the Straits of Mackinac. This body of water separates Lakes Michigan from Huron.
Straits are also used to separate the Lower and Upper Peninsulas. They are located directly beneath the Mackinac Bridge and can be quite beautiful in winter. Photo by Paige Riccobono
Is Michigan Blue Ice Dangerous?
We ask you to be cautious and not go too far on the Straits of Mackinac and Great Lakes frozen lakes.
The lake ice is not only strong but also unpredictable. Bring binoculars and a zoom lens to capture blue ice stacks far away. Take many photos.
If the sun is just right for sunset, you can capture the beauty of an amazing natural phenomenon. Photo by Paige Riccobono
Michigan Blue Ice: If you go to see it
We recommend that you visit Mackinaw City to take in the sights, and then head down to the Straits for a chance to see the rare glacial Ice.
Make sure you visit the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse if you make a trip to Mackinac.
This building is rich in history and well worth the trip for its architectural beauty. It will also be the best vantage point from which to see the Mackinac Bridge, blue ice and the Mackinac Bridge.
Additional spots to see blue ice in Michigan
These icy wonders can also be seen at Lake Superior. Blue Ice can be seen as far north as the Upper Peninsula at Lake Superior’s shores, Munising, and at Michigan Tech University Houghton.
It is worth the effort to brave the snowy tundra in order to see the blue ice in an environment that is most suitable to its glacial roots.
Michigan Ice Volcanoes: Where can you see them?
Lake Michigan’s Ice Volcanoes
You might be wrong to think that Michigan’s winter beauty is a dead end. We have blue ice mountains that tower over the beaches of Michigan, but we also have rock reefs with ice volcanoes that form on sandbars. This is a rare treat for viewers.
There are many types of volcanoes. However, Michigan does not have any active volcanoes.
Except for Lake Michigan’s Ice Volcanoes. Instead of molten rock shooting from a volcano, Michigan’s volcanoes shoot icy water and slush out of an ice shelf.
How are Ice Volcanoes Made?
Ice volcanoes are formed when water and slush push through an ice sheet hole. The mound of ice then freezes and forms a conical structure.
Cones of ice that have been formed by the melting of ice create a mouth which expels water when it is struck from below; you’ll then see the erupting lava volcanoes. It is quite amazing to see the waves interact with the water and watch water and slush rise on the shores.
Ice volcanoes can be as dangerous as they sound. They are actually one of the most exciting spectacles that involve ice in Michigan.
These ice volcanoes are so extraordinary that they can be found in space on Ceres dwarf planet, which is also home to Enceladus moon, one of Saturn’s moons.
Are there Michigan Ice Volcanoes? Where can I see them?
These bizarre ice volcanoes have been popping up along the shores and beaches of Lake Michigan, as well as other beaches around Lake Erie. The National Weather Service of Grand Rapids was the first to report the eruption of ice volcanoes on Lake Michigan. Grand Rapids is located close to Oval Beach on Lake Michigan, where you will find these bizarre ice volcanoes.
You can watch the Michigan Ice Volcanoes Erupt at Oval Beach, Saugatuck
The ice volcanoes can be seen at Oval Beach, Saugatuck.
Michigan winter must-see: Oval Beach’s eruption of ice volcanoes is a sight you won’t forget.
Saugatuck, one of Michigan’s most popular beaches, is a must-see spot at any time of year, but especially during summer, when people flock to its soft, sandy beaches and crystal-clear water.
You and your family can also enjoy a weekend at this beautiful location to watch the volcanoes from the shore and take in the frozen Lake Michigan.
Michigan Ice Balls
After you’ve seen enough blue ice, and the ice volcanoes are quiet, there is still one Michigan ice phenomenon you can catch: the amazing ice balls of Holland.
These whimsical little balls were formed when slush is shaped by crashing waves. They are a novelty for both Michiganders as well as tourists.
These little oddities can be found on the beaches of Holland State Park and are great for a quick pick-me up when you’re hiking or winter camping in the park.
If you find the next rare ice in Michigan while exploring the state, please leave a comment below.
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