Frozen lake Michigan in winter: beautiful, extreme weather shows surreal imagery

APR 01, 2020 AT 12:40 PM


The polar vortex that is winter in the Midwest has kept Lake Michigan frozen for the most part of the season. For example, in Chicago, Illinois, temperatures reached -30C (-23F) during the peak of the cold snap, causing ice shelves to form on the lake.  Even hills of ice formed from waves crashing over already existing ice piles. But, as with anything, it all must eventually come to an end. Spring is bringing warmer weather to the area, melting the ice and transforming the region into a magical winter wonderland. Moving water underneath the ice is pushing the sheets to the surface, shattering them into mesmerizing patterns you can view along South Haven’s pier.

Sometimes it’s almost impossible to believe what kinds of incredible things nature is capable of. In the summer, the shores of Lake Michigan are calm and peaceful but, in the winter months, it’s absolutely unrecognizable until the first warm rays of spring sunshine seep in.  Let’s hope, this wonderful beauty of extreme nature will give a new page of life to every living creature in the lake.


Frozen Lake Michigan

AP Images

As much as people desire to capture this beautiful phenomenon in an up close and personal way, but the US Coast Guard has warned that the ice should strictly be viewed from afar, as it is dangerous to stand or walk on the unstable ice. “No ice is safe ice especially this time of year,” US Coast Guard BMC Grant Heffner told MLive. “The ice is certainly deteriorating and breaking up.”


Lake Michigan Frozen

AP Images

It seems like a picture from a different planet. When water starts moving and adding to the unstableness of the lake, the ice begins breaking and forming all kinds of wonderful shapes which play with our imagination.


Ice on Lake Michigan

AP Images

It would be an immensely dangerous idea to jump on these ice pieces. To the naked eye, they seem solid and thick but they’re actually nothing but the opposite. There are danger signs near the lake that inform people walking on the ice is strictly forbidden, no questions ask.


Beautiful frozen lake

AP Images

It’s a pity that pictures can’t give you a full range of emotions that make you feel as if you’re standing on the high shore of the Lake Michigan. It gives one the feeling of standing in some other world which only exists in our imaginations. Sometimes you can even see how the ice pieces start moving and creates the illusion of a mythical monster moving beneath its surface.


Beautiful winter landscape on the lake

AP Images

No matter how it looks to the naked eye, the ice is always very dangerous. However beautiful these ice peaks look; they are extremely sharp and are of a huge danger to a person or an animal. If you’re an accident prone person, it’s better stay away from those cliffs around the lake and high shores. Once a person falls down, it’s very hard to survive.


The ice is beautifully frozen on the lake

AP Images

Thanks to the interesting ecological situation in the area, Lake Michigan is free from dirt that could be potentially tracked in from the outside world. Local people say that the water is transparent even in summer, when the weather is boiling hot. Winter makes the water in the lake unbelievably clean. You can see it by studying a piece of ice taken from near the shore.


Michigan - Frozen Winter Lake

Gunner’s Pixs

This isn’t the first time Mother Nature has toyed with Lake Michigan. Photographers have been following and studying the site for years. This picture was taken by another photographer as well as all the pictures in our article. It shows one of the most severe winters on Lake Michigan and a local lighthouse in the center of weather disaster.


Lake Michigan in Ice

Greg VandeLeest

This is an April photo of the same sight. You can see the ice seems quite friendly and calm and isn’t potentially dangerous anymore.  This is after the lake was frozen 3-4 times during one spring.


Large pieces of ice on the lake

Gunner’s Pixs

Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. The other four Great Lakes are shared by the U.S. and Canada. It is the second biggest of the Great Lakes by volume (1,180 cu mi or 4,900 km3) and the third-largest by surface area (22,404 sq mi or 58,030 km2), after Lake Superior and Lake Huron.


Frozen hedge on the lake

Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar

The lakes earliest people were the Hopewell Indians. Their culture declined after 800 A.D, and for the next few hundred years, the area was the home of peoples known as the Late Woodland Indians. Now, about twelve million people live along Lake Michigan’s shores, mainly in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas.


Beautiful ice on the surface of the water

Konstantin Papushin

People from all over the world travel here in to take photos of the wonderful start of spring. Lake Michigan is awakening from the long sleep that is endless ice shelves and soon it will be a friendly, tranquil place for those who want to feel nature and get some fresh air. For now, it’s still flaunting it’s winter beauty.


Lake Michigan Lighthouse in Winter

Gunner’s Pixs

Some pictures of the lake seem to be so surreal they look like paintings. The local people seem to get used to this type of landscape and don’t see the natural beauty of nature’s art.  Despite that, every person who comes here for a week or two will be amazed with what this place can offer to nature lovers.


Bridge on Lake Michigan in Winter

Kate Ter Haar

There is a massive bridge crossing on Lake Michigan which adds some urbanism to this location and its pictures.  The lake itself is the place where you will always feel unity with nature at all times of the year. This is the place to add to your bucket list if you are planning a trip!