The Most Incredible Ice Lakes in the United States (Not Alaska!)

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: May 22, 2022
Image Credit Elena Elisseeva/
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Lakes are an excellent site for swimming. Besides, most lake parks offer a variety of fun activities like hiking and boat cruising for their visitors. But in the winter, it gets better when these lakes are iced, and skaters can enjoy the outdoors doing what they love the most. America has several beautiful lakes besides those in Alaska. Some are safe to explore, but not all are. Here are some of the most incredible ice lakes in the United States. 

Lake Superior

Lake Superior
At least once in twenty years, Lake Superior completely freezes over.

Sorayot Chinkanjanarot/

What other lake could be more of an incredible ice lake than the largest Great lake in North America? At least once in twenty years, Lake Superior completely freezes over, making it a great site for skating. When the lake freezes during winter, the ice caves on the Apostle Islands are accessible to visitors and tourists. 

However, the last time the entire surface solidified was in 1996 and it has come close to freezing completely over the past two decades. In winter 2002-2003, over 95% of the lake’s surface area was solid ice. The lake itself has a surface area of 31,700 square miles, and on an average, 61.5 percent of the lake freezes annually. If you live close by, you can use the lake as a rink to play hockey or skate. However, skating on the lake is not totally safe.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is the third-largest lake in the United States.

Frederick Millett/

Ice formations in Lake Michigan during the winter are incredible. Perhaps, the ice lake is very impressive because it is the third-largest lake in the United States. But no doubt, the ice lake is magnificent, and it’s difficult to resist exploring the rinks of the lake. During winter, one of the most spectacular views of the ice lakes is the solidified hills that form due to breaking ice piles. 

Lake Michigan has a surface area of about 22,000 miles. Ice hockey lovers should exploit the ice lake before it eventually thaws entirely in summer. However, you must be careful because not the entirety of the lake freezes over annually.

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario is one of the best ice lakes in the U.S.

Michael J. Eves/

The third ice lake on our list of incredible lakes in the United States is Lake Ontario. Although it is the smallest of the Great Lakes, it’s one of the best ice lakes in the U.S. Surprisingly enough, it has a record of freezing over completely five times. That’s 7,340 square miles of water entirely solidified. However, the most remarkable thing about the lake is its stunning view when it solidifies in winter. Moreover, if you love ice fishing, this ice lake is a perfect site to explore. You can also visit the ice lake to explore dogsledding, surfing, and ice skating during the winter.  

Ellery Lake

When Ellery Lake solidifies in winter, the mirror-like ice lake makes the entire landscape more stunning.

Kris Wiktor/

This lake is not one of the five Great Lakes, but you don’t want to miss out on its amazing view during winter. This lake in California is located at the peak of the Tioga Pass Road. It originally contained clear waters with beautiful alpine views. When the lake solidifies in winter, the mirror-like ice lake makes the entire landscape more stunning. Ellery Lake has a campground where you can camp and hike during the winter holidays. Besides, tourists love to visit the ice lake because it’s near the Yosemite National Park, where they can explore loads of fun activities.

Lake Morey

Lake Morey has a surface area of 545 acres.

Magdalena Karpiuk/

If you’re planning a vacation with your family or friends, Lake Morey is a great place to explore. The Morey Resort hosts one of the most incredible ice lakes in winter. The lake has a surface area of 545 acres and provides fun activities for visitors when it solidifies from the cold temperature. If you visit the resort, you can explore activities like skiing, skating, and hockey games. The resort also provides activities like indoor games and workout options. After exploring the outside activities in the cold, you can relax in the resort’s indoor heated pool. 

Evergreen Lake

Ice Skating Rinks in Evergreen, Colorado.

Jacob Boomsma/

Tourists love to visit a beautiful lake, but it’s better if the lake has a park. In Colorado lies the gorgeous Evergreen Lake. With it is the Evergreen Lake Park, one of the many activity centers in the United States. The lake sometimes has a teal green color but that’s not why it’s evergreen. All through the year, it’s always packed with loads of fun and visitors exploring activities at the park. 

The lake itself has a surface area of about 1.45 square miles. It’s a great place to go on boat cruising and trail hiking. However, it gets even better in winter when the waters become iced. Then, visitors have a variety of fun activities to enjoy, like trail hiking, skating, and skiing. The park offers lodging options for visitors who would like to spend the Christmas holiday for as long as they want. 

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