NOTE: More Grand Marais scenes are posted often on my blog at and on my main personal Facebook page listed under Karen Ann Penegor Brzys.

I love taking photos in the Grand Marais area all times of the year, but I think I like winter photos the best. But the first photo included in this webpage update was taken on the south side of the Straits of Mackinac showing the blue ice. Apparently, blue ice rarely forms on the Great Lakes. The phenomenon is much more common on glaciers in Antarctica and the North Pole. It happens because of three processes. The first is that water absorbs the other non-blue colors of the spectrum. The second cause is the lack of bubbles in the ice, allowing the blue wavelengths to continue through the ice and not be scattered by the bubbles. The third factor is the ice thickness and density. All these conditions were perhaps the best locals in the straits area have seen in many, many years.

When people think about walking on the Grand Marais beach, most envision the summer beach. However, the winter beach can be VERY dynamic and beautiful.

My other favorite place to take winter photos is the Grand Sable Dunes in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I’ve taken a few snowshoes in the dunes. This time of year you cannot drive to Sable Lake, so you have to park at the Sable Lake Visitors’ Center and snowshoe to Sable Lake. To get these photos, I snowshoed from Sable Lake, across the dunes to the Lake Superior bluff, and back.


I am not sure how much snow we have received this winter season, but we have to be getting close to 300 inches with this late winter/early spring dumping. Here is a photo I took on Coast Guard Point showing how high the snow piles up.

Perhaps the best winter event in Grand Marais is the UP 200 dogsled race, which takes place mid-February. The race teams start in Marquette and travel on well-marked trails to Grand Marais for a required rest period before returning to Marquette. This year the weather was perfect for the race!

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