The magic of the frozen falls: Niagara Falls

Cold to extreme cold temperatures are normally keeping us inside, but sometimes we need to get out to see what magic they can do. Especially with waterfalls.

January and February are great months to go visiting the falls, as they offer astonishing views. The mist rising from the great falls are layering over and over on the surrounding features, creating a magical snowy winter wonderland. Although by the time we got to the Niagara Falls the sun decided to hide, we still had a great time seeing all the frozen features the waterfalls are so famous for.

Niagara Falls

If you have never seen Niagara Falls during the wintertime, here are some photos. You don’t need to freeze anymore, I did it for you😊

The American Falls are obviously across Niagara River, on the American shore. There flows about 7 to 10% of the total volume of the water, thus there is a much bigger frozen surface than the one on the Canadian shore.

Niagara Falls

Sometimes, when it is extreme cold, it looks like the Falls have stopped, but in fact, the water continues to flow underneath the sheets of ice.

The Canadian Falls (Horseshoe falls) have the remaining of 90% of the water flow, falling freely into the Maid-of-the-Mist pool. As the name suggests, this is the mist creating surroundings you could only see in a fairy tale.

Niagara Falls

Sprayed in layers, the mist will form a crust of ice over the nearby features, including the rushing water itself, making unique appearances.

Niagara Falls

Mounds of snowy ice are built up along the shore, incredible sheets of ice along the waterfalls, coated stairs, platforms and rocks, miniature glaciers or caves, they are all majestically displayed.

More contrast is coming from the greenish water, as an estimated 60 tons of dissolved minerals are swept over Niagara Falls every minute. The colour comes from the dissolved salts and rock flour (shales and dolomitic limestone).

Niagara Falls

With an average of 2,000, up to 3,000 tonnes of water flowing over Niagara Falls every second, it is almost impossible to see the waterfalls totally frozen. There is only one time known that Niagara Falls has actually got frozen solid for about 30 hours, on March 29th, 1848, when Lake Erie (where Niagara River comes from) froze and created an ice dam, preventing the water reaching the falls.

Niagara Falls

Tip(s) of the day:

  • Wear warm and waterproof cloths, as most of the time the wind and the currents will direct the mist along the shore;

~ visited in February 2021

If you like this post, you might want to see Niagara River in the fall:

If you want to have an idea about Niagara Falls during fall time, you can watch this little video:


32 thoughts on “The magic of the frozen falls: Niagara Falls

  1. Too late, I also went to Niagara in the winter and froze to the bone for a few photos (publishing a blog is a real dedication). Before splitting between US and Canada, we also have to consider the water diverted to produce electricity, often more than 50% of the volume, especially at night and in winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How have I never been to Niagara Falls in the winter before!? It looks even better covered in icy formations. I’ll have to add this to my list for next winter. The temperature has been quite mild over the past couple of weeks so I don’t imagine there’s nearly as much ice now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not much to see this time I believe, and also this winter has been quite mild overall. I remember few years ago we’ve had a harsh winter, and the falls were much more frozen, but I couldn’t take many photos, as my camera got frozen easily as well as my hands😉

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  3. Wow, your frozen Niagara photos are truly spectacular, Christie! 🙂 Seeing in person how the mist and spray begin to form a crust of ice over the top of the rushing water must be an amazing experience. Not to mention those once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities. This is definitely one for the travel wish list! I was just wondering – has the Falls ever stopped flowing? Thanks for sharing and have a great day, it’s already March, how exciting is that! Aiva 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only known time when Niagara Falls got frozen (and stopped flowing) was back in 1848. As for other reasons, not so sure, as with such high volumes, it is hard to stop them flowing. Although I’m sure it gets diverted when constructions are needed. I am so ready for spring, and very excited, as we will have 2-digit temperatures next week🙂 Have a lovely weekend, xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So sweet of you Aiva!! Thank you so so much for your support and appreciation!! I would love to participate, but quite busy these days. I’m not sure how other people manage their days, but mine’s are flying by soo fast!! I will try at the end of the week😍
      take care, Christie xoxo


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