Best time to travel to Yellowstone National Park

Singing Lake

Famous Yellowstone Lake starts to sing when ice reacts to changing temperatures

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Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Winter isn't the most popular time to visit Yellowstone National Park located in Teton County, Wyoming. However, during these cold months, it looks and sounds absolutely magical! Yellowstone Lake is the largest natural water reservoir in Yellowstone National Park. It occupies 136 sq mi or 352 sq km. The area around the lake gets especially quiet when covered with a thick layer of snow. So the only things you can hear are mystical sounds that come out of nowhere and are reminiscent of eerie chanting. The Singing Lake phenomenon is one of the great reasons to visit the park from December to February during this region's coldest time of the year.

Lone tree on frozen Yellowstone Lake 2020
Lone tree on frozen Yellowstone Lake

The wintertime song of this frozen lake is a phenomenon that has yet to be explained by scientists. According to one hypothesis, it is caused when ice moves due to changing temperatures. Ice on the lake can be just a few cm to 0.5 m (from several inches to 2 ft) thick. There are also several thermal zones on the lake that do not freeze. When the ice expands and cracks, it makes groans that sound like singing.

It's hard to understand what's going on under the ice cover, so there is no definite answer to the strange singing sounds. When you see the winter wonderland of Yellowstone in front of you, it's easy to come up with some magical explanation.

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