VIDEO | Natural phenomenon on the Snoqualmie River, beautiful spinning Ice Circle

With cold weather comes beautiful surprises in the Snoqualmie Valley – not to mention pretty uncommon.

North Bend resident and photographer Kaylyn Messer heard about a cold weather phenomenon occurring on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River and promptly decided to check it out on Saturday, January 7, 2016.

What she discovered was breathtaking: a spinning Ice Circle, which she captured and shared on her website over the weekend.

According to Wikipedia, ice circles, or ice disks, are considered a natural phenomenon that occur in slow-moving water in cold climates. They often form on outer bends of rivers when accelerating water creates a rotational shear, breaking off an ice chunk and twisting it around. As the ice chunk rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice, smoothing into a circle of thin ice.

Ice circle on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. Photo credit: Kaylyn Messer.


How to Find Middle Fork Ice Circle

Kaylyn said the Middle Fork ice circle is below located below the large bridge between the Mailbox Peak and Middle Fork trailheads (off Middle Fork Road) – so accessible by car.  Her video was taken from the bridge. She parked and walked a short distance to shore to observe and photograph the ice circle up close.  [** Note: as the weather warms the circle may melt off. **]

To view LOTS of amazing shots of the ice circle phenomenon – and to see more videos – visit Kaylyn’s website at or visit the Kaylyn Messer Photography Facebook page.

Thanks to Kaylyn for allowing us to share her beautiful photos and video.


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