Have you ever heard of freezing fog?

I know that I haven’t. Even after years of living in Pennsylvania, I’d never heard of the phenomenon where fog rolls through and literally frosts everything in its path. And yet on my cross country road trip in December 2020, I found myself face to face with something totally jaw dropping: frozen fog.

The highway drive was going smoothly enough with some interesting snowfall on the red rock formations of the high desert in Utah. Pretty cool. I’d only ever witnessed this grand landscape in either summer or fall, but have always wanted to see snow in the desert. Something about that white fluffy snow outlining rigid red cliffs just looks otherworldly cool.

Everything was frosted over.

However, it was otherworldly cold. Feeling like I was standing on the surface of Mars, I looked around to see not just snow, but the entire desert ecosystem literally frozen. No noise, no wind, no wildlife. Just – still. I immediately pulled off of highway I-70 near Goblin State park to observe all that I could before the fog enveloped world disappeared into the night.

Then something incredible happened. On the drive toward my campsite for the evening (yikes… talk about cold), I climbed the mountain road and just as quickly as the descent into the fog, my Jeep burst above it. Let’s just say that view was…. perfect. I immediately pulled over, grabbed my 5DSR and 24-70mm, and took a blue hour panorama of the below mountain scene with the cloud/fog inversion in the valley where I was shooting below. Oh man – I think this may be one of my top images, of. all. time.

Black Dragon overlook

So let me know in the comments – have you had the chance to see this type of fog? Or a cloud inversion? Turns out these are the first two things that Thomas Heaton says every photographer must see at some point! Glad I was able to bag both in the same afternoon. Be sure to check out my video of the unreal afternoon below (and like/subscribe too!):

Thank you Utah for remaining the most stunning place I’ve ever seen!

Happy shooting,

Brian

4 Comments on “Have you ever heard of freezing fog?

  1. Living in a relatively moist climate zone freezing fog or hoar frost is quite common here in the Interior of BC. I really like your video presentation on how you captured these amazing photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Peter! It was an unreal sight that I’ve never even knew existed until this trip. I’m jealous of your routine experience! Glad you liked the video as well. If you sub on YouTube I’ll be making similar ones regularly – would be great to have you follow there as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We get freezing fog here in the UK from time to time. The last major episode I remember was in Yorkshire about 2009 when it lasted for several days. Magical but bloomin cold. Enjoying your posts thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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