Why is the Ice Blue? In Glacier Bay

A kayaker paddles by a huge blue iceberg.
Blue is our favorite color!

NPS Photo

Blue is the color of pure glacier ice, compact with few air bubbles, since the air is squeezed out from the weight of the ice. Pure ice has the properties of minerals. Like sapphires, glacial ice reflects the blue colors of the light spectrum, so beautiful blue color reaches our eyes. Glacial ice mostly looks white, since it is typically jagged and worn from exposure. Glacial ice can also look black and brown from the rock and debris plucked up by the ice in its journey down the mountainside and incorporated into the flowing glacier. 

For frequently asked questions about the glaciers of Glacier Bay: click here!

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

Last updated: April 8, 2021