Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on February 8, 2023.
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Pittsburgh and the northeastern United States started 2018 off with a bang, experiencing near record low temperatures followed by a rare bomb cyclone.
With temperatures between zero and ten degrees (before wind chill!) for many days in a row, Pittsburgh's iconic three rivers started to freeze over.
We took several trips out into the tundra known as Pittsburgh when this happened to capture some shots of the frozen wonderland. These 19 photos are some of our favorites.
From Mount Washington
This one even operates in the extreme cold, making for a striking view of the frozen rivers below.
The fountain at Point State Park doesn't operate in the winter, but the ice sheets in the Allegheny River (top left) and Monongahela River (bottom right) make for a great juxtaposition.
Which one is more frozen? It is truly hard to say.
The three sisters bridges stand out in the city of bridges.
The Warhol bridge (center) stands out amongst its sisters the Clemente (foreground) and Carson (background) thanks to its recent paint job.
Normally when visitors come in to Pittsburgh via the Fort Pitt Tunnel and drive across the Fort Pitt Bridge (above), the skyline takes their breath away.
I have to think these drivers are impressed by the ice as much as the skyline right about now.
Even in the extreme cold, Acrisure Stadium (formerly Heinz Field) looks stunning. Thankfully, the Steelers had a bye week during the deep freeze.
For a brief moment the sun came out while we were on Mount Washington, giving a bit of sun to the bridges on the Allegheny.
The bridges on the Monongahela to the south of the city weren't so lucky.
The meeting between Seneca leader Guyasuta and George Washington is immortalized in the “Point of View” statue a few steps away from the Incline.
The meeting took place somewhere in the region (likely not on Mount Washington), and we always have to imagine what it looked like when it occurred. Hopefully not during a deep freeze like this one!
We wanted to get more views of this glorious ice so we went down to the North Shore River Trail to check out the views between the sister bridges.
From the North Shore River Trail
The Allegheny River on the north side of downtown Pittsburgh between the Warhol and Clemente Bridges.
The Warhol Bridge just finished being restored and is vibrant in the winter cold!
Ice gathering at the base of the Clemente Bridge as viewed from the North Shore River Trail.
Looking out underneath the Clemente Bridge at a frozen Pittsburgh with the Warhol Bridge off in the distance.
If the Gulf Tower was lit up, it would be saying go back inside, it's too cold for this.
Pittsburgh's rivers probably won't freeze over entirely, but they were almost there in early 2018.
Edge to edge ice was visible in many spots along the Allegheny River!
In the extreme cold with dreary weather, the Warhol Bridge shines with its fresh coat of paint.
By the end of the first week of January most all of the river had at least a thin layer of ice on it- unreal!
Some of the ice out by the Fort Duquesne Bridge was around for quite a while and had a layer of snow built up on it!
We didn't capture a photo of it, but the geese seemed to be enjoying walking along the ice. (Don't try this at home!)
Snow-covered ice extended out several dozen feet underneath the Fort Duquesne Bridge.
A few non-frozen sections of the Allegheny River visible in early January. Those didn't last long.
We weren't done checking out the views of the beautiful frozen rivers, and made one final trip out into the tundra to check out one of our favorite spots to view the Pittsburgh skyline– the West End overlook!
From the West End Overlook
The West End Overlook provides a commanding view of downtown and the confluence of the three rivers in Pittsburgh (with the Ohio River dominant in the foreground), as well as the West End Bridge.
We have to feel a bit sorry for the workers on the barge, who very clearly are following in the path of their brethren through the icy waters.
Stay the course, captain! This truly was one of the deepest freezes we've ever seen in Pittsburgh.
If you head out to take photos of the winter wonderland, be sure to bundle up with many layers, hand warmers, and do not plan to stay outside for more than five to ten minutes at a time.
When we went out to take these photos the temperatures were hovering between zero and five degrees (F) and wind chills were 15 to 20 below zero. After about ten minutes even with all of our gear we were so cold we had to call it quits.
Don't push it even to check out this gorgeous scenery!