24 Stunning Glaciers You Need to Visit

Looking for a scenic adventure that will take you off the beaten track? Glacier trekking could be for you. Glaciers – not to be confused with icebergs – are large and persistent bodies of ice. Glaciers form over land over many years and together with icebergs, contain most of Earth’s fresh water.

Sadly, many glaciers are rapidly shrinking, so now is the time for beginner and experienced hikers alike to check out the breathtaking sights of the world’s most beautiful frozen landscapes . Whether you’re looking to explore a glacier on a gentle one-day hike or trek a more challenging and jagged terrain over multi-day adventure, there’s plenty of glaciers that present magnificent views and experiences. Here’s  our list of 24 of the best glaciers to hike and check out.

The longest glacier in Europe, located right in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-do for adventurous hikers. Even hiking newbies can do this as long as they have a lot of positive energy and a willing heart. Of course, bringing the right gear is a must too.

Vatnajökull, also known as the Vatna Glacier, is the largest and most voluminous ice cap in Iceland, and one of the largest in area in Europe. Covering than eight percent of Iceland, its name is derived from vatna, which means water in Icelandic, and jökull, which means glacier. Hikes are available for all levels, and many visitors are drawn to seeing the midnight sun, the hot springs hidden in caves of ice, and spectacular views.

Sólheimajökull Glacier is about 8 km long and 1-2 km wide. It is sometimes called “The Stinking River” because of its emission of sulphuric acid from sub-glacial high-temperature areas. This glacier has shrunk dramatically over the years and is full of ice ridges, sinkholes, and streams, providing hikers with a memorable experience.

The Matterhorn Glacier is a glacier in the Pennine Alps, located at the base of the north face of the Matterhorn, south of Zermatt. It has a maximum width of approximately 2.5 kilometers and reaches a minimum height of 2.8 kilometers. This technically challenging peak provides breathtaking views but is not for the amateur hiker.

Pasterze Glacier is the longest glacier in Austria, at 8.4 kilometers long. Lying directly beneath Mount Grossglockner, the country’s highest mountain, Pasterze is accessible from the High Alpine Road, as well as via a cable railway, and a walking trail. ‘Pasterze’ comes from the word ‘Pastirica’, from the Snian word for ‘shepherdess’.

Jostedal Glacier is the largest glacier in continental Europe. Hiking tours are available for all levels, starting from a very easy one-hour hike catered to families. Kayaking is also popular here.

The largest mass of ice in the Rocky Mountains, it’s no surprise that this glacier is a hiker’s favorite. Stretching for than 25 kilometers across the Continental divide, hiking it is not for the faint-hearted. Those willing to take on the adventure can witness the beauty of melting snows, waters flowing across North America to the Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Pacific Oceans.

Angel Glacier is one of the accessible glaciers in Canada. Nature rs will appreciate its accessibility and beauty. Hikers can get very close to the glacier and take magnificent photos. If you go, lo at the glacier closely and see if you think it does indeed resemble an angel – how the glacier got its name.

This glacier is 13.6 miles long and has a helpful visitor center operated by the United States Forest Service. The easy Photo Point Trail is the best vantage point for panoramic shots of Mendenhall Glacier and the surrounding peaks.

If you are loing for a short, easy-to-access, and amazing hike, check out Exit Glacier. The lower trail is a very easy half-mile for everybody, where you can also snap a memorable photo in front of the glacier face. The upper trail has an overlo that seems as though you’re standing right on the glacier.

That’s a lot of ice hey! Glaciers are one of the most humbling landforms due to their immense size and slow pace. If you haven’t visited one already, add your favorites to your own personal Wanderlist.

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