7 Glacier Hikes You Need To See Before They Melt Away Forever


Climate change is causing some of the most beautiful hiking destinations in the world to melt. You have to see these glaciers before they’re gone forever.

Glaciers around the world have been shrinking since the 1940s. And melting rates have sped up over the last decade, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Tragically, that means time is running out to see the most stunning glacial formations around the globe.

These 7 trails lead to some of the most beautiful glaciers in the world. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be an avid trekker to embark on an icy adventure. From Everest to a simple boardwalk, there’s a glacier for every hiker.

1. Grinnell Glacier

Deep in the Rocky Mountains, this hike takes you past peaceful alpine vistas to the serene lake. As you climb toward the glacier, you’ll see waterfalls and maybe spot a moose in the meadows.

Location: Glacier National Park, Montana, U.S.

Length: 10.3 miles

Difficulty: Tough climb. (You have to go up 1,600 feet to get to the top.)

2. Skaftafellsjökull

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Skaftafellsjökull Glacier is an awe-inspiring, but a quickly-disappearing sight.

Location: Skaftafell National Park, Iceland

Length: 2.3 miles

Difficulty: Easy stroll (You can take the 6-hour route if you want a challenge.)

3. Briksdal Glacier

The biggest glacier in Europe, Jostedalsbreen Glacier is situated between two of the longest fjords in the world.

Location: Jostedalsbreen National Park, Norway

Length: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy stroll (You can find more strenuous paths elsewhere in the park.)

4. Alex Knob

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This day-long hike tramps through jungles, meadows and cliffs until reaching the glacier viewpoint.

Location: Westland Tai Poutini National Park, New Zealand

Length: 10.6 miles

Difficulty: Tough climb.

5. Perito Moreno Glacier

If you’re going to visit one glacier in your life, make it the famous wall of ice in Patagonia.

Location: Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina

Length: Flexible, depending on how far you go along the viewing balconies.

Difficulty: Easy stroll (You can book ice hiking tours across the glacier.)

6. Spencer Glacier

Only accessible by train, Spencer Glacier is a less-traveled glacier in Alaska’s Kenai Mountains.

Location: Chugach National Forest, Alaska, U.S.

Length: 6.8 miles (Campsites are available at the halfway point.)

Difficulty: Moderate hike.

7. Everest Base Camp

Although the tourist base camp is different than the mountain climber’s base camp, both are near the Khumbu glacier.

Location: Everest Base Camp, Nepal

Length: 40 miles (9 miles a day for about 12 days)

Difficulty: Expert trek.