Crystal blue and freezing cold; the glaciers are extreme but breathtaking. Like gigantic frozen rivers, glaciers have long aroused the curiosity of travelers, leading us to climb them with spikes attached to our feet and sometimes even pickaxes in hand. It is still considered a somewhat obscure outdoor activity because there are not many glaciers on our beautiful planet. Don’t worry, all hope is not lost; here are 5 of the best places to go glacier hiking.
Inexpensive Flights To Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
One of the most famous natural monuments of the South Island of New Zealand, the Franz Josef Glacier is a striking example of the geological history of this volcanic destination. The spectacular terrain presents a fantastic ice climbing experience that will be both challenging and enjoyable for all levels. A glacier hike will allow you to get closer to this historical beauty, but there are other ways to discover it if you prefer, such as a helicopter ride over the glacier or perhaps a walk through the glacier valley instead. There are even hot pools at the glacier, so after a tiring day of hiking, you can relax and unwind! Just a twenty-minute drive down the road is also Fox Glacier, so you can combine the two in one epic and memorable day.
Inexpensive Flights To Nigardsbreen, Norway
A wonderfully accessible glacier, Nigardsbreen is a gem in a country renowned for its wild and spectacular landscapes. Located in the Jostedalen Valley, Nigardsbreen is rather large, the largest in continental Europe in fact, which means that the melting process has less effect. In turn, this makes it a dramatic and enjoyable experience as a visitor. Crevasses and ice tunnels are to be explored! In addition to hiking on the glacier, you can get into a kayak and take to the water, which allows you to see the glacier from a completely different point of view. However, if the lake is frozen, you can also go snowshoeing on the frozen lake instead!
Snæfellsjökull Glacier, Iceland
Engulfing a 700,000-year-old stratovolcano, if the Snæfellsjökull Glacier isn’t an incredible feat of Mother Nature, I don’t know what is. This is unquestionably one of the most intriguing natural landscapes in Iceland and a glacier hike is a fantastic way to get involved. Rising above a series of smaller peaks, Snæfellsjökull is high and proud surrounded by long hardened lava streams, letting out the secret of the hidden but bubbling magma in the icy crust. The glacier covers an area of about 11 square kilometers, but this is still decreasing. A hike will allow you to explore the edges of the glacier which are by far the most impressive portions, characterized by many icy rocks. The hike to the main part of the glacier will take a few hours and the entire experience will last between 5 and 7 hours! Get involved and learn all about glaciers, volcanoes, volcanic rock and geysers in one visit.
Inexpensive Flights To Athabasca Glacier, Canada
Canada clearly has a reputation for its snowy and cold climate, so it’s no surprise that glacier hiking is a favorite among visitors to this beautiful country. The Athabasca Glacier, located in the Columbia Icefield of Jasper National Park, is a prime destination for this. Stretching for 6 kilometers, a glacier hike on the Athabasca will allow you to embark on an adventure first-hand, rather than just seeing the glacier from afar. For those who want to take it to the next level, why not consider an ice climbing day? No matter how you choose to climb it, a glacier hike on the Athabasca is worth including in your broader explorations of the Canadian Rockies.
Matanuska Glacier, United States
Head to the cold throes of Alaska in the northern United States and you will find many glaciers. The Matanuska Glacier is a great example of this! Large ice shards, towering ice walls and windmills are all featured here for exceptional glacier hiking adventures. A little further on, the Margerie Glacier is also worth including in your explorations of the wider Glacier Bay. A 13-mile-long jagged ice slide; this is a phenomenal glacier that really needs to be seen in person to really appreciate it. You can only reach this glacier by boat, which offers the best views and you will often see pieces of the glacier break off and crash into the water below.
Unfortunately, global warming is a real problem, glaciers are retreating faster than ever and there will soon not be many left on our planet. We think these are 5 of the best places to go ice hiking while you still can. With that in mind, why not venture out on a glacier hike as soon as possible?
Bio: Kerri Ware is an avid traveler and wrote this article on behalf of Economy Car Hire. Based in the UK, this family-run holiday car rental broker offers car rentals worldwide and always includes a built-in additional insurance and a free additional driver. Get out and explore our beautiful planet with peace of mind!