Lusting to get off the beaten track? Why not consider an exciting world class hike on some of the world’s most beautiful frozen landscapes? Glacier treks come in a range of exciting opportunities for beginners and experienced climbers. Experienced climbers who are looking for something more challenging than a standard day hike can try an introduction to the sport of ice climbing on the ice walls of a glacier. You can even combine the thrill of a helicopter ride with the opportunity to explore a remote part of the glacier on foot. A helicopter can take you on a scenic flight over the glaciers and surrounding region, and then drop you off for some intensive hiking and climbing. If you’re looking for an unforgettable travel experience, there are few things more rewarding or satisfying than spending a full day on ice.
Fox Glacier, New Zealand: Photo by Robert Paul Young on Flickr.
1. The Franz Josef and Fox Glacier in the Southern Alps of New Zealand is an unforgettable glacier experience, and is especially suited for first time mountain trekkers. A wide variety of hiking options to choose from means even the most inexperienced hiker can enjoy the glittering crystalline landscape of one the world’s most incredible glaciers. The ultimate holiday trekking package will have you boarding a helicopter, while budget travelers can also enjoy half-day treks.
Snæfellsjökull Glacier, Iceland. Photo by bonus1up on Flickr.
2. Snæfellsjökull Glacier in Iceland will impress anyone with its translucent landscape. Even Jules Vernes was drawn to its icy peaks. Vernes wrote about Snæfellsjökull in his novel Journey to the Center of the Earth, stating that the entrance to the center of the earth is through a caldera at the summit. Iceland, with approximately 11% of its land mass covered with glaciers, is undisputedly one of the best places in the world for glacier trekking.
The Icefields Parkway, Canada. Photo by miguelb on Flickr.
3. The Icefields Parkway in Canada is renowned for being one of the most scenic highways in the world. The landscape is literally carved out of glaciers. Amazingly, some of the glaciers you can see here are from the last ice age. Visitors can enjoy an alpine picnic or venture out on a camping and walking tour. Canadian holiday hiking packages come in all shapes and sizes, and will allow you to explore the peaks and glaciers of Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks.
4. Kennicott, Alaska’s Root Glacier is a short two mile hike from the main street in the town of Kennicott. Activities here range from backpacking and mountaineering, to day hikes, ice-climbing, alpine skiing and even river rafting.
Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland. Photo by poolie on Flickr.
5. The Swiss Alps, Switzerland The Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacier in the Swiss Alps, and has recently been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is where you can view the famous peaks of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. With eight glacier crossings, Aletsch guarantees a challenging trek over glittering ice fields and towering peaks.
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina. Photo by longhorndave on Flickr.
6. Patagonia, Argentina and Chile The Southern Patagonian Ice Fields and the Moreno range will take your breath away. In particular, the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most important tourist attractions in the Argentine Patagonia. Moreover, it is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water. The terminus of this incredible glacier is 5 km wide. Its average height is 60 meters above the surface of the water with a total ice depth of 170 meters.
7. Bolivia The glittering icy landscape that makes up Laguna Glacier touches the sky at 5038 meters, and it is home to one of the highest lakes in the world.
8. The Peruvian Andes claims the largest concentration of glaciers in the world’s tropical zone, and it receives thousands of trekking junkies each year. Stretching along 180 kilometers from north to south across the Ancash region, the snow-covered peaks of the Cordillera Blanca descend into massive glaciers. These glaciers , provide incredible trails for hikers to explore.
9. Nepal and the Indian Himalayas Nothing better can sum it up. “A trip to The Kingdom of Nepal may well be the best hiking holiday of your life.”
10. Bhutan. The glacial landscape of Bhutan might very well be the opportunity of a lifetime. Researchers estimate that Bhutan’s glaciers are retreating by as much as 100 feet each year. This might be your last chance to see them, since this is probably their last century.