Photo Source: Flickr - Dru!
The number of glaciers that are scattered around North America is almost unfathomable. You can find these slow-moving chunks of ice nestled in mountain ranges, looming over lakes, and towering well above the oceans. The combination of glaciers and the landscape is scenic and a reminder of the power and beauty that is found in nature.
With hundreds of thousands of glaciers in the United States only, it is impossible to create a list of all the best glaciers to see in your lifetime. However, let's look at some of the most scenic glaciers in America that will be a good jumping off point for you next outdoor adventure.
Alaska is estimated to be home to 100,000 glaciers, out of which only 600 have been explored and officially named. Most of these named glaciers are easily approachable if you have a proper guide. Trekking to glaciers in Alaska is a fantastic hiking vacation and allows visitors to experience the alluring beauty Alaska offers. Of the glaciers in Alaska that have been explored, many of the most spectacular glaciers are found at Glacier Bay National Park. The entire park covers over 3.3 million acres and most of it is covered by glaciers. The park has the facilities for cruises and boats for a memorable and inspiring tour around the glaciers.
Another famous Glacier found in the region of Alaska is Mendenhall Glacier, which is only fifteen minutes outside of Juneau. The glacier has a relatively warmer temperature and hence is subject to recession. Spanning 12 miles, Mendenhall provides incredibly stunning views.
Bering is the biggest glacier in North America, despite the fact that it has been shrinking. The sheer size and scope of Bering is hard to fathom. The glacier is so big and heavy that it carries enough weight to depress the Earth's crust. Combined with the scenery of the surrounding cool waters of Bifus Lake in Wrangell-St Elias National Park, this massive glacier is not only the biggest Glacier in America, but also one of the most beautiful.
More than a thousand glaciers can be found in Wyoming, the largest of which is Gannet Glacier, which covers around 897 acres. These glaciers are a water source for most of the rivers in America but are shrinking fast due to warmer temperatures. Nevertheless, their spectacular views attract people from all over the country. You are even allowed to hike to Gannet Glacier.
Blackfoot Glacier is one of twenty-five glaciers that can be seen when visiting Glacier National Park in Montana. Stretching over 441 acres, it is the second largest glacier in the area. Sadly, when the glacier was first measured in the 1800's, it was over four times the size it is now. For adventurers who want to see every scenic glacier in America, you need to visit Blackfoot before it is gone.
We cannot leave Canada out when talking about scenic glaciers in North America. The country holds more than 150 glaciers. The ones that are most visited in terms of ease to hike are located in the Canadian Rockies. Athabasca glacier in Jasper National Park is especially famous among hikers. This glacier is found down from the Columbia Icefields, and you can opt for either a walking tour or a snow coach for touring around the glacier.
Lying in the north of the Glacier Peak Wilderness is South Cascade Glacier. One reason this glacier is one of the most scenic in America is the surrounding vista. To the east you have vast mountain ranges 8,000 feet high, and you can also see the South Cascade Lake. Like many of the glaciers on this list, South Cascade has been shrinking and it is only half its original size.
People from all over the world come to America to view our Glaciers. These scenic phenomena add something remarkable to America's natural beauty.
The sheer size and beauty of these natural monuments are astounding, and something everyone should see once in their life. If you are interested in taking an outdoor holiday, these captivating glaciers are a good place to start your journey because many of these glaciers will soon be gone.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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