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Only ten percent of the land on Earth is covered by year-round ice, and most of that is in remote Antarctica, a next-to-impossible destination for most people. Most of the rest is in Greenland, which while not impossible is certainly off the beaten path. That leaves only a few other places, either at high latitudes, high elevations, or both, where you can see remnants of the massive ice sheets that covered much of the earth just a few thousand years ago. As climate change advances, glaciers around the world are in retreat, and many of them could disappear in the lifetime of anyone reading this.

Understand[edit]

Where to see glaciers[edit]

This is not a list of all the glaciers in the world, for that see Wikipedia. This is instead a list of the best places to access glaciers for the average (non-mountaineering) tourist. They are organized by continent and natural region (e.g. mountain range) rather than by tourism region, since many mountain ranges cross multiple political and cultural borders.

Asia[edit]

Himalayas[edit]

Europe[edit]

  • Alps
  • Norway – Many glaciers are in easy reach, if not from cities, at least from villages by the roads. Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier on the European mainland.
  • Vatnajökull, Iceland is the largest glacier in Europe overall, also quite easily reached.

Oceania[edit]

North America[edit]

Rocky and Columbia Mountains[edit]

Coast and Cascade Mountains[edit]

South America[edit]

Andes[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

See also: Cold weather, Snow safety, Mountaineering

The glaciers are not stable, but flow down the mountain. This will cause cracks, crevasses, which may be obscured by snow bridges. The walls and roofs of ice caves can collapse and cracks can get closed. At the edge of glaciers huge blocks break loose, fall down and perhaps jump or roll farther from the edge. If they fall into water, they can cause huge waves (think tsunami).

There are regularities, so the glacier's behaviour can be predicted to some degree, especially with local knowledge.

Never go near the front of a glacier, but instead approach from higher ground on the sides. Unless you are an expert, just watch it at a secure distance or go on a tour with local guides.

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