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Morteratsch Glacier Walk

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Morteratsch Glacier Walk

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  • The glacier has mostly retreated back over a large rock outcrop, but you can still see parts of the glacier as well as several large waterfalls that run down the rocks.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • Piz Bernina with one of the many waterfalls coming off of the glacier.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • The views from the beginning of the trail are great - the Bernina massif and the glacier are visible in the distance.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • Piz Bellavista and Crast'Agüzza seen in the distance.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • The powerful river rages just near the start of the trail.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • Large waterfalls run off the cliffs along the trail, especially during the spring season.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • The rock outcrop behind which the Morteratsch Glacier has mostly retreated.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • There are a few bridges over the glacial river, allowing you to get up close to the glacier.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • Munt Pers seen on the left side of the trail across the glacial river Ova da Morteratsch.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • Piz Albris and neighboring mountains- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
  • Close-up of the glacier wall from the end of the trail.- Morteratsch Glacier Walk
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Flat, easy hike. Good views.
Cons: 
Very crowded. Might be boring for experienced hikers.
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Region:
Other,
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Highest point: 
6,709.00 ft (2,044.90 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Permit required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Biking
Total Distance: 
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
Total elevation gain: 
450.00 ft (137.16 m)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,245.00 ft (1,903.48 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

If you're looking for a short hike to do on a road trip or family vacation, you might enjoy the Morteratsch Glacier walk. The entire out-and-back trip takes only two hours round trip and is not difficult. The hike leads through the glacial floodplain and offers views of the Morteratsch Glacier, Piz Albris, Munt Pers, and the glacial river Ova da Morteratsch.

The hike begins at the Morteratsch train station. Follow the yellow signs toward Vadret da Morteratsch. The sign estimates 50 minutes of hiking each way. The hike leads along the river in a wide gravel road that is easily suitable for mountain bikes. The path leads very slightly uphill for 2.1 miles toward the glacier. From the beginning of the trail there are good views of the river Ova da Morteratsch as well as the Piz Bernina massif in the distance. As you walk along the path and approach the glacier, you can see the landscape and flora change.

When you reach the end of the main trail, a sign warns about the risks of continuing - namely rockfall and avalanche risks. However, the gravel path continues a bit farther toward the Morteratsch Glacier between branches of the glacial river. The views are incredible; the glacier is only about 200 meters from the end of the trail. Unfortunately, the glacier has retreated quite a bit over a tall rock outcrop, but the views are still excellent.

The Morteratsch Glacier is retreating quickly, at an average of 18 meters per year. Informational signs are posted along the trail to show the length of the glacier throughout the 19th and 20th century and offer some interesting facts about glaciers, and they are well worth your time to read. This also makes it a fun family hike.

Happy hiking!

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