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Pets allowed
Yes-restrictions
Elevation Gain
450.00 ft (137.16 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
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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!

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Flat, easy hike. Good views.

Cons

Very crowded. Might be boring for experienced hikers.

Trailhead Elevation

6,245.00 ft (1,903.48 m)

Highest point

6,709.00 ft (2,044.90 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Family friendly
Waterfalls
Glacier
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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