Glaciers are one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world, and they can be found at several locations in numerous different regions.
However, what many people might not be aware of is that there are many within the United States – allowing those within the country to see these natural beauties up close and personal in their own backyard.
But where can they be found, and which are the best glaciers in the United States?
How Are Glaciers Formed?
A glacier is a dense body of ice that is constantly moving under its own weight. Glaciers are formed when the amount of snow and ice forming on the rock rapidly beats the melting rate – resulting in firm, dense masses of ice.
Where Can They Be Found?
In the United States, glaciers can be found in a surprising nine states throughout the country. These states include: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming.
What is perhaps more surprising is that there are literally hundreds of glaciers within these locations, with each state hosting dozens in varying sizes – making the United States one of the most prominent spots in the western hemisphere.
The Five Best Glaciers In The US
Now that we know a little more about glaciers and where they are located in the US, let’s take a look at our picks for the 5 best glaciers in the country – providing you with all the information you need to track them down and check them out for yourself.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
First on our list is the Margerie glacier, one of the most prominent and well known glaciers in the state of Alaska.
Alaska is perhaps the first state we would all think of when we hear the word glacier – most notably due to the cold conditions and wide open, untouched natural space – and this glacier is a true example of the power of nature in action.
Jagged, impressive, and somewhat daunting in size, it really is a fantastic sight, and one that people can either visit on land, or via one of the many cruise ships that comes within spitting distance of this amazing natural wonder.
One piece of tragic information about this glacier is that it ‘calves’ or ‘breaks’ often, so you can (quite sadly) see climate change happening in real time.
Next on our list is Blackfoot glacier, located in Glacier National Park in the state of Montana.
Montana is widely known for its mountain ranges, sprawling vistas, and breathtaking natural beauty, but many might be surprised to learn that it plays host to so many glaciers.
Blackfoot glacier is certainly one of the most notable, named after the well known indigenous Blackfoot tribe whose people have inhabited this area for generations.
This area represents America at its finest, and the whole area is perfect for hiking, viewing wildlife, and bathing in the ecstatic beauty of nature.
Another glacier located in Alaska, the Mendenhall Glacier can be found near the town of Juneau, and is one of the largest glaciers in the country.
Very popular amongst tourists, this glacier sees around half a million visitors every year, and is surprisingly in much better condition than the other Alaskan glacier on this list.
This staggering glacier almost doesn’t look real, with a size that is both humbling and awe inspiring. Luckily, there are numerous tours you can take to learn more about the formation of the glacier, and the state it is currently in.
But however you approach it, this really isn’t one you want to miss!
Taking the penultimate spot on this list is the South Cascade Glacier located in Washington State.
While many might not think the west coast would be home to so many glaciers, it is understandable when you consider the state’s close proximity to Vancouver and the rest of Canada.
Unfortunately though, South Cascade glacier is a cautionary tale for climate change, and since the 1950s it has continually lost more and more ice and snow from its peak – dwindling in size and grandeur piece by piece.
But that doesn’t stop it being a beautiful sight, and one that is both humbling in its size, and a breathtaking treat for those lucky enough to see it.
Last on our list, but by no means least, we have Andrews Glacier – located in the Rocky Mountain National Park in the state of Colorado.
As many might know, Colorado is known for its cooler winters and mountain ranges, and as such you could probably imagine some pretty spectacular glaciers residing in this vast and beautiful state.
Here you can find the purest water on Earth running naturally from the glacier itself – a journey that begins at Alberta Falls, heads past ‘The Loch’, before arriving at the glacier itself, and it is a path that you too can walk on your trip.
The result is a secluded lagoon of sorts, with rocky, mountainous outlooks all around, the gushing glacier out ahead, and nothing but breathtaking beauty on all sides. What could be better than that?
And there we have it, everything you need to know about glaciers, and the best ones in the United States!
Glaciers are some of the most fragile and at risk natural sites in the world, and it is paramount that we work together to protect them at all costs.
Hopefully, with awareness and visitation, we can forge a renewed appreciation for these natural sites, and ensure that they remain a part of our lives for years to come.
So if you are interested in seeing glaciers, then why not visit some of these natural US wonders?
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