Morteratsch Glacier: A walk to the largest glacier in the Bernina Range

It had never crossed my mind to go out of my way to see a glacier up close. But one thing lead to another, and when I found out my mom and Jim would be coming to visit us, I began planning our adventures. So why not see a glacier?

Actually, my main goal was for us to ride the Bernina Express, but riding all the way south only to come right back didn't make any sense to me. I wanted to find a way to break up the trip and spend a night (or two) somewhere a little more interesting than a train station town. Fortunately, the Rhaetian Railway also offers a Bernina Express bus from Lugano to Tirano (Italy) where you can catch the Bernina Express train up to Davos or Chur.

The plan was then to take the train down to Lugano on Day 1, spend the next day relaxing in the sun, and then head back on Day 3. Still, I didn't like the idea of not being able to get off the Bernina Express to explore any of the towns along the way. That's when I decided we would indeed go out of our way to stop at the Morteratsch Glacier on our way down to Lugano. And by go out of our way, I mean hours of backtracking (which I really hate), but it was all worth it!

How to get to the Morteratsch Glacier:

1. Get off at the Morteratsch stop on the Bernina line of the Rhaetian Railway.
Isaiah, Mom, and Jim at the station

2. Look for helpful yellow signs that point you in the direction of the glacier. (Hint: It's called "Vadret da Morteratsch.")

3. Walk on the "wild side" of Switzerland, stopping every now and again to learn how much the glacier tongue has receded over the years.

4. Check to make sure you're still headed in the right direction.

5. Admire the glacier from a distance - you're almost there!
Isaiah and Jim walking through the glacier valley

6. Admire the glacier up close, but be careful near the ice tunnels! They could collapse!


  1. Wow beautiful! I miss Switzerland! Just not the language part of it!

  2. Thanks for the informative post. Sounds like a hike we'd like to try.

  3. WOw.......I would agree with you it was worth the backtracking...

  4. Hey Anneliese - I hear you. That will be the last thing I miss when we leave CH next month.

    Hey Chantal - You're very welcome. I hope you get a chance to see this glacier!

    Hey Elisa - Yes, it was was worth the backtracking... and the SNOWY weather!


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