Morteratsch Glacier: All The Info In One Place

hiking towards morteratsch glacier

The Morteratsch glacier is a stunning piece of ice that beckons you from afar as you drive towards the Bernina Pass. You can see it from the roadside and it has always been a place I wanted to hike to.

Last year, we finally made the time to stop at the railway station and to hike up the trail toward the glacier, one of Switzerland’s largest glaciers.

Fun fact: Morteratsch glacier is Vadret da Morteratsch in the local language of Romansch

The Morteratsch glacier is also the largest glacier in the whole Bernina group of mountains, so it is definitely something you have to see. You can even visit it on your way along the Bernina railway or on a longer hike to Ospizio Bernina.

Morteratsch Glacier Trail

Morteratsch Glacier Trail - Family Friendly
Morteratsch Glacier Trail – Family Friendly
  • Hiking Time: 2 hours
  • Total Distance: 7km
  • Ascent & Descent: 340m
  • Difficulty: Easy & Family friendly
  • Hiking Map: See SchweizMobil

The easiest way to experience the Morteratsch glacier is to walk along the Morteratsch Glacier Trail, which almost anyone can do, even with a bike or a pram, if you have kids. The path is a simple gravel path that is not a steep slope at all.

Kids on the Morteratsch Glacier Trail
Kids on the Morteratsch Glacier Trail

Additionally, there is lots of fun information along the way to keep the kids entertained including information on melting glaciers and a booklet you can pick up as well to solve tasks along the way and receive a reward.

Morteratsch glacier trail starts from the Morteratsch train station up along the Morteratsch valley below the stunning glacier ice. It meanders along the glacial river towards the Morteratsch glacier.

Extra Hikes:

There is a more difficult and long hike up to the Chammana da Boval, that more experienced hikers or those without kids might want to attempt. Not only do you get a higher view of the glacier but you can lunch at the hut as well.

Also, the Morteratsch glacier trails is part of a longer trail from Via Albula to Bernina that you might want to check out. You can do other stages of this stunning walk, or the whole thing if you have time.

Lunch At Gletscher-Hotel Morteratsch

After your hike, or maybe instead of it you can always have a bite to eat outside on the wonderful terrace at the Gletscher-Hotel Morteratsch. They have lots of different options from small plates of cold meats to bigger meals. Or, you could just have an ice cream or a drink!

Hike On The Morteratsch Glacier

The glacier hike is for you if you want a more adventurous experience on the Morteratsch glacier. You can book the glacier hike in Pontresina at the Bergsteigerschule Pontresina.

The hike starts at the Berghaus Diavolezza, which you need to take the cable car to get to. On this hike, you get to not only walk on one but two glaciers – the Pers Glacier and Morteratsch Glacier. It is not a hike for everyone, but if you like something more than just an easy walk to see the Morteratsch glacier, then it is worth considering, You will be guided by professionals and roped in at all times. That is not to say it is not without danger, but it is certainly the best way to experience glacier ice up close and personally.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get to the Morteratsch glacier?

Bernina Express
Bernina Express

You can reach the Morteratsch glacier either by car or by train.

If you choose to come by train, take the Bernina Express train to the Morteratsch train stop, and the hike from there. It is only 10 minutes by train from Pontresina, 25 minutes from St Moritz and around 1 hour 10 from Poschiavo.

If you come by car, you can park at the large car park before the Gletscher-Hotel Morteratsch. It costs 1 CHF per hour with a maximum of 9 CHF. Not cheap, but reasonable for Switzerland. There are also a few free parking places on the main road, but you will have to walk further and there is a chance you won’t find a place. For me, this is a better spot for taking a photo if you are not going to do the hike to the glacier.

How long is the Morteratsch glacier?

As of the last official measurement, the Morteratsch glacier is approximately 6.4 km long. However, given the very warm summer we just had in Switzerland in 2022, I doubt that it is still this long.

Can you walk on a glacier in Switzerland?

You can walk on quite a few glaciers in Switzerland including the Morteratsch glacier, the Aletsch glacier and many more.

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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