Through our HE Travel tours to all seven continents, a frequent theme is the ebb and flow of glaciers. The glaciers we see on our gay tours are among the most visible barometers of changes occurring on our planet. At this time most glaciers are receding, and many have disappeared altogether.
The earth’s surface is in a continual state of flux. Depending on where we live, we experience annual cycles of heat and cold, rainy seasons and dry seasons, etc. These are becoming somewhat less predictable, as we see with early-season wildfires in New Mexico and April heat waves in India.
There are also long-term climate cycles. Sudden changes to climate can occur from events such as the eruption of Mount Krakatoa. Longer-term changes to the climate happen through processes such as the Ice Ages and changes in human behavior over time.
These are some of our Northern Hemisphere gay glacier tours on which this unique form of nature can be seen.
NORTHERN HEMISPHERE GAY GLACIER TOURS
The Swiss Alps have long been known for the photogenic mountains that keep their snow even in the summer, providing some of our favorite hiking photos. The glaciers on the Matterhorn and other mountains overlooking Zermatt create one of the most classic mountain views in the world. (I first saw the Matterhorn on a jigsaw puzzle when I was a kid.)
In winter the mountains have so much snow that they are among the best ski slopes in the world. As the snow melts on the trails, it becomes a marvelous place for summer hikes. On our gay Switzerland Alpenglow tour, you can gaze at the lingering snow on the surrounding mountains from incredible vantage points in and around Zermatt.
The Julian Alps of Slovenia feature some spectacular glaciers, visible from hikes along forested trails and kayaks in the glacier-fed streams. And after a day of hiking, there is a rich gastronomical heritage to savor as well on our Slovenia Gay Adventure Tour.
Iceland gets its name from the many glaciers which sit on the central part of the island. They are beautiful to see, especially from hiking trails and snowmobile paths. Our gay Iceland Vikings and Volcanoes tour visits a couple of the most beautiful glaciers. On our winter Iceland tour, we even have a chance to go inside an ice cave (as well as good odds of seeing the Northern Lights).
A glacial shield covers the continent-sized island of Greenland. There are huge masses of ice sliding down toward the ocean at a “glacial” pace. The speed at which the top layers of the glaciers melt will have long-term consequences on the weather patterns of North America and Europe.
Alaska Gay Glacier Tour
One of the starkest reminders of receding glaciers in the United States is at the Portage Glacier Visitor Center just south of Anchorage. The architects built the visitor center to showcase a magnificent view of the glacier. However, in the 1990s, the glacier receded so far that it is no longer visible from the visitor center, with only the occasional iceberg remaining in view.
Numerous glaciers still exist in Alaska. These include the coastal Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier accessible only by ship. Farther inland, Denali National Park boasts several glaciers.
On our Alaskan Frontiers Gay Travel Adventure, we visit the Kennicott Glacier which towers above the fascinating village of McCarthy. This was once home to one of the largest copper mines in the world, but today is only accessible by a 31-mile one-lane road along an old railbed or by light aircraft.
Glacier National Park, Montana
The first European visitors named this unique park for the vast array of glaciers that covered the mountain slopes. Ever hotter summers are melting many of the most iconic glaciers, exposing the rock underneath. There will come a day when the glaciers are gone completely but for now, on our gay Glacier National Park tour, we still have a chance to hike on mountain trails and enjoy the fragile beauty of the glaciers.