An exciting option exclusively offered by Walk Patagonia in one of the wilder and less visited areas of El Chaltén. It starts with a boat ride across Lago del Desierto, then a trek through lush lenga, ñire and coihue forests, across lots of streams, admire some glaciers in Chile, and finally trek along the lakeside of Lago del Desierto. A perfect hike for those who want to go off-the-beaten-path!
We travel from Chaltén along the gravel road to Lago del Desierto – 37km (90 minutes). There will be a few photo stops and picturesque viewpoints en route, too. When we get to the lake we board the boat to navigate the 12km across the lake to its northern point to where our first trekking begins!
After meeting the Gendarmerie that live here (and control the border) we start our walk heading west towards an old estancia (ranch) where one of the oldest families of the area used to live: the Sépulvedas (the estancia is not working nowadays).
We continue on in a dense lenga (nothofagus) forest on a path which often disappears, and we cross a few streams that feed into the Diablo River. After about 5 hours of trekking we will arrive at the destination where we will spend the night. We will put up the tents in the forest next to the refuge, and after a good hot meal we will be ready to curl up in our sleeping bags for the night. If the sky is clear, we could also admire the southern skies, milky way, etc.
– Overnight: camping in wilderness
– Meals: Pack lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
– Distance: 12 Km.
– Walking: 5/6 hs.
After breakfast we start another day of adventure. We start off with visiting a viewpoint nearby that affords great views of Lake O’Higgins and Chico Glacier – you will be standing in Argentina looking across at Chile.
After a few photos we will head back along the same path as the day before until we reach Lake del Desierto, to enjoy sunset and a meal with a view across the lake and (hopefully!) Mt Fitz Roy in the distance. This will be our camping spot for today.
– Overnight: Tents at Punta Norte, Lago del Desierto.
– Meals: Breakfast, Pack lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
– Distance: 12 or 22 Km.
– Walking: 8/9 hours.
After a good breakfast we start our return journey, walking along the path that borders the Lago del Desierto. Throughout the trek we are able to enjoy great views of Mt Fitz Roy, the lovely colours and reflections in the lake itself and the impressive Vespignani Range.
After some 4 or 5 hours we arrive at the southern end of the lake where a vehicle will be waiting for us, for our return to El Chaltén
– Meals: Breakfast and Pack lunch.
– Distance: 14 Km.
– Walking: 5 hs.