With waking up we realized that today is another perfect hiking day in El Chaltén. For that reason we choose one of the longer hiking trails that El Chaltén has to offer – Lago de los Tres.
Longer hiking options to choose from, starting in El Chaltén:
– Lago de los Tres: 13 km one direction, loop back to El Chaltén 26 km
– Lago Torre: 12 km one direction, loop back to El Chaltén 24 km
– Lago Capri: 6 km one direction, loop back to El Chaltén 12 km
We did a bit of a combination hike. Hike to Lago de los Tres, over Lago Madre e Hija down to the Mirador Torre back to El Chaltén. The whole day hike was 28 km long. The hike starts directly at the end of El Chaltén. It is hard to miss as an arch needs to be passed first. The first 2 kilometers are a bit of a climb, after that it is nearly 9 kilometers through more or less flat forest.
The views on the 9 km hike where amazing. You will get the chance to see the Rio Fitz Roy, Lago Viedma and stunning views on the Fitz Roy itself. The weather was epic and with that we got pictures that looked again, as out of a outdoor magazine.
The last 1 kilometer on the hike to the Lago de los Tres is a really steep rock climb, which gives a great view on the Lago Madre e Hija from the top. Sadly I can not show pictures of the Lago de los Tres because we had to cancel the hike upwards due to too much snow. We neither had sticks nor any snow/ice hike equipment (crampon) with us. As the last 300 meters is a real steep rock climb which was all covered in slippery snow, we passed on this one.
Sadly the way was already a slide created by all the people which came down sliding on the snow. Even that I was not to worried to go up the hill, I had no idea how to come down. Also, with seeing a helicopter, which most likely had to rescue hikers, we decided for the safe option this time. This is what can happen when hiking in September, the snowline is around 500 to 700 Meter. So just come prepared and you will be fine. People who had crampons walked on the snow and ice if it had been nothing. Equipment can be rent in an outdoor shop in El Chaltén.
Our hike back to El Chaltén lead us over the Lago Madre and Lago Hija. Choosing this way, even that it add kilometers, was nice because we rarely see any other hikers. On top of that you see another surrounding instead of hiking the same way back.
On the side of the hiking path, there had been interesting red shrubbery that made the surrounding look unreal. Having the reflection of the mountains and clouds in the Lago Hija, add to that as well.
The last kilometers ran along the Rio Fitz Roy, which was a perfect end to this long hiking day. Even that it was only around 12 degree we got a small sun burn. When coming back to our hotel I must have looked so exhausted that our host directly offered me self baked warm muffins and a coffee. So sweet. 🙂