In TrekkingElChalten.com we try to unify all the information related to mountain activities in the northern area of Los Glaciares National Park.
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The answer is ALL.
Although it is necessary to understand that in the winter months some trails are not available due to bad weather or excessive snow. We recommend to be attentive to the Facebook of Los Glaciares NP and Turismo El Chaltén where news is published continuously. Additionally we recommend joining our facebook group Trekking en El Chaltén where many visitors and locals share info every day.
Between December and the end of February the days are warmer, there are more daylight hours and there are many more people hiking the trails. At the end of March autumn begins to appear, so the landscapes change completely.
For more information, we recommend you to read: The weather in El Chaltén.
The simple answer is: AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. The real answer: It depends on how many days off you have and what other plans you have.
The most common trails are: Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torre. To each one you can go and come back in a day (click on each link to see more info about the trail). So, with 3 days off (and remembering that the weather in El Chaltén is a bit crazy), you will be fine. Now, there are also many more trails and hikes in the area, and the reality is that you will want to come back.
As a personal recommendation: If you have 14 days of vacation, allocate 2 or 3 days to visit El Calafate (not to be missed the navigation to the Perito Moreno Glacier) and the rest of the days, directly to El Chaltén.
The weather in any season of the year is literally a lottery. There can be all 4 seasons in 1 day. That is why it is important that you prepare yourself well before going on any trail. We recommend reading: What to pack for hiking in Patagonia?
To know average temperatures during the year and to know which Apps work best for the weather, we recommend reading: The weather in El Chaltén.
Yes, there are several places in town where you can rent clothing and equipment. For updated prices, we recommend you to visit:
El Chaltén offers different types of trails with different difficulties. All trails are listed under the “Trails” tab. Likewise, there are traverses (with overnight stays in free campsites) listed under “Multi-Day Treks”.
We recommend viewing the maps with their corresponding distances and elevations before starting the activity. Consider your physical condition, climate and time of year before starting any trip.
We do not recommend to do the trails within the “Remote Zone” to those who do not have experience in mountaineering. And in case of doing them, keep in mind that Los Glaciares National Park requires a mandatory registration.
El Chaltén offers a network of trails that are well marked, regularly maintained and frequented by Los Glaciares National Park staff. These trails are considered part of the “Red Troncal” and involve the most popular trails such as Laguna de Los Tres, Laguna Torre, Chorrillo del Salto, etc.
The rest of the trails, traverses and climbing routes that take place within the limits of the NP are considered as “Remote Area” because the trails are not properly marked, the environment is more hostile and in case of emergency, help could take a long time.
For those who do not have sufficient mountain experience, we recommend that you do not hike or trek inside the “Remote Area“.
If the trail is within the “Red Troncal“, it is not necessary to register. In case of hiking or trekking within the “Remote Zone”, it is necessary to complete the mandatory mountain use registration and visit the “Ceferino Fonzo” Visitor’s Center.
Trails that do NOT require registration:
Trails that DO require registration:
Important Season 2021: The hike to the South Patagonian ice field is not enabled due to the closing of borders.
For further information, please contact the “Ceferino Fonzo” Visitor Center directly.
El Chaltén has a wide tourist offer to rest within the town. We recommend visiting the following link for more information: Where to stay in El Chaltén.
Within the park there are several campsites that are free of charge and do not require prior reservation:
For more info, we recommend reading: Free campsites inside Los Glaciares National Park.
It is important to take into account that these camps do not have any kind of services, there are no places to buy food and only 1 latrine each.
Then there are other paid alternatives outside the limits of Los Glaciares National Park that may require a previous reservation. For example, to visit the area of the Río de las Vueltas Valley you can spend the night at the Refugio Piedra del Fraile. Likewise, those who intend to spend the night near Lago del Desierto will find several places to stay.
For 1-day trails (without camping), we recommend reading: What to carry for a day hike?
If you are thinking of camping inside the park (we recommend the Laguna de los Tres – Laguna Torre Trek), read: What to carry in your backpack for a multi-day hike?
As in any national park in Argentina, fire is strictly prohibited. Only the use of gas heaters is allowed and only in authorized places.
No, inside the park there is no internet and no signal to make voice calls. That is why it is important that before leaving you let someone know that you will not be reachable for a few hours (especially if you plan to make a trip of several days).
NO. Unlike the Southern Zone (where the Perito Moreno Glacier is located), in the Northern Zone of Los Glaciares National Park there is no entrance fee.
For the trails that are outside of Los Glaciares National Park (Huemul Glacier, Laguna Diablo, etc), it is necessary to pay the entrance fee.
It is not necessary to have previous experience to do the trails that are within the “Red troncal”, because they are self-guided and are very well signposted. They are also very crowded trails and you will cross paths with people all the time.
In any case, each trail has an assigned difficulty: Low, Medium or High.
We recommend that before starting any trail you check in detail the distance, the slope and estimate, based on your physical conditions, if it is possible to do it or not.
Remember that the idea is that you enjoy your stay in El Chaltén! So we recommend that you do not try to overexert yourself, you could put your own physical integrity at risk.
The trail to Laguna de los Tres has a difficult ascent, but each person has a different perspective on the degree of difficulty and it is relative to their physical condition.
If you do some kind of physical activity, the last climb may not be so difficult. However, if you are a sedentary person or not used to long walks, it may be a little more difficult.
One way or another, the important thing is to enjoy the trekking and the beautiful landscapes that this region of Patagonia offers us. It doesn’t matter if the last climb takes 1, 2 or 3 hours. Nobody rushes you and you can make as many stops to rest as you need.
However, if you really feel sick at some point or if you find it difficult to breathe, turn back immediately. Don’t keep going up because you can put your life at risk! You have many other treks to do and also other types of activities.
No. Pets are not allowed inside National Parks and Reserves because they are exotic species that alter the environment and native fauna.
No. Drones or any other powered flying devices are prohibited by the Law on National Parks, Natural Monuments and National Reserves.
Yes, the water from the rivers and streams within the trails is potable and can be consumed without the need for water purification tablets.
In case of the Fitz Roy River (D’Agostini campground) the water has a cloudy color due to sediment carried by the river, but it is not dirty water and can be consumed without problems.
No. Within the trails there are no stores, kiosks or pantries to buy food or drinks. You need to bring your own food and drink (and of course, return with all the waste to the village).
Inside the park there are no baskets and it is forbidden to throw garbage anywhere.
It is necessary to understand that: Everything I carry, has to come down with me to the village. I cannot leave anything that does not belong to the ecosystem. Wrappers, bottles, cigarette butts, papers, etc. The same goes for fruit peels and used yerba mate.
It’s very simple: If I could go up with 3 kilos of food, I can easily come down with the wrappers or the husks.