Fitz Roy and Glacier National Park: Nature at Its Best

My recent trek with Trekking for Kids in Patagonia, the southern part of the continental Americas, had two components:

  1. A day hike and a glacier visit in the Argentinian side of Patagonia, and
  2. A 5-day hike in the Chilean side of Patagonia, including a glacier hike.

Here, I will cover the day hike in Argentina.  A later post will cover the glacier visit to Perito Moreno glacier and further posts will cover the 5-hike along the W circuit in the Torres del Paine Park in Chile.

Hiking in Argentina:  Fitz Roy and its siblings

The day hike in Argentina took us to a beautiful setting north of the town of El Calafate in the large southern provide of Santa Cruz:  the National Glaciers Park and Reserve (Parque y Reserva Nacional Los Glaciares).  After landing in El Calafate from Buenos Aires (about 3 hour+ flight time), we headed to the small town of El Chaltén (established in 1985 mainly to serve as a border town and entry point to the area we were going to hike in).  From El Chaltén we would start our day hike anchored on the majestic Fitz Roy peak.  What makes this area magnificent is not just Fitz Roy (which used to be called El Chaltén) but the series of peaks that go with it along the glaciers that sit in the spaces in between.

Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, parque nacional glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Samsung Galaxy, mountains, clouds

The peaks and the town of El Chaltén as we approached at the end of a day

Approaching Fitz Roy taking Senda El Pilar

We left our hotel, El Barranco, on a vehicle to take us to the entry point for our hike.  It was not the typical entry point as we had to cut through a small hotel (Hostería El Pilar) that sits right by one of the entrances to the park (we had permission to do so!).  We reached the trail we were looking for, Senda El Pilar, which we took and followed the Río Blanco facing first Torre Eléctrica and its glacier, then moving on to see the Marconi glacier.Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, Senda el Pilar, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Olympus,

Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Samsung Galaxy, Torre Electrica

Torre Eléctrica initially blocks full view of Fitz Roy upon starting the hike

There are quite a few spots to stop for great pictures but Fitz Roy and its siblings are ever-present.  In no time, we got to a point with a great view of Fitz Roy and the Piedras Blancas (“white rocks”) glacier:

Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, parque nacional glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Samsung Galaxy, mountains, blue sky

One of the great views from Senda El Pilar

Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, parque nacional glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Samsung Galaxy, mountains, blue sky

Gotta play with the camera’s features sometime…

Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, parque nacional glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Samsung Galaxy, mountains, blue sky

Headed to Poincenot camp

Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, parque nacional glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Samsung Galaxy, mountains, blue sky

Enjoying a break and the view (Fitz Roy is the tallest and Poincenot peak second tallest)

Soon after that, at Poincenot camp, Senda El Pilar would end and we would then turn to take Senda Fitz Roy to return to El Chaltén.  Poincenot has camping grounds that have latrines if people prefer using those.  From Poincenot, trekkers can go up to Laguna de los Tres but we did not do that portion.

Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, parque nacional glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Samsung Galaxy

Markers were strategically placed along the route

We proceed to take Senda Fitz Roy for the second and longer part of our hike.  On that trail, we hit the Capri Lake where some enjoyed cooling off their feet – or even a quick dip!

Fitz Roy, Chaltén, glacier national park, parque nacional glaciares, Patagonia, Argentina, hiking, trekking, photo, travel, Samsung Galaxy, mountains, blue sky

Lake Capri and the peaks behind it

This was one of the last great vantage points for admiring the peaks and glaciers.  We entered different terrain as we proceeded to the last part of our hike.

Glacier National Park, Patagonia, Argentina, trekking, hiking, photo, travel, Olympus, El Chalten

Along Senda Fitz Roy

Glacier National Park, Patagonia, Argentina, trekking, hiking, photo, travel, Olympus, El Chalten

Along Senda Fitz Roy

Glacier National Park, Patagonia, Argentina, trekking, hiking, photo, travel, Olympus, El Chalten

Along Senda Fitz Roy:  these rocks are much taller than they appear – we saw rock climbers on it

Once we finished the trail, we just walked right into town!

Argentina, Patagonia, El Chaltén, Senda Fitz Roy, trekking, hiking, Olympus, photo

Senda Fitz Roy leads us back to El Chaltén!

Our hike had been around 15 kms and it took us around 7 hours with a few nice stops along the way.  I highly recommend this hike – not strenuous but moderate and with the amazing views I have shown you here (and others I did not!).

Comments

  1. What an amazing experience, Raul! That region is home to some extraordinary landscapes!
    travelFREAK recently posted..Paragliding and Rock Climbing in Medellin, ColombiaMy Profile

  2. LAS VISTAS MARAVILLOSAS!

  3. Those have to be the best pics I’ve seen you put up! Especially the top one, surreal.
    Karl recently posted..Spring Skiing at Waterville ValleyMy Profile

  4. That definitely looked like a great trip. I can’t stop staring at the first photo, at how the clouds look like they’re racing from the left towards the right. What a lovely shot!
    Marge recently posted..Gear Review: Exped Air PillowMy Profile

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