Our Favorite Patagonia Hike

Towards the end of our Phase 2 travels in South America, we visited the Patagonia region in Argentina. It was December when we visited, so it was the middle of summer. Due to Patagonia being so far south, the sun didn’t set until around 10pm. After flying from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and staying a couple of days, Leandro (who my dad had charmed when he first drove us from the airport to town) drove us north 2 hours to El Chalten. El Chalten is known as the Argentine Capital of Trekking. Its most famous hike is the Laguna de Los Tres hike to see Mount Fitz Roy. Named after Robert FitzRoy, captain of Darwin’s ship the HMS Beagle, the mountain is also on the logo of outdoor recreation gear company Patagonia. Though we did the Fitz Roy hike (article here), our favorite hike by far in El Chalten was the Glacier Huemul hike.

After checking into our hotel room and dropping our bags, Leandro took us an hour deeper into the Patagonia wilderness for a short but gorgeous hike. The drive was quite bumpy since it was on an unpaved, gravelly, rocky road. The views just from the car ride were definitely worth it. We drove along an icy blue river, through a mossy forest, and past a shrubby marsh, among many other views.

The Glacier Huemul hike (2 miles round trip) was definitely one of the best hikes we’ve done. We parked in the parking lot and paid the relatively cheap entrance fee. We hiked around 45 minutes mostly flat along a bubbling stream through a picturesque mossy forest.

It wasn’t difficult at all, but we stopped so often to take pictures that it took much longer. There were also a couple of pull-offs along the trail that offered views of the valley we had driven through and a couple of smaller waterfalls that feed into the creek.

Patagonian valley that leads back to El Chalten
Icy waterfalls through the bright green forest

The last 200m was a steep uphill. They even had installed rope railings along the side to help you climb up. Even if it was difficult, it was well worth it as we were presented with a deep-turquoise glacier lake at the top. 

Glacier Huemul

We took plenty of pictures and spent a little while absorbing the beauty of the lake.

Recreation of Michaelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, just prettier

Afterwards, my mom and I explored a little.

After climbing one more ridge, we were rewarded with a view of the Lago Desierto (near the parking lot). 

View of Lago Desierto
Picture of me taking the previous picture

All four of us agreed that it was one of the best beauty-to-effort hikes we’ve done. It was super easy, relatively quick, and most definitely gorgeous. On the other hand, the next day’s hike was beautiful, but certainly NOT low-effort. 

One thought on “Our Favorite Patagonia Hike

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: