Outpost Departure: Trekking

TREKKING THROUGH REMOTE PATAGONIA

Getting a bit outside of our comfort zone lets us completely connect with Patagonia’s stunning landscapes. We re-think the Carretera Austral drive with this 10-day off-grid trek in Chile’s Northern Patagonian region of Aysén. From Outpost Patagonia our pop-up campsite, we’ll head from Jeinimeni National Park towards Chacabuco through the Gloria Mountains exploring hanging glaciers, Patagonia wildlife and glacial peaks and rivers along the way. While still very wild, this area is much flatter than other parts of the Andes, and our most challenging day has an elevation gain of 700 ft.

STARTING AT

$5,490 usd

9 Days / 8 Nights

Overnight

Outpost Patagonia; Lodge Chacabuco; expedition-style camping

when

Mar 06 – Mar 15, 2019

TRIP PREVIEW

Day

01

We like to say when speaking about the Outpost experience that arriving is part of the journey—it’s not straightforward and simple to get completely off-grid, but it’s entirely worth it to experience the freedom and tranquility that we find there. Arriving at Outpost Patagonia can be done a few ways, the most common is by flying to Balmaceda, a small airport at the start of the Carretera Austral. From Balmaceda we drive along this paved section of the famous road, past Cerro Castillo and arrive at the shores of Chile’s largest lake, Lago General Carrera. This massive glacial lake is split by the border of Argentina and Chile and surrounded by the Andes. Its brilliant blue color is the result of what is known as “glacial flour” or tiny sediments created when glaciers scour the landscape. The tiny particles remain in the water and refract blue light. This stunningly beautiful lake, along with Cerro Castillo, are a perfect welcome to Patagonia. We’ll take in more stellar views on the 2.5 hour ferry across the lake, arriving in the town of Chile Chico. This small town will be our last connection to the outside world. We’ll continue heading south, driving on dirt roads about an hour further, through Patagonian pampa (keep your eye out for Patagonian hares and foxes) until we arrive at Outpost Patagonia, along the shores of Río Jeinimeni. The Outpost team will be awaiting our arrival with warm drinks and our temporary home—a set of private tents, shared cooking and dining domes and shared bathroom/shower tents—already in place.

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Outpost Patagonia

Day

02-04

You’ll hear the rushing water of the river before you see it as you unzip the door to your Outpost tent. Over the next few days we’ll explore the Jeinimeni National Reserve, whose scenic landscapes include the area’s four ecosystems: deciduous forests, evergreen forests, steppe, and high peaks. There are also endless opportunities for activities at Outpost and the days can be as active or as restful as you like. Some options include: fly fishing the Jenimeni river or lake, both of which are rich in trout coming up from the deep, frigid waters of the Lago General Carrera. There is also, horseback riding with a local gaucho (Patagonian cowboy), hiking a circuit that includes the Valle Lunar (Moon Valley), with igneous extrusions of many colors, or simply catching up on your reading list along-side your temporary home, the deluxe tents we use for this faraway stay.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Outpost Patagonia

Day

05-07

We’ll set out from Outpost Patagonia early morning and over the course of the next few days travel from Jeinimeni National Park towards Chacabuco through the Gloria Mountains exploring hanging glaciers, past glacial peaks and rivers and with any luck at all, viewing Patagonian wildlife such as guanacos (a furred relative to the llama) and ñandués, the southern rhea (a relative to the ostrich).

Day 5: Entrance Jeinimeni National Reserve to Camp Raleigh

On the first day, we will begin hiking alongside beautiful, peaceful turquoise Lago Jeinimeni until our first river crossing near Lago Esmeralda. We’ll take a side hike to check out the amazing views of this lake and the valley that follows through lenga forests. At the river, our guides will find the best place to cross the river and assist guests in the crossing. We’ll have a short day, hiking approximately 5 km. to our first campsite beside Lago Verde.

Day 6: Camp Raleigh to Hermoso Valley

After breakfast in a small temporary shelter you can help to construct if you like, we’ll begin our hike to Valley Chacabuco and Patagonia National Park through the Gloria Mountains. We will begin our day following the Jeinimeni River, before ascending over Gloria Pass to breathtaking views of the Western side of Lago Verde. This is our most challenging day, with a steep but short incline as we reach the highest point. After crossing the pass, we will descend to the shores of Lago Verde and hike to a beautiful old refuge newly renovated for overnight camping. This day is approximately 8 km. There is an optional add-on hike from the campsite in the afternoon to check out one of Jeinimeni’s famous hanging glaciers. Elevation gain this day is about 700 ft.

Day 7: Hermoso Valley to Avilés Valley

After a hot breakfast, head out through the Valle Hermoso (literally, Beautiful Valley) to striking views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Get your feet wet as you zigzag through the valley and cross the Ventisquero creek several times. Heading south, you will begin to make your way to Patagonia National Park and the Avilés Valley. We’ll have a short ascent into the leafy lenga forest before heading back down and connecting with the Avilés trail. This spot is spectacular for taking in the towering mountains that surround you as we hike through this remarkable valley towards Mount Jeinimeni. There are several places to camp as we enter the Avilés Valley, and we’ll decide as a group where to set up camp. This days’ hike is approximately 15 km.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Expedition Camping

Day

08-09

Day 8: Refugio in Avilés Valley to Casa Piedra

On the final day of trekking, we’ll gradually descend into the Avilés Valley where we’ll follow the Pinturas and Avilés rivers throughout the day. We’ll enjoy the changing landscape and first sights of guanacos as we search for vizcachas (rabbit or chinchilla-like rodents that sit up on their hind legs), along the trail. Upon reaching the Casa Piedra (Stone House), we meet our transport to take us to our first indoor stay, at Chacabuco Lodge. This days’ hike is approximately 17 kms. We’ll settle in for the night and rest up for a day at leisure in Valle Chacabuco.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Accommodation: Chacabuco Lodge

Day

10

We’ll set out early for Balmaceda where you’ll arrive in time for your flight back to Santiago.

Meals: Breakfast

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Prefer to book a private trip to Outpost Patagonia? Contact us for availability in February and March, 2019.

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