Los Glaciares National Park is located in the region known as Andes Australes of the Argentine territory, southwest of the province of Santa Cruz on the border with Chile. Due to its imposing natural beauty, it is a unique wonder in the world, and was declared “World Heritage” by UNESCO in the year 1981.
The Glacier National Park is bordered by the Fitz Roy and Torres del Paine Mountains, along with the rest of the mountain range, lakes and forests, including a large part of the Andes almost covered with ice and snow to the west and the Arid steppe Patagonia to the east.
It owes its name to the presence of numerous glaciers that originate in the great Patagonian Ice Field – the world’s largest ice sheet after Antarctica – which occupies almost half of the Park. Also known as Patagonian Continental Ice, it feeds 47 large glaciers, of which 13 descend into the Atlantic basin. In addition there are more than 200 glaciers of smaller magnitude, independent of the Patagonian Ice Field.
Although large masses of ice are usually found on our planet at more than 2,500 meters above sea level, the glaciers of the province of Santa Cruz originate only 1500 meters above sea level and descend to 200 meters above sea level A unique access and visualization in the world.
As a result of the thawing of this immense system, two great lakes originate: Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma, that pour their waters to the Atlantic Ocean crossing the whole province through the Santa Cruz river.
With the framework of the mountain ranges of the Fitz Roy and Torre, the Northern Zone of the National Park Los Glaciares counts on the Visitor Center “Ceferino Fonzo”, that is open every day from 09.00 to 17.00 hours.
In this place we provide information about the state of the paths and recommendations about the Park.
Note the Glaciers National Park:
The water is clean, therefore it is drinkable. To maintain it we have camps and latrines, bathrooms for those who need them. Its use helps to keep the water clean.
Fire can not be made and only heaters can be used within camp areas.
The camps are rugged, have latrines and access to clean water in the form of streams, rivers or lagoons.
The paths are marked and at each start and fork there are signposts.
You must return with your waste (paper, bottles, fruit peels, food, cotton, feminine wipes, toilet paper, etc.)
Pets are not allowed inside the National Park
Drones are prohibited within the protected area.
General information about Senderos
The North Zone has trails marked and in good condition. Because the terrain and vegetation are easily eroded, it is only permitted to walk on foot and within the paths, thus the sides of the trails remain unspoiled and the native flora can be enjoyed. It is not allowed to use horses or bicycles on the paths.
When entering a wild area it is important to be careful when walking, especially with trees and strong winds.
The paths are divided according to the panoramic view of the mountain to which you would like to access. We can classify them as follows:
• Fitz Roy Trail
• Tower Trail
• Mother and Daughter Trail
• Loma del Pliegue Tumbado Trail
• Mirador de los Cóndores Trail
• Mirador de las Aguilas Trail
• Chorrillo del Salto Trail
• Sendero El Pilar
• Bike trail
Fitz Roy Trail
Walk along the path that leads to the view of the Fitz Roy. In it are the camps of Laguna Capri and Poincenot. In addition, it is the access to the Laguna de los Tres and the Piedras Blancas Glacier. This is the table of distances, slope and estimated time:
This trail runs through the Torre del Valle and after three hours of hiking you will have access to the Glacier, the Lagoon and the Cerro Torre. It has the Agostini camp.
This is the table of distances, slope and estimated time:
Mother and Daughter Trail
It is possible to link the paths of the Tower and Fitz Roy through Mother and Daughter, which 8 km in length – in that section – has a difference of 200 m. Which can be traversed in approximately 2:30 hours.
It is a path where you can see the Mother and Daughter Lagoons. Estimate the time from the village to the forks of the trails: 7 km of the Fitz Roy trail and 5.5 km along the path of the Tower.
Loma del Pliegue Lying Trail
It has a viewpoint from where it is possible to appreciate the laces of the Fitz Roy and the Tower at the same time. In addition, it is a path that allows to cross different zones crossing the steppe, the typical forests of Ñires and Lengas and, finally, the high mountain. On the last section of the trail you should follow the yellow stakes.
Mirador de los Cóndores Trail
One of the most accessible for its short distance and little unevenness, the landscape that can be seen includes Cordón del Torre and Fitz Roy, as well as a panoramic view of El Chaltén and the Río de las Vueltas Valley. It is suitable for people who are not accustomed to walking or walking in the mountains.
With some luck, it is possible to admire the flight of the condors in this viewpoint of 40 minutes of duration, 1 kilometer of distance and 100 meters of unevenness.
Viewpoint Trail of the Eagles
It starts at a fork from the viewpoint of the Condors. It is another 20 minutes of trekking to appreciate the Patagonian steppe, part of Lake Viedma and Route 23 through which access to the area.
Chorrillo del Salto Trail
El Chorrillo del Salto is a waterfall 20 meters high where you can enjoy the water and a walk in the forest. It is one of those chosen by those who come to the North Zone for a few hours. It is possible to access by car through Route 41, to the parking lot where the vehicle is left and from there, after only 10 minutes of walking, the visitor will find the waterfall.
Sendero El Pilar
At this point you are up from Route 41, 17 kilometers from El Chaltén. While the road is gravel can be transited by any type of vehicle. Although it starts in Private Property there is no entrance fee and it has a public parking. The path guides the walkers towards the National Park, whose entrance is marked with a portal of logs.
This trail has a viewpoint to the Piedras Blancas Glacier at 1:20 hours of hiking and continues for another 40 minutes to join the Fitz Roy trail in the Poincenot camp. It is an interesting variant to arrive at the Lagoon of the Three or to make the walk of the trail of Fitz Roy finishing in El Chaltén.
It is the only circuit intended exclusively for the use of bicycles. 2.7 km along the River Vueltas and combine the landscape, flora and fauna of the Forest and the Steppe. It is accessed through Route 41 and after 2 km you can combine through that route, with the walk to Chorrillo del Salto. It is important to leave the bicycle in the parking lot or take it to the side to visit the waterfall.