Welcome to the classic mountain traverse in Bariloche! It is a perfect four day outing enjoying the unique Mountain Huts system Nahuel Huapi Park has.
The trek begins at the parking lot of the ski resort where you will find the trail-head to Frey Hut. Heading South-West the trail contouring across the mountain slopes above Gutierrez lake. For the first hour the trail is smooth and easy. Then it continues heading North-West entering Van Titter creek valley. You will enter an old native forest where the trail follows the creek. After another hour and a half you will arrive at “Piedritas” bivouac. This place marks that you are an hour away from todays destination. This last leg of the trek is the most challenging one since you will be gaining a good amount of elevation. Frey mountain hut is located at 1700 meter of elevation sitting on a beautiful alpine valley just besides Toncek lagoon. Meals are served in the hut. Enjoy the rest of the day with the views of the vertical granite spires. Frey valley has some of the best rock climbing in South America. Overnight at the hut in bunk beds.
After breakfast, slowly begin the trek towards the ridgeline heading North-west. First climb up to Schmoll lagoon and from this point continue climbing to the skyline from where you will enjoy an amazing view of the hole mountain range and lake district. The trail continues West descending into Rucaco Valley through a loose talus field. Then follow up Rucaco valley, a wide beautiful landscape with open meadows and a clear creek running through it. Climb to the ridgeline between Constructores and Tres Reyes peaks. Once you reach this high point you will get a beautiful view of Jakob Lagoon and San Martin mountain hut. The descend takes one more hour of hiking till the hut. The terrain is quite loose so attention. Once at the hut you will be offered a hot tea and enjoy the peacefulness of this colorful alpine valley. Meals will be offered at the hut. Overnight in bunk beds.
The third day is the most challenging day across some steep ridges and climbing up to amazing views of Tronador mountain and the entire Andes Range. The trek starts following the path that leads you to Tempanos Laggon. An enclosed lake surrounded by granite walls. There you gain a ridge up Pico Refugio Mountain, a steep climb doing some scrambling up rocky terrain and quickly gaining elevation. Soon the look of the lagoon from above become spectacular. As you gain the skyline and continue crossing boulder fields and snow fields you climb up to Navidad Mountain, a scenic spot with views of the glaciers of Tronador. From this point you begin the long descend towards Laguna Negra trail. Some glissading down makes the elevation lost fun and fast, then you follow a crystal clear creek which you cross many times. The alpine terrain you hike along will surprise you with its different ecosystems and beauty. The last leg of the trek is on a well marked/used trail that climbs back up to Laguna Negra Hut. One and a half ascend on switch backs all the way to your next cozy shelter! Certainly your legs will fill the exercise once you arrive at the hut but a tasty hot dinner will be waiting for you. After some red wine and a full tummy, time to crash on the bunk beds!
Final day of the traverse, early in the morning sun hits the hut and the smell of breakfast makes you jump from bed. Time to get ready for the final day, another good challenge ahead, you will climb Bailey Willis ridge towards Cerro Lopez and gain its summit though some pretty pristine alpine valleys. The views of Tristeza branch on Nahuel Huapi Lake are breathtaking, same as the site of the entire lake system and Bariloche city from the summit of Lopez. It is a long ascend, gradual but long with grassy meadows where to rest and relax. Once at Lopez summit, you descend to Lopez Mountain Hut where a cold beer marks the beginning of the celebration for this amazing four days in the Andes Mountain. Finally you will jump on the traditional trail to the hut and descend it slowly while gaining different perspective of the lake around Bariloche. Down at the base of the mountain, your private transfer awaits for lead you back to your first hot shower in days!
As a quick note, we try not to run this trips during high season for local tourism since the huts get packed! this is during the month of January mostly. Those dates we go camping to more remote valleys. 😉
Level of Challenge: Medium
Recommended Season: Late Spring – Summer – Autumn
Duration of the activity: 4 days – Day 1: 4hrs / Day 2: 7hrs / Day 3: 8-10hrs / Day 4: 6-8hrs
Length of the Trek: 41 kms
Starting Altitude: 1100 msnsm
Max Altitude Climbed: 2109 msnsm
Max Elevation gained in a day: 850 mts
– Private Bilingual Mountain Guide
– Briefing and gear check meeting the night before
– All meals and Hut expenses for the Mountain Guide during traverse
– Hot drinks, trail goodies & extra snacks during each trek
– Safety equipment (short roping gear, first aid kit, VHF radio, maps & GPS)
– Trekking poles and gaiters + technical gear if needed
– Nat. Park permits and Accident Insurance
Not included: ANY EXPENSES IN MOUNTAIN HUTS for participants. Hut room & board + meals you pay cash directly at each hut.