This three or four days backpacking traverse along the foothills of Tronador Mountain will provide some amazing views of its hanging glaciers, overnight by an alpine lagoon and climb a scenic summit with the most dramatic mix of forest, lakes, glaciers and shear granite walls.
This hiking trip can be done using a combination of Mountain Hut and Domes for each night in the wilderness. The hike starts at Pampa Linda area, located two hours drive from Bariloche and in the hart of the Andes Mountain Range.
Day 1 is a 4 hour trek up to Ilon alpine Lagoon, on a well-marked trail covering different native forests. You will enjoy the first views of Tronador glaciers and impressive waterfalls. After gaining elevation on the switch backs, you will cross a beautiful meadow and continue towards Ilon lagoon crossing an old growth “Lenga” native forest. Suddenly, the reflection of the glaciated mountain on the lagoon will mark the end of day trek. After we settle in the domes, it’s time to relax and maybe go for a swim! Dinner is served in a Dinning Dome heated with a classic wooden stove.
Day 2 is the longest trek and does demand an early start so you can enjoy each stop on the way. You will be astonish by “Mirada del Doctor” lookout and the views from “Mar de Piedras” ridge. Hiking towards the glaciers makes the day very amusing and each hour you feel closer to the carving ice. After some ups and downs on the beach forest, you will gain the famous pass called “Paso de las Nubes” (Clouds Pass) with views of Frias valley to the North and Frias Glaciar to the West. The trail descends to the pass surrounded by and impressive scenery. Once you reach Refugio Rocca Mountain Hut, its time to rest, enjoy a cold bear by the deck and get ready for a delicious dinner. Rocca Hut has 4 person bedrooms and a beautiful dining area.
Day 3, after yesterday’s long day, time to take it slowly. Today enjoy a day exploring “Paso de las Nubes” wonders without carrying a backpack. You will visit some beautiful waterfalls and climb towards Glacier Alerce to get a close look on its crevasses and the beautiful colors and features of the glacier. Another day hike option si to ascend Constitución Peak and get a beautiful summit day in your adventure. The day trek finishes enjoying the glide of Andean Condors right above you. By late afternoon it’s time to relax at the hut and get ready for dinner.
The last day in the mountain you will be descending back to Bariloche. There are two ways to do this, option A is to take the traditional trail up to the Mountain Hut and descend to Pampa Linda and drive back to Bariloche. Option B is taking the trail that leads to Frias Lake which is a longer hike down a beautiful dense forrest with vegetation tipical from “Valdivean temple rainforest” discovering new species of plants and trees because of the high volume of rainfall this valley receives. Once at Frias lake, you will take a small commercial boat for 30 minutes and connect with a short bus drive followed by a second longer and even more beautiful passenger cruise on Bless branch of Nahuel Huapi lake. The ship navigates directly to Bariloche providing an incredible opportunity to sail this huge Patagonian Lake!