This was one of the top two hikes we did on our road trip down the Carretera Austral (the other one being in Parque Patagonia). On a clear day going up to the lake the views are amazing. You can see down into the valley below, several snowy peaks all around you, and the lake and view point at the end is heavenly.
We started the day in Coyhaique and after picking up some pastries and coffees at Cafe Pelegrino, we were on our way to the trail head. The drive was pretty easy and on the way into Villa Cerro Castillo we stopped to get some pictures of the curvy road which is quintessential Carretera Austral.
There’s not much to the town so we headed straight to the trail head which is down a dirt road just outside of town. There’s parking for 5-10 vehicles close to the trail head.
From our online research we thought there should be someone at the gate collecting an entry fee, but it was closed. We decided to do what everyone else was doing and just hop the gate and be on our way.
Initially the trail is a gradual climb as it meanders through fields and woods. There’s a couple of forks, but we just followed the GPS tracks we found on wikiloc and didn’t have any issues (our GPS tracks are here.)There were some trail markings along the way, typically red metal flags. It’s definitely work getting up, but you’re rewarded with the beautiful views.
As you get out of the woods the trail continues to climb on the ridge and you can see down into the valley on one side and the mountains on the other side. After about about 2 hours total, we were rewarded with a beautiful lake view under the mountains. This was exactly what we came for. We sat on the rocks overlooking the lake and had a well deserved lunch.
- 8.9 miles round trip
- 2:30 up, 2:00 down
- 3,629 ft elevation
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