Backpack the Peaks, Lakes and Glaciers of Aysén, Patagonia

Backpack through the unspoiled heart of Chile’s most remote glacier country, deep in the high Andes in the wilderness of Laguna San Rafael National Park next to the North Patagonian Icefield.

In the remote central Patagonian Andes lies Aysén, Chile’s least-populated region, with only 1.2 humans per square mile. While there aren’t many people, tje region is rich in glaciers - sandwiched between the Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice Fields (together the world’s third-largest source of fresh water), Aysén is the heart of Chilean glacier country. Half of its land is protected in public and private parks, and is home to a significant percentage of Chile’s 24,133 glaciers, as well as hundreds of large and small glacial lakes, shimmering blue caverns, and steaming temperate rain forests.  At its heart are The Marble Caves of General Carrera Lake where waves have sculpted the calcium carbonate rock formations along the shore to produce brilliant multicolored swirls in the sunlight against the lake water.  The nearby Laguna San Rafael National Park encompasses most of the North Patagonian Icefield, with remote high passes, green valleys, and lakes fed with active glaciers.  Yet for all its remoteness the area can be explored using the luxurious Terra Luna Lodge at the southeastern reach of General Carrera Lake as a base.

  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking, Global Adventures
  • Seasons: January, Year-round, February, March
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 50.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 8,600 ft
  • 4,340 ft
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 10
  • Maximum Party Size: 14
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
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