Backpack the Fitz Roy Massif and Huemul Circuit in Argentine Patagonia

Take a boat under massive and growing Perito Moreno Glacier, and backpack from the adventure town of El Chalten past the stunning spires of Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, reflecting in clear lakes below. Continue into the remote backcountry past multiple glaciers, cross a high pass right above the Southern Patagonia Icefield, and traverse above the icefield around Cerro Huemul to a remote camp on a huge glacial lake before returning back to Chalten.

Far-south Patagonia serves up a trekker’s paradise. Condors soar over vast windswept plains and turquoise lakes, populated with flamingoes, guanacos and Darwin’s Rheas. Towers of sheer granite burst upward from craggy fault-block mountain ranges, drawing the world’s best climbers and trekkers to their well-marked trails and lively camps and refugios. The fourth–largest ice sheet in the world is very close, driving a volatile local climate and spawning hundreds of dramatic, low-elevation glaciers, lakes, and a moonscape of moraines. Early risers can catch the sunrise alpenglow on the spires reflected in crystal lakes below, and perhaps catch glimpses of endemic Magellanic Owls and Woodpeckers.

Some believe that Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park is even more impressive and scenic than nearby Torres del Paine.  Glaciers are all around, dropping iceburgs into crystal lakes, and the huge South Patagonian Icefield flows nearby.  A hiking route passes under the dramatic pinnacles of Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre — some of the most challenging climbers’ peaks in the world, and looking on their vertical faces, you can see why.  Sunrises on these towers and their companion spires over crystal lagoons are experiences you'll never forget.  But there's more!  Walk on into the remote, seldom-visited backcountry of the park, crossing two rivers on zip lines and passing several glaciers along the way, to reach lofty Paso del Viento (Windy Pass), overlooking the South Patagonia Icefield; then traverse above the icefield around Cerro Heumul to camp on the iceburg-strewn shores of Lago Viedma before  following the lakeshore back to El Chalten (with one more zipline crossing!) - what's known as the Huemul Circuit. 

Combine your visit to Los Glaciares and Fitzroy with the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the Torres del Paine "O" Circuit trek immediately prior, and/or continue on to explore the remote coast, peaks and glaciers of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of the South American continent!!

  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking, Global Adventures
  • Seasons: January, February, March, April, December
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 55.0 mi
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 14
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
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