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30 Photos To Inspire A Patagonia Hiking Trip

30 Photos to Inspire a Patagonia Hiking Trip

I’ve been drooling over photos of Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks in Patagonia for a couple of decades – long before they became hot spots. Both parks are busy now, especially the W Circuit in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park; fortunately for us the first four days on the O Circuit are quiet, at least in comparison. I feel lucky to have visited both parks – but what a lot of work it is to organize this end of the world experience. I understand now why people book tours.

Torres del Paine trek by the Grey Glacier

John and I traveled with two unrelated friends, Judy and Scot, and spent a total of 9 days of hiking, one day of sightseeing in Punta Arenas and the better part of five days either flying or getting around in Patagonia – as distances are big and buses are the easiest way to go. We finished the 20 day trip at a lodge on the delta northwest of Buenos Aires.

Patagonia can throw a lot of rotten weather your way, especially as it relates to wind. We were pretty darned lucky with a surprising amount of sunshine and light drizzle on only a couple of days. We did get crazy wind at times but it could have been a lot worse.

If you plan to hike, I would recommend keeping your expectations in check in relation to seeing the classic sights. Low clouds often block the epic views you may have come for. I know they did for us on the spur to the Britanico Viewpoint and the weather was crappy in the early morning on the last day when we should have been on the trail to see the towers. But none of us left disappointed. What we did see each and every day was truly exceptional. When I look back I can’t even pick a favourite day – a favourite campsite yes – but there were too many high points throughout the eight day trek to choose one day over the other. Both parks both offer a truly world-class experience with Torres del Paine the better choice for a multi-day hike and Los Glaciares for day hikes (though there is a three day one you could do).

Read: Everything You Need to Know to do the Torres del Paine Trek

20 Photos to Inspire a Patagonia Hiking Trip

Whether you’re doing the W or the O trek enjoy this view from the check-in station in the park

Leaving Seron Campground on route to Dickson Campground

Leaving Seron Campground on route to Dickson Campground

Superb mountain and glacier scenery on the way to Dickson Campground

Superb mountain and glacier scenery on the way to Dickson Campground

Fall start early on the O Circuit with this blast of yellow

Fall start early on the O Circuit

Hiking towards Dickson Campground

Hiking towards Dickson Campground

Beautiful forest walking on the way to Los Perros Campground

Beautiful forest walking on the way to Los Perros Campground

What a mountain backdrop for this interesting vegetation

Glacier viewpoint, just a 15 minute walk from Los Perros Campground

Glacier viewpoint, just a 15 minute walk from Los Perros Campground

The Ashy-headed goose

The Ashy-headed goose

Heading up the John Gardner Pass

Heading up the John Gardner Pass – it’s never that steep so you can keep a pretty steady pace going up

The view of the Grey Glacier from the John Gardner Pass

The view of the Grey Glacier from the John Gardner Pass

It's a very steep descent off the pass once you're into the trees

It’s a very steep descent off the pass once you’re into the trees

The Grey Glacier is in constant view for hours

The Grey Glacier is in constant view for hours

We have a couple of long, bouncy suspension bridges to cross to get to the Grey Campground

xceptionally beautiful hiking in view of Grey Lake

Exceptionally beautiful hiking in view of Grey Lake

Hiking just steps away from the Grey Glacier

Hiking just steps away from the Grey Glacier

Crossing one of the suspension bridges

Our friend Scot on the suspension bridge

Where Grey Glacier meets Grey Lake

Where the Grey Glacier meets Grey Lake

The woods are open and very beautiful on the last part of the trail to Grey Campground

The woods are open and very beautiful on the last part of the trail to Grey Campground

Sporting the wind-blown look on the way to Italiano Campground

Sporting the wind-blown look on the way to Italiano Campground

A taste of tower scenery in Torres del Paine National Park

A taste of tower scenery in Torres del Paine National Park

The best we could do for a view at the Frances Lookout though we did see many avalanches

The best we could do for a view at the Frances Lookout though we did see many avalanches

Bird at the Frances Lookout

It’s either the Sierra mountain finch or the Patagonia mountain finch

While it was disappointing to be socked in, it was also an excuse to have an easier day so we turned back at the Frances Viewpoint and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon

Loved this patch of flowers we came across

Loved this patch of flowers we came across

Couldn't get enough of this lake on the hike to Chileno

Couldn’t get enough of this lake on the hike to Chileno Campground

One of the few photos of the four of us - still smiling on day 7

One of the few photos of the four of us – still smiling on day 7

Hiking up towards Chileno through the wildflowers

Hiking up towards Chileno through the wildflowers

It's a pretty route up towards the Chileno campground

It’s a pretty though windy route on the final approach to the Chileno campground

The last suspension bridge on the O Circuit

The last suspension bridge on the O Circuit

And we're finished the O Circuit

And we’re finished the O Circuit with the wind blowing hard – and lots of dust

Other posts related to this trip you might enjoy:

30 Photos to inspire a hike in Torres del Paine National Park

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

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