Huerquehue National Park is located in the foothills of the Andes, about an hour east of Pucon, Chile. The park has a number of lakes and surrounded by several volcanos. I spent a whole day hiking there. It is very quiet and peaceful. The view didn’t take my breath away, but the tranquility did.
Well, this is a great ending to an incredible trip.
(The monkey puzzle tree or monkey tail tree–Araucaria araucana)
This is my last day in Los Glaciares National Park. I debated whether I should hike to Lama del Pliegue Timbado or not since I was leaving late afternoon to go back to El Calafate. The trail is 20km (about 12 miles) with 3000 feet elevation gain.
Well, I got up early. It was still dark when I left the hotel and it paid off. I saw beautiful mountain peaks in early sunlight. The trail isn’t as impressive as the other two Laguna trails, and when I reached the end, it was cloudy and dark. I found some interesting flowers/plants along the way, though. Most of them are succulent plants, which grow in dry, barren environment. It’s hard to imagine that the hill near a glacier is so dry.
(Topa Topa-Lady’s Slipper)
(Liao Liao mushroom)
(Southern Crested Caracara)
(Southern Giant Petrel)
This hike (7 miles round trip, 2,430ft elevation gain) visits two beautiful lake basins, traverses through meadows full of wildflowers, and passes numerous waterfalls along the way.
It was sunny and warm when we started. Half-an-hour later clouds moved in, and it started raining. As we were still hiking up, the rain turned to sleet. Soon the ground was covered by ice pellets.
Both of us were prepared. But even with a wool hat, gloves, jacket, and raincoat, I was freezing cold by the time we reached Ice Lake. Dark clouds hovered above us. Loud thunders boomed around us. We didn’t have any luxury to enjoy the gorgeous lake before heading back. I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of the lake for fear of ruining my camera.
Half way down the mountain the rain and the sleet stopped. A ray of sunlight peeked through the clouds and lit up the dramatic peaks around the area. What a nice way to conclude the San Juan Mountains adventure!
Thank you, David!
Today’s hike turned out to be easier than that of the first day. I still huffed and puffed, and we made it to 12,800ft, but the slope seemed less steep and I didn’t stop “every 30 seconds” as David joked. The view from the top was equally breathtaking, and the experience was no less memorable.