• Kristina Foertsch

Part II - Trekking around Ushuaia (Argentina)

Aktualisiert: 5. Feb 2019

A week in Tierra del Fuego

Camping at the top of Valle de Rio Chico, Tierra del Fuego
Camping at the top of Valle de Rio Chico


This blog post will explain Day 4 and 5 of our trip in more detail, the part where we left tracks and trails and found a nice way through Valle de Rio Chico.

ITINERARY (15. – 21. January 2018):

  1. Ushuaia – Cañadón and Paso de la Oveja – Lago del Caminante

  2. Lago del Caminate – Cerro Falso Tonelli – Lago del Caminate

  3. Lago del Caminante – Laguna de los Témpanos – Laguna Encantada

  4. Laguna Encantada – Lake at the end of Valle de Rio Chico

  5. Lake at the end of Valle de Rio Chico – Ruta 3 – Valle Carbajal

  6. Valle Carbajal – Refugio – Laguna Esmeralda

  7. Laguna Esmeralda – Glaciar del Albino/Laguna Ojo del Albino – Laguna Turquesa – Ushuaia

Map Tierra del Fuego, © OpenStreetMap-Contributors


This hike is well off the beaten track and for most of the way you are more likely to meet beavers than other people. The mountain scenery is fantastic and the view into Valle Carbajal at the end of Day 4 is simply amazing.


Most of the trek has no marked or visible trails. You, thus, need to have good orientation skills in pathless terrain. You should be comfortable walking through dense forest without paths. Do not get frustrated by all the detours because of the fallen trees. :)


Laguna Encantada – Paso C.A.U. – Valle de Rio Chico

Our time: 11:30 – 17:30

Day 3 ended up being very long and strenuous and from 3 am in the night a storm kept us awake for a while, so we spontaneously decided to have a sleep in on day 4. Finally, we started as late as 11:30 (!), but luckily summer days in Tierra del Fuego are not too hot and also very long. Especially after spending so much time in Nepal before (sunlight from 6 am to 6 pm), having daylight from 5 am to 11 pm was very special to us.

Route finding makes this day adventurous and fun, but exhausting. The way up from Laguna Encantada to Paso C.A.U is steep but easy to find. The challenge starts after the pass when you arrive at a forest. Our tip for you is to start at the left side because the forest is less dense and obstructed there, especially when compared to the area on the right side next to the stream. Although we did not exactly follow this route, this log on wikiloc inspired us to cross the C.A.U.

You’ll find a way through the forest, but for me, it was the day I realized that the branches of trees can really reach out for you. Before our hike, I thought it’s just a metaphorical saying in fairy tales. :)

Destruction of nature because of beavers, Tierra del Fuego

When we arrived at the valley bottom we encountered two beavers and you really need to be blind not to notice their territory. Obviously, they are not only the cute animals we know from comic books and TV commercials, they can be a real threat to the environment as you will see everywhere in this area.

Instead of exiting the valley towards the south, we decided to go up the valley to see, if we could cross the pass into Valle Carbajal. However, the way down on the other side is very steep and has several rock faces. Lukas went searching for a safe way down for about an hour without finding one. Eventually, we decided to spend the night at the beautiful lake at the end of the valley - with a view of the Beagle Canal again and a truly breathtaking view over Valle Carbajal.


Valle de Rio Chico – Valle Carbajal

Our time: 10:15 – 19:15 (including 2h break)

It’s not that far, but because wayfinding and walking through bush- and forest-land is not always easy, it took us around 4,5h to go down (without breaks). Beautiful, but strenuous. And we discovered again how easy everything is once there is a proper path again. :)

While heading down, we walked on the left side of the river. Later, we discovered that from some point on there is a real trail on the other side. However, we don’t know how far it leads up into the valley.

At the end of the valley, in front of Cerro Cortez, the way forks. The right junction leads back to Ushuaia. Taking the left turn brings you to Ruta 3 and Camping de la Turbera (nice but no facilities as we believe).

Mount Olivia, Tierra del Fuego
Mount Olivia

From the camping the “fence-climbing part” began. Arriving at Ruta 3 we walked upstream through the camping area left of the river (parallel to the road) until Valle Carbajal opens up to your left. Even though there were signs of a real hiking trail we had to (illegally?) climb some fences and walk through a ranch. If you feel more comfortable with that you can stay at the campsite. We decided to pass a large peat cutting site and camp at the beginning of Valle Carbajal. A truly beautiful place with only a little noise from the nearby street.

Tent in front of mountain range, Tierra del Fuego
Like always - it's all about the view!

After long discussions, we decided to continue to Laguna Esmeralda and Laguna Turquesa, but you can surely add a few magnificent days walking up Valle Carbajal.

121 Ansichten0 Kommentare

Aktuelle Beiträge

Alle ansehen