Hike to Fitz Roy

Rate this Adventure 13 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Caleb Adcock

If you're looking to get up close and personal with Fitz, this is the one.

This trail has awesome flexibility whether you're looking for a day hike or looking to stay a few nights. You head North/West out of El Chaltén on the Sendero al Fitz Roy trail. It’s a big pull out of the valley. Depending on what you’re carrying, some will find it easier than others. With a full pack of backpacking gear, it took about an hour to fully get out of the valley. Not ten minutes after topping the valley you can get your first close up view of Fitz. The hike becomes a little smoother with good terrain and increasing views, crossing several streams and eventually making your way to Lagauna Capri. One of the park rangers informed me that water from the streams and lakes did not need to be purified and could be drank straight from the source. The trail stays relatively easy, walking on the floor of another valley, making your way closer to Fitz. There are several views of Fitz while in the valley if you’re not looking for a more advanced hike, which takes place the last 2km of the hike up to the base. 

About an hour and 45 minutes later, you arrive at Camp Poincsnot from Laguna Capri. Lots of space to camp, just be aware of flooding and set up camp accordingly, if you’re looking to spend the night. There is a river very close by, a little further down the trail towards Fitz, that acts as a water source. The last 2 km up to the base of Fitz from Camp Poincsnot is intense and in some parts poorly marked (especially in bad weather). Make sure to have a full water bottle (you will cross a river before you start the accent) and jacket, as it is always windy and the weather can change within minutes. I would suggest this part of the trail for more intermediate/ advanced hikers, as there are places where good footing is essential along with knowledge of how to maneuver over uneven terrain/ rock fields.

Once reaching the top the trail raps around the side of the mountain and spits you out at the lake. When hit at the right time, Fitz can be fully visible from the lake. If not, wait around for a while, there’s a good chance the wind will move the clouds, exposing Fitz. 

My trip was in mid-May and it snowed on the hike up to Fitz. Winter in Patagonia is summer in the United States. 

Make sure you check with the park ranger at the visitors center to get a feel for the weather and what they would suggest doing based off what you want to accomplish and your hiking level. There is no charge to get into the national park and no reservations need to be made to camp in the backcountry. They have maps available for visitors with the different trails, distances, times, and hiking levels in Los Glaciares National Park. The round-trip estimated time for this hike is 8-10 hours but once again it is based on your hiking abilities. 

*Tell someone where you plan to be and an idea of when you look to return. Weather in Patagonia can change 10 different times within the hour and if you're not prepared things can get dangerous fast.  

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