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Hike Pico Austria

Condoriri, Bolivia

based on 1 reviews


Elevation Gain

2969.2 ft

Route Type



Added by Lauren Schusterman

Hike up over 17,000 ft on this surreal day hike right outside of La Paz. Get stunning views of the Condoriri mountain range and it's surrounding lakes.

This hike could be done on your own if you can find transportation to the trailhead (about three hours outside of La Paz). However,  there are many guiding companies in La Paz that will organize transportation, a guide, and food for you starting at about 450 bolivianos (around $65 USD).  The trail is fairly straightforward, however it was extremely nice having a guide to assist us with any altitude related problems and show us the way. 

From the trailhead the trail begins with a short uphill before leveling out for about 30 minutes.  As you make your way along the trail you will pass several large lakes to your left.  After around 45 minutes you will arrive at Chiar Khota, which is a stunning blue lake framed by several 5,000+ meter peaks.  This is a great place to stop for lunch or a snack to enjoy the view. From the lake the trail winds steeply up the side of the mountain in tight switchbacks.  This section of the trail takes about an hour.  At the end of the hour you will reach a small ridge, which is another great break spot.  There are about 3 hours of hiking left until the summit at this point. From the ridge, the trail continues up a steep scree field. Towards the top of this section you may find snow and ice covering the trail which can make it dangerous. At the top of the scree field you will reach one of the ridges that lead up to the summit. From here you will be able to see down the other side of the mountain.  The trail continues up the side of the mountain until you reach the ridge close to the summit and continue up the ridge for several minutes before reaching the top.  From the summit you will have a stunning 360 degree view of the surrounding Condoriri mountain range and lakes.  On the way down follow the same trail.  Going down from the summit there is an option to slide down an extremely steep scree field to save time on the descent (it is too steep for the ascent but can make for a fun shortcut on the way down).  

This is a full day hike so make sure to bring enough water and food.  The ascent took approximately 5 hours while the descent took only 1.5/2 hours. This hike goes above 17,000 ft so altitude sickness can be a serious problem so make sure to listen to your body.  I would highly suggest adjusting to the altitude in La Paz for several days before this hike, it will make it much more pleasant.  

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Hike Pico Austria Reviews

One of the best, if not the best day hike in the entire Bolivian Cordillera. This hike is easily accessible from La Paz, where you will leave pretty early and get back around dinner time. The hike itself passes several waterfalls, brightly colored lagoons, and all of the beautiful peaks in the Condoriri range. I did this hike with my parents and although they did not make it all the way to the top, they did have a fantastic time. With that said, I would consider this an intermediate hike if the hike was at sea level. The 16,000+ feet of elevation and 2,000+ feet of elevation gain make this pretty tough for most people, even if you are properly acclimatized.

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