Hike to the Hanging Glacier in Parque Nacional Queulat

Rate this Adventure Chile Hanging Glacier, Parque Nacional Queulat

Added by Zee Lilani

Sometimes, it's the places not listed in a tour book that ends up being the most spectacular!

Another day, another Patagonian gem waiting to be discovered! Backpacking along the Carretera Austral is perhaps the most magical experience of my life. After having done the trek through Torres Del Paine and Fitz Roy, I thought the best was behind me... until I reached Northern Patagonia. Parque Nacional Queulat is one of those places Lonely Planet has yet to discover. As a result, you can enjoy a well maintained national park in complete solitude. 

For those without a car, getting to Ventisquero Colgante (Hanging Glacier) is an adventure in itself. We knew our only options were to either pay a worker at the tourism office in town to drive us there or to hitchhike. We opted to hitchhike. Knowing that it would be a difficult day to hitchhike to the park, hike to the glacier and then hitchhike back, we decided to bring our camping gear and camp at the park for a night. That was perhaps one of the best decisions we ever made. The entire park was completely empty and we had our choice of any campsite. The campsites were the biggest I've seen in South America and they included a covered picnic table and fire pit (!!). After setting up camp, we took a small day bag and hit the trail. 

The trail is relatively easy with a few sections of steep incline. The beginning is alongside a fast flowing river and there is a somewhat precarious looking bridge to cross over. The rest of the trail is in a beautiful forest with major PNW vibes. Moss covers almost every tree and a small river flows nearby. After a few steep switch backs, the trail opens up to a small viewing platform of the hanging glacier. There are a few benches so take a seat and enjoy the view!

Return the way you came. Please remember to take all your trash with you, there are bins at the end of the hike.

Pack List

  • Layers-pants, long sleeve shirts, fleece, waterproof jacket, socks, beanie, scarf
  • Backpack
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner food + Snacks
  • Hiking shoes
  • Walking poles
  • Camera
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Cooking equipment
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Water bottle
  • Small day bag
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

2.1 Miles

Elev. Gain:

656.2 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall

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How to Get There

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Added by Zee Lilani

Former civil engineer turned backpacker and glacial lake swimmer extraordinaire! After leaving the corporate life, I've backpacked through South America while volunteering and learning how to live a fuller, yet simpler life!

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