March 24, 2019

trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Cerro Guanaco trail

Unlike most parks in Argentina, there is an entrance fee for Tierra del Fuego National Park. It was 480 pesos ($12.50) in 2019. But the ticket is good for 1 or 2 days. And camping is free in the park so two days is the better value.

There’s no inexpensive way to get from Ushuaia to the Park. Most — including me — book a door-to-door shuttle return for 700 pesos. ($18)

On arrival at the Park I asked which of the 4 campgrounds was best. One Ranger told me Laguna Verde, so I had the shuttle drop me there.

This is Patagonia so I bolted the tent down real good.

Day 1 I did a number of easy day hikes. All pleasant.

Day 2 I headed over to the nearby Alaskush Visitor Center to register (free) for the Cerro Guanaco trail. You are supposed to register before Noon to be allowed to make the climb.

Guanaco is often closed due to high winds, as well.

It’s 4km one way. An elevation gain of 973m.

To and from the Alaskush Visitor Center and back (to confirm you returned safely) it’s about 15km.

You start along lovely Lake Roca. Perfectly calm the day I was there.

Lago Roca

Signage says it will take you 4 hours to the top. Hiking steadily it’s more likely to be closer to 3 hours.

There is some significant MUD at one point.

As usual in South America, I used Maps.me for navigation.

Most hikers stop at one of the designated viewpoints.

If you’ve got good weather it’s worth pushing up the scree to the top.

In Patagonia it’s very common to have persistent rainbows. It rains a lot.

Capturing them in a photo is not easy.

There’s Ushuaia in the distance.

At the very top end of February I scrambled the snowy summit for a dramatic finish.

Great hike. If you get to this park be sure to schedule time for the Guanaco climb.

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