Hikes in Chile
From the rugged mountain terrain of Chilean Patagonia to the arid expanse of the Atacama Desert and the lengthy Pacific coastline, Chile is a diverse country that offers plenty of variety when it comes to exploring the outdoors.
Sharing borders with Bolivia to the northeast, Peru to the north, and Argentina to the east, the country is wedged firmly between the dramatic landscape of the Andes Mountain Range and the open seascape of the Pacific Ocean. While it may be nestled snugly along the western edge of South America, Chile can also claim the title as the southernmost country in the world, as it stretches down toward Antarctica.
While much of its terrain may seem imposing, when it comes to outdoor exploration Chile has a great variety of activities and trails that are suitable for adventurers of all skill levels. Whether you are after a simple day hike where you can enjoy the mountain views or want to challenge yourself on the world renowned multi-day O Circuit Trek, you will be sure to find a trail to meet your needs.
It might take a bit of time and effort to get down to this tucked away corner of South America, but once you are there you will discover that there aren’t many countries in the world that can compete with the natural beauty of Chile.
Hiking regions in Chile
Best Hikes in Chile
O Circuit: Serón Sector
The O Circuit: Serón Sector is a fantastic adventure in its own right, but also serves as the initial stage of the world renowned O Circuit in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. While out on the trail, you will hike parallel to the impressive Río Paine, enjoying stunning views overlooking the river and surrounding mountainous terrain. This is a one-way trail, so if you are not planning to complete the entire O Circuit or camp at the Serón campsite you will need to double the overall distance to account for the return leg of the hike.
O Circuit: Trek to Lake Dickson
The O Circuit: Trek to Lake Dickson is the second stage of the world famous O Circuit long distance route, and features some incredible mountain and glacier views. Along the trail you will work your way uphill through a mountain pass, before making a lengthy descent toward the shores of the vast glacial lake. Although it features a few stretches of steep uphill climbing, this stretch of the O Circuit is just a primer for the rugged terrain ahead.
O Circuit: Trek to Perros Glacier
The O Circuit: Trek to Perros Glacier is the third stage of the 120.0 km O Circuit Trail and features some stunning views of Torres del Paine National Park. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill through the forest landscape to Mirador del Valle de Los Perros, before continuing on for incredible glacier views. This stretch of the long-distance route is a bit on the short side, but still features some steep uphill climbs that you will need to overcome.
O Circuit: Trek to Grey Glacier
The O Circuit: Trek to Grey Glacier is an incredible stage of the 120.0 km long O Circuit Trail within Torres del Paine National Park. While out trekking this path, you will navigate the John Gardner Pass between Cerro Cóndor and Cerro Blanco Sur, before descending the opposite slope to reach the frigid expanse of the Grey Glacier. This stretch of the O Circuit features a fair amount of uphill climbing, making it more physically demanding than the previous stages.
O Circuit: Grey Glacier to Lake Pehoé
Trekking the O Circuit: Grey Glacier to Lake Pehoé is the beautifully scenic fifth leg of this incredible long-distance route. While out on the trail, you will work your way through an undulating landscape flanked by the rugged mountains on your left and the frigid waters of Grey Lake on your right. This route certainly features less elevation gain than the previous leg of the O Circuit; however, the undulating terrain will still give you a run for your money!
O Circuit: Lake Pehoé to Cuernos
The O Circuit: Lake Pehoé to Cuernos is a lengthy segment of the world-famous trekking route in Torres del Paine NP that showcases the breathtaking beauty of the park. While out on the trail, you will hike along the shores of Lago Skottsberg and explore the Valle del Francés, before completing the final stretch along Lake Nordenskjöld. Hikers should take note that the length of this route adds an increased level of difficulty. If you are looking to shorten the overall distance, you can utilize one of the alternative campsites along the trail.
O Circuit: Ascencio Valley to Chileno
Trekking the O Circuit: Ascencio Valley to Chileno is a scenic adventure in Torres del Paine National Park that will prepare you for your final day along the world-famous trail. While out hiking, you will enjoy stunning views of Lake Nordenskjöld, before skirting around the base of Monte Almirante Nieto to enter the Valle Ascencio. As the trail leads up to the well-known Mirador Las Torres, it will likely see a higher volume of foot traffic than other parts of the O Circuit.
O Circuit: Climb to Mirador Las Torres
The O Circuit: Climb to Mirador Las Torres is an unforgettable adventure in Torres del Paine National Park that will take you up to a breathtaking viewpoint. While out hiking the trail you will climb uphill to the shores of Lago Torres, where you will be met by the most incredible sight: an up close and personal view of three impressive granite towers known as the Torres del Paine (Blue Towers). Hikers should take note that this trail leads to what is arguably the most-popular tourist attraction in Torres del Paine and Chile in general, so expect to share the trail with plenty of visitors.
Mirador Las Torres from the Torres del Paine Welcome Center
Hiking to the Mirador Las Torres from the Torres del Paine Welcome Center is arguably the most popular adventure in Chilean Patagonia, as it is filled with incredibly beautiful scenery. While out on the trail, you will climb uphill through the serene Ascencio Valley, before making the final push up to Lago Torres for breathtaking views of the Torres del Paine. If you only have a short time to visit Torres del Paine National Park, then this is the hike you need to complete!
Paine Grande to Camp Grey Hike
The Paine Grande to Camp Grey Hike is a spectacular backcountry adventure in Torres del Paine National Park that offers exposure to some of the wildest landscapes Chile has to offer. While out on the trail, you will trek past several viewpoints along the shores of Grey Lake, before arriving at a campsite situated near Grey Glacier. If you want to experience some truly stunning scenery in Patagonia, then this is the perfect route for you!
Cuernos Camp to Torres Central Hike
The Cuernos Camp to Torres Central Hike is a great adventure in Torres del Paine National Park that will lead you along the final stretch of the world renowned O Circuit. While out on the trail, you will trace the shoreline of Lake Nordenskjöld, before traversing the lower Ascencio Valley on the way to the trail’s end. This is a great hiking route that will allow you to experience some scenic views near the entrance to the park.
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