Lake Auquiscocha hike
Enjoy a challenging, but rewarding hike to one of the most stunning views near Huaraz: Lake Auquiscocha, nestled in the Cordillera Blanca mountain region. Walk along a path between pine trees, eucalyptus trees and native trees, and observe how the water's constancy has carved a beautiful channel, where the thawed waters of the mountain range flow. Once you reach the lake, at a high 4310m elevation, sit on the banks and admire the snow-swept peaks of both Cancaracá and Hualcán cradling the sparkling waters.
Hop in your car (or taxi) and drive past the town of Shilla, up to the Gatay gorge, and then continue by car through the Gatay gorge on a dirt road for another 30 minutes until you reach the last fish farm, which sits at 3570m.
|When to do|
April - October
Out and back
Route Description for Lake Auquiscocha
This hike takes you to the ever-so remarkable, mesmerizing Laguna (Lake) Auquiscocha. The trail may be challenging, but the view will force any moans and groans felt moments before to vanish.
Before you go, you should know that it can be tough to find the trailhead and follow the route. Therefore, it’s advised to go with a guide or to double check the directions for the hike with a local before going.
If you do go on your own, note that from where you park the car at the fish farm, you’ll walk for about 45 minutes on semi-flat terrain through pine and eucalyptus trees before meandering along the left bank of the river.
From here, you’ll walk along an irrigation ditch. Follow this path until you get to a big road! Eventually, you’ll reach the rock massif, and then the path runs parallel to the river. Soon, the native trees will fade into the rockiest part of the hike, and you’ll notice the channels carved into the rocks.
Before you know it, you’ll cross a small bridge and reach Lake Auquiscocha after around two hours of hiking.
On your way you’ll encounter an array of waterfalls. Once you reach Lake Auquiscocha, you’ll also catch views of the Callejón de Huaylas valley sandwiched between the Cordilleras Blanca and Negra mountain ranges.
Laguna Auquiscocha sits at a whopping 4310m, so it’s essential to be prepared for this high altitude before you go!
Return to the fish farm via the same route you came.
Find even more great hikes in Huaraz:
Bring your own food and drink from Huaraz. It’ll be tough to find food or water en route to the trailhead.
If you have hiking poles, bring them! They will help with the descent.
It can be easy to get lost on this walk, so a guide is highly recommended.
Wear clothing for cold and heat!
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