Are you planning your mount Fitz Roy trek for these vacations? On the border between Argentina and Chile (check our easter island day trip guide while visiting the country) lies a mountain in Patagonia, the Monte Fitz Roy, also known as Cerro Chaltén (See on Google Maps). It is located in the South of the Patagonian Ice Field, near Viedma Lake and El Chaltén village. This is the perfect location to spend your vacations if you are a natural beauty enthusiast.
The original name for Fitz Roy is Chaltèn, which in Tehuelche dialect means ”smoking mountain” due to a rare Aeolic phenomenon that makes it’s top always appear as it is encircled by clouds, giving the mountain a smoky volcano appearance!
The best time to visit Fitz Roy is from December to March (Summer in the Southern Hemisphere) because it is warmer and the trek route is dry. However, it is very windy during these months, which is a good thing since you won’t be sweating your way up while hiking! It is best to check the weather forecast Here before planning your mount Fitz Roy trek.
We better get to the crucial part of our article, a step-by-step guide to hiking through Fitz Roy without a guide, which will help you travel around the beautiful mountain with no mishaps!
Heading Toards El Chalten
The closest airport to Monte Fitz Roy is in Calafate, where several buses depart daily to go to El Chalten. You can book the bus tickets online and can either choose for them to pick you up from your hotel or take a taxi to the Calafate Bus terminal. The ticket costs around USD 30, and the journey is 2.5-3 hours long.
Los Glaciares National Park
Once you have reached El Chalten, the Andean park awaits you! This is an area of unparalleled beauty, with rugged mountains and plenty of glacial lakes. The Cerro Chaltèn or Monte Fitz Roy is located at the north end of this park!
The entry ticket for the park costs about ARS 800 (USD 13). They only accept Argentine pesos in cash – no dollars, credit cards, or prepaid tickets!
Here you will also be given free maps and information to calculate the trail times and start the mount Fitz Roy trek.
Fitz Roy Trailhead
The Fitz Roy trailhead is located at the end of Avenida San Martìn (the main road El Chaltèn). Here you will spot a car parking area. During the first hour of the Mount Fitz Roy’s trek, it will be a steep path to a natural viewpoint, the De Las Vueltas river.
After trekking further, you will reach Laguna Capri, a beautiful lake with its camping ground. It will take less than two hours to arrive. When you get to this place, you will wish to stay here, but if you want to see the beautiful Laguna de Los Tres at sunrise, it is best not to stop just here only!
From Laguna Capri To Rio Blanco
You will continue following the river and cross a wooden bridge, which will take you to Campamento Poincenot. Now take the route that goes westwards to cross Rìo Blanco. Here you can fill your water bottles with refreshing glacial water from the river and have a refreshing view.
From Rio Blanco To Laguna De Los Tres
Take the path to the left of the campground, where a steep, sharp ascent over loose scree is the final barrier to overcome before you reach the majestic cobalt blue waters and bobbing icebergs of Laguna De Los Tres. This is a sleep stop that seems to have no end; this is when trekking poles will come in handy. It will take more than one hour of effort to reach this place!
End Of The Trail
The trail finishes at the ridge of the old frontal moraine of the De Los Tres Glaciers; this is an enormous formation in the shape of an arc that currently contains the lagoon. This is the closest view to the granite wall of Mount Fitz Roy and the surrounding peaks!
As mount Fitz Roy trek without a guide is for those on a budget, it is best to pack your food because the food at Laguna De Los Tres is unnecessarily expensive! You can enjoy your lunch here with the view of the beautiful mountains and the lake!
After some rest, you can continue to the left, where you will be able to view another breathtaking viewpoint from where you will not only be able to see Laguna De Los Tres but also Laguna Sucia, Yes! Two lakes at the same time. Isn’t that a beautiful surprise?
End Of The Mount Fitz Roy Trek: Back to El Chalten
One the way back, you can sidetrek to Piedras Blancas Glacier. This is one of the low glaciers in the area that descend the Monte Fitz Roy. This will take around 45 minutes. From here, you can return the same way to El Chalten.
Camping In Fitz Roy
There are two campsites alongside the hike to Laguna De Los Tres:
- Campamento Poincenot
- Laguna Capri
Since this is a one-day trip guide, you do not need to camp, but if anyone plans to return the next day instead of the same day, then these locations are perfect to camp when on a budget! You will also have to bring your tent and cooking supplies if you decide to do so.
|Clothes||Hiking boots, Hiking Jacket, gloves, scarf, extra pair of clothes.|
|Food||Fruits, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, cookies.|
|Extras||Good quality backpack, torch, charger, sunblock, first aid kid Camelbak water dispenser, trekking pole, sanitizer, lots of cash.|
To summarize, the Mount Fitz Roy’s trek won’t be easy; but if all the correct measures are taken according to our one-day traveling guide and the magnificent views of the lakes and mountains, the windy weather and the beautiful feeling of being on top of the world will make the rough journey worthwhile!
Are you wondering if it’s safe to travel to Fitz Roy? The answer is: Yes, Yes, and Yes! Hiking to Fitz Roy is entirely safe. And you know what the best part is? You don’t even need a travel guide! As most of the locals living there are part of the tourism industry, you could just ask them for the way if you get lost, and they will happily guide you. We will be looking forward to your positive reviews in the comments below!