The hike to Laguna Torre is one of the two most popular hikes in El Chalten, Argentina. This 9 km hike takes you to the lagoon that sits at the base of Cerro Torre. You can choose to extend the hike to Mirrador Maestri.
Having just arrived from the US a day prior with two consecutive red eyes I decided to take it easy and hike the easier of the two hikes I had planned for my time in El Chalten. The hike takes 6-7 hour with some elevation gain at the start.
This hike has two entrances, the entrance closer to the center of town is marked with heavy signage. The entrance closer to the entrance for Laguna de los Tres is less marked and is the trail I chose. At times I was unclear if I was on the correct trail, I knew the general direction I wanted to head so I just tried to pick trails in that direction. For the most part the different trails were all going the same way.
Hiking the day after Christmas it was to my benefit I started early because I had the whole trail to myself. At times I wondered is this really the most popular trail during peak travel season, maybe there’s a new trail everyone else is on. Later when I was hiking back towards El Chalten I ran into crowds of people.
I wasn’t so lucky to see Cerro Torre that day. Cerro Torre stayed hidden in the clouds. I sat down at Mirrador Maestri to have my lunch while staring up at the clouds and wishing they would disappear. I could hear the glacier breaking every so often.