Visit the glacial ice spilling off of the Patagonia Icefield trekking through beautiful valleys, lush forests, craggy mountain trails, and sandy beaches all with the Northern Patagonia Icefield rising 10,000 feet above you.
The Patagonia Frontiers wilderness ranch combines extensive private terrain with a unique location that offers you access to unlimited trekking opportunities. Our trekking excursions range from day hikes that allow you the comfort of returning to your same bed each night or to multi-day journeys that include packhorses to carry the food and equipment.
Our signature route, “The Gaucho Way”, follows traditional horse trails used by the gauchos, our friends and neighbors. Families living in the valley follow the trail with herds of cattle on their way to market or in years past, before more frequent boat travel, for purchasing supplies of flour, sugar, mate, and other sundries.
The beginning of our trek follows a trail up and down the shore of Lago Bertrand and along a narrow peninsula, an ancient moraine, that eventually sinks beneath the surface of the lake. The hike continues on following a high, broad and broken bench along Lago Plomo with glaciated peaks at our shoulder and the lake’s jade colored waters below our feet. On the horizon lie the expansive Northern Icefield and its seemingly endless peaks. Near the lake’s end we view far up the wide Solér Valley floor and rivers.
As we trek up the Solér Valley we see the glaciers of the Northern Patagonia Icefield towards which we will be trekking to. Our route passes between rocky outcroppings, across high alpine valleys, and through enchanted forests of native beach dripping with moss. We trek and explore untouched and largely unknown parts of wild Patagonia. If the days are clear we have views not only of the immediately surrounding peaks and glaciers, five and six thousand feet in elevation, but also of the Northern Patagonia Icefield and of Cerro Hyades standing firm at the head of the Cacho Valley. The difference in elevation between the valley floor and the summit of Cerro Hyades is over 10,000 feet!
As we get closer to the glacier if conditions permit a few river crossings, we may get closer to the glacier’s edge. We always sense energy here, be it from the massive peaks, the open space, the flowing water, or the pristine landscape. On our way back down the valley to the ranch we may stop to visit some of our very few neighbors in their homestead across the valley. We return down the valley to Lago Plomo and hike across across forested pasture to the dock, boats, houses and barns we’ve been spying from a distance.
For our treks we carry only daypacks loaded only with essential items. The rest of our equipment and food comes by packhorse or by boat under the watchful eyes of our horse packers and staff. Along our route we stop for snacks and a picnic lunch as well as plenty of opportunities to simply take in the amazing views. As the morning sun rises up, we enjoy hearty breakfasts and we can sip yerba mate around the morning fire and marvel as the light plays over the peaks of snow, ice and rock. Mate is a traditional start to any Patagonian day and an important social custom. At night we camp enjoying dinner over a campfire, and if the night sky is clear, picking out a few Austral constellations from the amazing night sky.
We can also combine any trip with a selection of additional choices such as fishing, horse-riding, whitewater rafting, wildlife viewing, and agritourism opportunities.
We end all our trips with a customary Chilean asado (barbeque). Guests, staff, and neighbors traditionally all share in this feast of lamb, slow-roasted over an open fire, new potatoes, fresh salads from our greenhouses, bread and wine. Don't be surprised to find yourself staying up late listening to the strumming of a guitar and a soft Spanish melody as the horses nicker in their home pasture.