GPT01 - Cerro Purgatorio
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Season Section Log, Recent Alerts and Suggestions
- 2021-Nov-16 / Marc Anthony
Started this section on November 9th. The gate at -33 36.774’ -070 30.027’ is locked. Didn’t find anybody around to ask, but it magically opened up behind me just as I was about to leave, because cars were coming through from the other side. Did see a couple more cars going the same direction as I walked on the minor road. Might be worth waiting around for some time to see if anyone will drive through? Found water in all expected places. Would recommend carrying a good amount with you on your way up onto the mountain pass, since this a very hot and steep section especially in the afternoon and it will be awhile before the next water source.
- 2021-Nov-9 / Marc Anthony
Regular Route SoBo, 2 days (started afternoon on first day and arrived in melocotón same time next day). Took a taxi from Puento Alto metro station to the Plaza in Pirque, because I was advised against walking alone through Puente Alto by the locals. Quite a lot of mini shops with empenadas and other food when following the paved road from Pirque. When turning from the paved road onto the first minor road I encountered a big locked gate, which luckily opened because cars were driving through from the other side. After a couple of kilometers another locked gate appears but i walked around the right side and found a smaller open gate that I passed through. When the terrain starts getting steeper, I found it very hot to walk here during the afternoon. Definitely wouldn’t want to walk there in the middle of the day during summer. Also the section right before the mountain pass is very steep. Best to walk here during the morning when you’ll have the shadow of the mountain. Rest of the way was generally easy enough, carried plenty of water with me. Found a place called Posada Del Jinete in southern part of El Melocotón with Cabañas for 800.000 and hostal room with to beds for 400.000. Not the cheapest but didn’t find a lot of options nearby. The father and son who are running the place are nice people who can tell a lot about the area. Small tienda/café down the road from hostal with only basic supplies
- 2021 Nov-19, SOBO, RR, Kris&Stiina
We wanted to avoid the boring through-town and road walking so we took the micro-bus from Puente Alto to Puntilla Rural which only left us 2km of road walking. It’s a micro-bus MB73 and it goes right on the same street when you come out of the subway. It doesn’t have a stop so you just have to wave it down when you see it coming, ticket costs 750 pesos. After those 2km on the asphalt road we turned off to a minor road with an impassable gate which is normally closed, but luckily we only waited less than 10 min. and a car came and we just walked in, they didn’t ask us anything so it seemed alright. 2nd gate was open. Water sources were flowing well. Climb was brutal, super steep and very, very hot. We imagine this section could easily be walked a month earlier to avoid the baking in the furnace. Great views from the “Pass”. We camped at the “Bridge, Water” waypoint after the pass, nice place, but unfortunately we had lots of tiny, very hungry biting flies there. We saw a lot of campers in the valley before El Melocotón, which was a bit of a surprise, more than 20 tents, perhaps people enjoying nature on the weekend? We didn’t go in to El Melocotón but continued straight to GPT02.
For more stories of the trail, pictures, videos and in case you want to ask us anything you can find us on Instagram: @smallfootprint_bigadventures
- Start Date: December 13, 2019
- Section: GPT 01 - 02
- Duration: 5 days
- Name/Alias: Ian Hikes
- Overview: I decided to combine GPT 01 and 02 using the alternative route through Rio Clarillo National Reserve which is something I do recommend. You do have to pay $5.000 to enter the park. You then follow the river up to the pass where it joins the official route. The two sections are very open and exposed with wide open views across the mountains and high mountain passes.
- Difficulties: My biggest difficult in this section was the lack of water. There were many sections that were dry and, on many occasions, found me going 15-20km with water. I would suggest taking extra care planning out water resupply along the route. I usually took 2-4L of water at any given time in these two sections. . Also this section is very remote and did not see anyone for 3 days.
- Highlights: High mountain passes and great open views (especially for sunrise and sunset)
- 2019-Nov-27 / Family Size
Locked gate with barbed wire (S 33° 36.795', W 070° 30.049') on the official route. Found someone at the gate up the road (S 33° 36.702', W 070° 29.640') who unlocked that one for me. He said the road behind is no private property, but it's always locked. After another gate (S 33° 37.141', W 070° 29.927'), with a hole on the right to climb climb through, this road connects back to the official route. There is plenty of water on the B alternet uphill. Almost at the top it tastes a bit like cow shit after filtering. There is a lot of OK water at the bottom of the downhill and quite a few tourists especially on weekends.
- 2019-Nov-09 / Martina & Ivo
We went to Puente Alto and then Pirque by Uber. The drivers know where the protests take place and avoid those areas or areas which got recently destroyed.
- 2019-Oct-27 / Jan Dudeck
The Metro line 4 to Puente Alto is currently out of operation due to vandalism during the current protests. Check online for current the status and delete this alert once metro operation to Puente Alto resumes.
- 2018-Dec-16 / Martin Lizondo / Regular Route Southbound
Carry plenty of water on this section as water sources might dry out in early summer after all snow has molten.
Puente Alto is not particular safe area of Santiago, so residents recommend not walking very early in the morning or at night through this outskirt of Santiago.
Old entrance of regular route is closed by gate (S33° 37.320' W70° 32.182'). Better start from the public minor road and you won't have any problem (S33° 36.768' W70° 30.033'). The GPT Track File 2019 incorporates this change so follow the Regular Route if you use the current update.
Carry as much water as possible just before ascending to the pass (S33° 38.394' W70° 27.191'). There won't be water until 14 km further, and it's not of good quality (S33° 41.000' W70° 23.100').
Instead of deviating to El Melocotón, you can spend the night in Reserva Coyanco (camping, food, services), from where GPT02 starts. Just turn right at S33° 40.813' W70° 20.812'.
- 2020-Nov-14 Ricardo Gold
Regular Route SoBo, 1 day (faspacking) We tried both entrances to the gravel road. Both closed with big gates (RR @KM13). We did an alternative start from Pirque that it did work, but is a significant longer (but nice). I would suggest to review this segment as the two main entrances seems closed for good. After you get into the road is very straight forward, very easy to navigate. There is water in all expected points and I think they will last long into the summer. Indeed, it is very exposed, it will be hard to do in a sunny day, as it will be hot. Alternatively you can start really early or even do it partially at night as it is easy to navigate and not dangerous at all. The climb is pretty steep for a maintenance road. it is +20% for ~4km, so I suggest to tackle this section really early in the morning. There is a good water source just before starting and probably also a good camping ground. Next water source is ~14km after, but with also ~1000m of uphill, so be mindful of the time to get into there. Btw, this water source has a small cascate and pond that is great to jump in and refresh. Just walk ~10m into the upstream.
- 2020-Jan-3 Frank
Regular Route (RR) 2 days Southbound See transport section if you want to skip the first 13KM roadwalk. Midsummer is not the ideal time for GPT01 as it is very hot, there is little shade & not much water. If you do walk there are several small shops on the road up to KM13. It was difficult to access the start. At KM 16.5 on the road, RR-PR-V@01-6.9+4.3 & 700 metres further after the bridge, route sealed by two 15 foot high gates with spikes on top. No one there to ask to open them. Back on RR @ KM13, 2 locked gates. At OH-MR-V@01-A-#002 a resident let me through the locked gate. There is a new fence a little up the road that will probably close off this variant (I got in through a small unfinished section). It is very dry now so RR gates may be closed due to lack of water & fire risk. The only water on RR until 14KM after the pass is on section RR-MR-V@01-16.3+7.8 marked Bridge, Water on GPX, making a camp @ the site 15 mins. walk above (marked Camp No Water) highly advisable. Look for the gas pipeline, route follows it most of the way. Kiosk with drinks & snacks & campsite on the route 3KM before Melocoton are open all week in midsummer, weekends only in low season. No need to go to Melocoton. Get bus to Santiago @ road junction 500 metres down the road after bridge over Rio Maipo
- 2019-Nov-11 Martina & Ivo
Regular route southbound. It took us 3 days as we started late in Santiago and arrived early in Melocoton. As it's still low season everything is shut down in Melocoton so we took the bus (which runs every 30 minutes) to San Alfonso, where we found nice cabañas and three small resupply tiendas.
- 2019-Nov-17 / Matus & Anna
We walked GPT01 in 2 days, including one nero day. We used uber to get to the trail, hope your driver won't be stupid enough to take shortcuts through slums :). There is a gate on the beginning of trail, after a "discussion" (we don't speak spanish) they let us go through. Climb was really hot, make sure you take enough water from the last source on the way up. There is water on the other side, but first marked water source didn't look the best. There is a river cutting a trail a bit down from that point. We stayed in a campsite on the begining of next section which was nice. They have really sticky ferral dogs there which we had a real problem to chase to not hike with us.
|GPT01: Cerro Purgatorio||Hiking||Packrafting|
|Group||A: Precordillera||Total||39.8 km||14 h||-||-|
|Region||Chile: Metropolitano (V)||Trails (TL)||3.7 km||9.3%||-||-|
|Start||Santiago (Metro Puente Alto)||Minor Roads (MR)||22.2 km||55.9%||-||-|
|Finish||El Melocotón||Primary Roads (PR)||13.8 km||34.8%||-||-|
|Status||Published & Verified||Cross-Country (CC)||-||-||-||-|
|Traversable||Nov - Apr (Maybe: Sep, Oct, May)||Bush-Bashing (BB)||-||-||-||-|
|Packraft||Only Burden||Ferry (FY)||-||-||-||-|
|Connects to||GPT02||Investigation (I)||-||-||-||-|
|Options||136 km (2 Options & Variants)||Exploration (EXP)||-||-||-||-|
|Hiking||Packrafting||Total on Water||-||-|
|Attraction||1 (of 5)||-||River (RI)||-||-|
|Difficulty||2 (of 5)||-||Lake (LK)||-||-|
|Direction||Both ↓↑||-||Fjord (FJ)||-||-|
|Character||Semi-Desert, Alpine Terrain, Farmland|
|Challenges||Exposure to Elements, Lack of Drinking Water|
Satellite Image Map
Section Planning Status
The regular route and most options have been hiked and recorded by various hikers in recent years and feedbacks are incorporated in the track files. (2019)
Recommended Travel Period
Regular Route: The relative northern latitude and the maximum elevation of 2200 m should make remaining snow less of an issue in spring. Also no major river crossings are required on the regular route. Therefore this section should be traversable from early spring till late autumn. In spring parts of the route might be muddy due to snow melt. During winter heavy snow fall may occur in the elevated areas. (2019)
Option 1 Rio Clarillo: This option links GPT01 directly with GPT02 and is expected to open up later than the regular route due to its higher elevation. See the Recommended Travel Period of GPT02 for further information to this option. (2019)
Benefits of Hiking and Packrafting
This section does not incorporate any packrafting. This would make packrafting gear an annoying burden on the very steep ascents and descents of this section. (2019)
Recommended Travel Direction
Regular Route: The regular route can be hiked in either direction. (2019)
Option 1 Río Clarillo: This options traverses the Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo. When hiking southbound CONAF park rangers at the entrance near Pirque might not permit a traverse and insist that all hikers return on the same route. But when hiking northbound the Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo is entered in a sector not monitored by CONAF. Leaving the Reserva Nacional at the entrance near Pirque will not be an issue therefore GPT01 Option 1 is currently recommended in northbound direction only. Combined with GPT02 this option is probably the more attractive finish for northbound hikers. (2019)
Hikers that took this option and have a good command of Spanish might talk to the CONAF park rangers and outline hike. This might facilitate acceptance by CONAF park rangers for southbound traverses of this attractive option. (2019)
Section Length and Travel Duration
Regular Route: The 40 km short regular route can be hiked in two demanding days or three more relaxed days. (2019)
Option 1 Rio Clarillo: This sections links directly with GPT02. See Section Length and Travel Duration of GPT02 for information to this subject. (2019)
Northbound hikers should avoid walking into Santiago in the late evening and either take a bus to the metro station Puente Alto or spend the last night in the mountains before walking into the populated areas of Santiago. (2019)
Suitable Section Combinations
Regular Route: The regular route leads quickly out of the bustling capital Santiago and follows mostly a barely used minor road that was build for the construction and maintenance of an underground gas pipeline. This section is certainly not a highlight of the GPT but a worthwhile start. Especially hikers that advocate connecting footsteps will appreciate that you can walk in two or three hours straight from a busy subway station into the quite Precordillera. (2019)
Option 1 Rio Clarillo: For northbound hikers this option is probably the more attractive choice to finish their endeavour on the GPT. (2019)
Regular Route: The regular route requires a long, very steep ascent and descent that are physically demanding. But apart from this no mayor difficulties, technical challenges and dangers are known. (2019)
Option 1 Rio Clarillo: This sections links directly with GPT02. See Section Difficulty of GPT02 for information to this subject. (2019)
Resupply Town: Santiago
What you can't source in Santiago you probably don't get anywhere else in Chile. (2019)
If you want to prepare resupply packages with dehydrated food items you may find a reasonable good collection of imported products at the Jumbo Costanera Center that is conveniently located at the metro station Los Leones. But such resupply food packages are not really required as there are plenty of resupply towns along the GPT.
Gas canisters are widely available in large supermarkets, in "fereterias" and department stores.
See the Wikiexplora page Tiendas_de_equipo_outdoor_de_Chile.
Services: ATM and Money Exchange
Accommodation: Hostals and Hotels
Accommodation: Apartments and Cabañas
Transport: Buses, Taxis and Fletes
Transport: Shipping Services
You find many offices of Starken and Chile Express all over Santiago.
Resupply on the Trail
There are no known resupply possibilities along the route between leaving the suburb Puente Alto and El Melocoton. (2019)
Access to Route and Return
Access to Start: Santiago, Metro Puente Alto
Plaza De Puente Alto is an underground metro station and the southern terminal station of Line 4 of the Santiago Metro network. Underground trains run frequently between 6 am in the morning and 11 pm in the evening.
Calculate 1 hour from the city centre to the terminal station Puente Alto.
From Plaza De Puente Alto buses leave to most towns and villages in the Maipo valley and the surrounding area. (2019)
If you don't want to walk the first 13KM of the regular route on the road then get bus MB73 from Puente Alto.
Access to Alternative Start: Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo
From Plaza De Puente Alto the following buses get you close to Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo:
- Bus 978 towards Rio Clarillo
- Bus MB-74 towards El Principal De Pirque
- Bus MB-80 towards El Principal De Pirque
Buses are frequent and calculate 1 hour for the bus ride. (2019)
Return from Finish: El Melocoton
From Plaza De Puente Alto the following bus gets you to El Melocoton in the Maipo valley.
- Bus MB-72B
Buses are frequent and calculate a bit over 1 hour for the bus ride. (2019)
Permits, Entry Fees, Right-of-Way Issues
Regular Route: No permit or entry fees apply to the regular route. Also no right-of-way issues were reported from hikers in recent years. (2019)
Option 1 Rio Clarillo: Access into Reserva Nacional Rio Clarillo is controlled by CONAF at the main entrance near Pirque. The park is intended for daytime visits only and does not provide camp grounds. Cooking inside the park is strictly banned including with camping stoves. A maximum of 800 persons are permitted entry on one day. CONAF park rangers might not permit a southbound traverse and all visitors are probably required to leave the park in the evening at the main gate. The entrance fee is 6000 CLP for foreign nationals and 2000 to 4000 CLP for Chileans.
A northbound traverse is probably free of charge. (2019)
Regular Hiking Route
Elevation Profile of Regular Hiking Route
Comments to Regular Hiking Route
To be issued.
Regular Packrafting Route
This section does not incorporate any packrafting therefore the Regular Packrafting Route is identical with Regular Hiking Route. (2019)
GPT01 Option 1 Rio Clarillo
To be issued.
GPT01 Option 2 Rio Maipo
To be issued.
Investigations and Explorations
The regular route and relevant options have been hiked and recorded in recent years. No significant investigation or exploration tasks remain open. (2019)
Links to other Resources
Related Routes on Wikiexplora
Option 1 Rio Clarillo
Blogs and Other Publications
All hikers are welcome to add their personal travel story or to place a link to their personal travel blog in this chapter.
Austin Davis: Blog: GPT Section 1 – Cerro Purgatorio
Gerald Klamer: Blog: Greater Patagonian Trail 1 Santiago-Coya
Alerts and Logs of Past Seasons
|Name or Alias||Start Date||Duration||Direction||Comments|
|Gerald Klamer||2017 Early January||-||Southbound||GPT01 Option 1 Rio Clarillo connected directly to GPT02 without resupply|
|Bethany Hughes, Lauren Reed||2017 February||-||Northbound||GPT02 connected directly with GPT01 Option 1 Rio Clarillo without resupply|
|Martin Morlog||2018-10-16||2 days||Southbound||Regular Route|
|Austin Davis||2018-12-15||1.5 days||Southbound||Regular Route|
|Martin Lizondo||2018-12-16||1 day||Southbound||Regular Route|