GPT03 (Rios Claros)

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* Start Date to Finish Date (use Format YYYY-MMM-DD) / Duration in Days / Hiking or Packrafting / Travel Direction (SOBO for Southbound or NOBO Northbound) / Chosen Route and/or Option Name (RR for Regular Route) / Names or Alias

Summary with remarks to route that are considered useful for other hikers and packrafters. Include alerts, suggestions and personal perception of attractiveness and difficulties.

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Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions

Season 2025/26

Season 2024/25

Season 2023/24

Season 2022/23

  • 2023-Mar-01 to 2023-Mar-06 / 7 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + Option 4A / Hannes & Luisa

Wanted to start for the OH in Reserva Los Cipreses, but turned back for RR as Reserva was only allowed for day visit because of high bushfire risk. No active puesto all way long and for this trails were sometimes like a light spiny Bush bashing. At -34.4258 -70.5885 we would have to face heavy BlackBerry-Bb. Instead we took a detour uphill and crossed around this field. Marked water and Ford spots from the track files sometimes where not corresponding with actual location (we supposed a Garmin problem as our marked spots were as well off track sometimes). In Agua Buena Pedro closed down for the moment? his hostel, we slept at Tinajas and cabanas for 40k. Very nice hosts and gardens, we highly recommend.

  • 2022-Dec-08 to 2022-Dec-15 / 8 days / Hiking / SOBO / Exploration of Option 1 / Tomas

I got at 10 pm on the car road to coy and first car passong by (there were quite a few) gave me a ride to town. There is a red house on the left one hundred metres from the main crossroads on the road towards Reservo de los cipreses where Inslept for 15000. Hot water and electricity, room with three beds for me only. The best shop is at the same crosroad opposite this road. They had cherries and nectarines, some vegetables, bread, icecream, some salami and chips. Not greatchoice but more than enough. I went onto regular route and then branched off on alternative 03 that follows the river. I met two chilean hikers on the RR ( I walked in the late evening and early night first 20 km, it was super hot), then a group of arrieros on the alternative. Plenty of water everywhere, good watering holes too.

I then took the first exploratory route. All the way up to the valey, there is an nice horse trail. The regular alternative seemed overgrown, as is marked in the GPX files. Once in the valley (at 2300 elevation, beautiful), it is crosscountry. I went competely off-track, wanting to go directly to the valley on the other side. Not a good idea, very steep loose scree, I was quite afraid at 400 m above the valley floor. But I survived. The exploratory track should be easier, there is just about 100-200 metres of exposed terrain. Follow the GPX. I could not make the shortcut, it was too steep on the other side anyway. So I went to the mountain (3400 m) where I rejoined the exploratory track. It is marked over the ridge, i do not think it is passable. I went down 200m on the other ridge and then followed a countour line to the saddle. Sometimes a bit exposed but fine overall

Once in the saddle, there is a trailnof sorts, sometimes disappearing. I think the gpx going down the valley is wrong, you need to keep.on the left, following the trail. The valley is extraordinarilly beautifull (I have not been to many nicer places)., deserted, but cattle or horses must pass through there sometimes. There was some snow still, above around 2900 on the southern side. When one reaches the big waterfall, one. Needs to keep on the right. There is a path, but it is a bit exposed and not easy to follow. Once in the valley where the exploratory track stops, there is a horse trail, try to follow it. Never go in the streambed. The stream need to be crossed several times. After a kilometer or two, get on the right side of the stream. There should be a horse trail, overgrown. I was on the left side - not a good idea, it was superrhorny. Pietroglyphos on the map are not there.

Once in the reserva ciprese, there is a mix of horse trail, cross country amd bush bashingut doable. Hot spring is cold, but beautiful. I slept there. It is better to keep in the ever bed from there when possible. I took the second exploratory track. At first ,follow the gpx (in go in the river bed and make a sharp turn directly up). Through the first rocny part, I went a bit to the left of the GPX. I used my hands, but it was not exposed and not entirely vertical. Then I followed a the Valle, keeping on the right. There is a track where you can just walk up all the way up. It Is steep but does not feel dangerous, it is not that steep. If you slip, you would not start rolling, I the end, I went to the saddle where the track meets the other exploratory track. I think it was a bit less steep then the route by GPX. You need to go bellow the mountain, GPX goes over it but it is a rock. Going to the other valley, do not go all the way to to lowest pass but take the one that is more to the east. There was lots of snow, not to steep ,I descended like 900 m on the snow in one hour. From 2300, there is horse trail all the way down. Keep on the right bank, left bank turns to car road and the exploratory track suggesting fording is nonsense, just keep on the right bank. No cell phone cover until roughly where Pedro lives. There is internet and electricity in Termas del Flaco. Shops probably not great, I went to San Fernando. Unfortunately lost my garmin with track files. Easy to hitch there, and from there. Took me 7 days, diffuculty 5, attractivness between 4-6, I think. Have not met anybody for six days straight. I will make this more elaborate on e I come back to computer in March.

  • 2022-Dec-03 to 2022-Dec-07 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Martin & Helena

Taking a bus from Rancagua terminal to Coya at 1PM, we started the section about an hour later. Old trail is in good condition. After reaching the car road we climbed below the fence a few meters after the gate. Trail starts to get overgrown in some parts but still ok. Rio Claro ford at 48.3 was no problem in the morning. Unmarked water source on the way to the second pass 55.9. Amazing landscape and places to camp before the last pass. The trail goes down through a forrest which was a nice change. We met owners of the last marked settlement who were again really friendly and showed us the way to Agua Buena that follows a minor road. In the village are a few shops and an amazing restaurant with traditional chilean meals that you cant miss. The owners are great people, we really enjoyed our time there! We stayed in Tinajas & Cabanas (look at Google Maps) for 40k at beautiful new cabana. Daughter of the owners speaks English and we got even a nice little tour around the property, bread and cherries in the morning - 100% recommended! In the restaurant we met already mentioned guy José Pedro who was really nice and helped us with the beginning of the section 4 the following day. He offers a place to camp for free at his property or a room in his house for a small fee. You can find the number below, responds quickly on whatsapp.

Contact: @martin_hanzelka @helenneka

  • 2022-Dec-01 to 2022-Dec-04 / 4 days / Hiking / Tom&miky

The crossing of the rio claro on the morning went well, we had water up to our hips. No problem with the water supply. Variant 03-04 was moderately passable with a 150m section of bush bashing which took us 1 hour. In Agua Buenas, a great restaurant is waiting for you : "La Higuera" run by David Arenas who is very kind.

  • 2022-Nov-10 / Hiking / SOBI / RR / Yannic & Mirjam

We travelled by bus from Rancagua to Coya. The bus leaves every hour from the terminal in Rancagua. There was plenty of water all along the way. We spent one night at Camp{03}[33.5/1559], which is right on the river. Bus bashing, we followed the GPS line +/- 20m, which worked quite well. Crossing the Rio Claros was no problem, the nice camp is at (-34.50800, -70.65994). Crossing the two passes is a long day, but doable. We spent the last night at Water{03}[71.5/957]. (The front water point Water ? {03}[70.1/1142] has no water). In Auqua Buena we ate at the restaurant La Higuera. Good food and friendly owners. In Auqua Buena we stayed overnight with Pedro. He has a very nice little house in the green about 5 minutes walk from the centre. Pedro can offer a room with bathroom and breakfast. Kitchen and everything else can be shared. Pedro is a super nice guy and also helped us for the start of GPT04. He told us that he would also be happy to host other hikers. It is best to contact Pedro before starting on GPT03. Here is his number: +56 9 6135 7353

Season 2021/22

  • 2021-Nov-24 to 2021-Nov-27 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Kris&Stiina

We started from Coya about 7pm and at bridge in 6km we accidentally went right instead of following the RR left because it was getting dark already and after a few hundred meters of walking we found a nice campsite with benches and a table where we decided to call it a night.

Plenty of water and shade on the route, we also met some aerrieos and a bunch of tarantulas on the way. The bushbashing after the first steep pass [36,5km] was not very fun but luckily it wasn’t too long.

The second pass was way easier despite almost a straight 1000m of ascent the trail was in very good condition and way more gradual. We were also a bit lucky with the weather as it was a cloudy day, making it much easier heat wise. Not that great for vistas though. There was an unmarked stream a few km before the second pass [55,9km]. The downhill after the ridgewalk and a mini-pass at [63,7km] got pretty steep at some point and turned our legs into spaghetti, but the really cool jungle-like forest captured our attention more.

We camped about 9km from Agua Buena. In town there were a few already mentioned small shops, enough to resupply for the next shorter section. We had a great lunch and charged our electronics in restaurant “La Higuera” before heading back out to section four.

This section took us 4 days to complete.

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

  • 2021-Nov-18 to 2021-Nov-21 / 3.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Marc Anthony

Hiked this section in 3 1/2 days. I agree with Ian that it was easier than previous sections. Especially because there are more trees and therefore more shade from the scorching sun. This made hiking this section much more enjoyable for me. Met plenty of arrieros riding on the trails and hanging out in their camps. Also had a spectacular view when a big group of them were gathering a lot of cows in an enclosure near the first mountain pass during sun set. There was only one ford were simply jumping on small rocks to cross the river with dry feet wasn’t possible, but water level was pretty low and the current not too strong, so it was easy enough to walk across. Was not able to find accommodation in Aguas Buenas, so hopped on a micro bus to San Fernando. Was told that it arrives every hour or so.

Season 2020/21

Season 2019/20

  • 2020-Jan-06 to 2020-Jan-09 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Frank

All river crossings OK. At KM 47.1 the camp is after you ford the Rio Claro, a few minutes after you reach the road. Water mentioned by Matus & Anna on way to 1780M pass is on the trail @ 1420M. It's a long day if you want to get from Rio Claro camp over the 1780M & 2020M passes to good water & camping @ Water 19. The bush bashing section is well below the 2030M pass. Try to get the entry point exactly right or it will be nearly impassible. 2 good shops in Agua Buena & a good restaurant, La Higuera. Updated transport section.

6KM from Coya after 2 footbridges there is a trail junction. If you fork right onto OH-TL-V@03-B-#001, when you reach the road access to it is blocked by a high fence. I was able to get through a small hole in the fence but it would be better to fork left as regular route is shorter & avoids the fence

  • 2019-Dec-13 to 2019-Dec-17 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / Ian Hikes

Overview: For this section I had a few issues with my GPS and the track files. As a result, I personally had trouble navigating this section. On the other hand, I think this section is relative easier compared to the other sections in the area. It is shorter and there are not too many difficulties. I took the alternate over a large pass which was a huge highlight for me in this section. I recommend this although there is a lot of cross country involved and is a little slower and longer. Aguas Buena has two “mini shops” with enough food for me to continue to section 4. There is also a restaurant/bar that sells empanadas for $1.000 each.

Difficulties: Navigation (for me)

Highlights: Nice views, clear creeks and rivers.

Please feel free to reach out and ask me any questions at

  • 2019-Dec-07 / Matus & Anna

It took us 4 days, including one nero day. Regular trail is in good condition.

I agree with what was written, I just want to clarify that overgrown part of trail (cca 1km) is after the pass (2030m), which is first marked pass in gps files. After the last posts we were not sure. Last good water source is in the climb to the pass (1780m), but filtration needed. There is one more further in the junction with optional trail, but it was quite slow and it would be challenging to take enough water from it.

River crossings were not a problem. In the morning after a second cross of Rio Claro river was suddenly at least twice as stronger, but looked still crossable.

  • 2019-Nov-26 / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Tyler & America

the optional track around the last big climb of the route is pretty dang difficult to navigate in a couple places. Be prepared for some bush bashing and the route to not be the most accurate. I had downloaded satellite AND topo maps of the section on Gaia GPS and this was very valuable in finding the best ways through this. Bush Bashing: OH-BB-A@03-03-#006. Trail down to Rio Antivero (last half SOBO): OH-TL-V@03-03-#009

It took us six days to hike this section. We took a great nearo day down by Rio Claro. Agreed with everything said by Martina. This section was pretty challenging navigation wise for us too. We decided to take the shortest optional route around the second pass. The bush bashing section was THICK. I would say nearly impassable. Luckily I had satellite version of the route downloaded on Gaia and found an easy route around it. After this the trial was very overgrown. Past the puesto and descending back down to Rio Antivero, the route was VERY difficult to find on steep terrain. We had to emergency camp and found our way out the next day after finding a well worn trail near the bottom that led us down safely. If I were to do it again I would just stick to the recommended route the whole second half. In San Fernando we found a horse right next to Hostel O Higgins with private room/both for 20,000. Definitely the best prices in town by far.

  • 2019-Nov-24 / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Martina and Ivo

It took us five days to walk this section. Water levels are very low, so river crossings never caused any problems. One short part of the trail (1 km) after the second pass is quite overgrown and we were really glad doing it downhill and not uphill (northbound). Instead of climbing the third pass we took the alternative route to the East and from there the exploration route, again to the East. The "yellow" part of it was a 700 m hell of a suicidal bush bashing, but mainly because there was thick fog and we couldn't get an overview at the top. The rest of the route (orange) was a trail in good condition. Back on the alternative route we couldn't find a safe way to start the bush bashing part, so we turned around and again took the exploration route, which was a great decision, as we found a trail in excellent condition. In Aguas Buenas are some small tiendas but for accommodation you'd have to go to San Fernando. There is a Microbus twice a day (morning at ??? and evening at 17:00).

Season 2018/19

Season 2017/18

Season 2016/17

Resupply and Accommodation

Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns

Resupply and Accommodation along the Route

Transport to and from Route

Start Regular Route: Coya

Buses once every daytime hour from Rancagua Terminal Rural to Coya.

Finish Regular Route: Agua Buenas

See also GPT04

Bus every half hour from Agua Buena to San Fernando. If you don't want to walk the last 5-6 KM to Agua Buena it should be easy to hitch a lift with fruit farm workers.

Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues

Links to other Resources

Retired Section Article GPT03 - Ríos Claros


GPT03, by [ Austin Davis

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