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GPT03 (Rios Claros)

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Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions

Season 2025/26

Season 2024/25

Season 2023/24

  • 2024-Feb-29 to Mar-03/ 4 days/ 104 km/ Alex + Andrey

GPT03 (Rios Claros) Exploration: Option 3 (Rio Claro Alto and Paso Coligues) SOBO Option 7 (Baule Valley) EABO (new, but no, Tomas did it in 2022) Option 1 (RN Rio Los Cipreses) NOBO

Very difficult.

Base weight 2.9 kg Brief summary: This exploration unexpectedly turned into the discovery of one of the most beautiful mountain valleys I have ever seen in Chile. In my opinion, the combination of options 3, 7 and 1 is a very difficult, but very attractive alternative to the northern part of the regular route for section 03. The difficulties on options 7 and 1 are not exceptional, but their density and variety in such a short section pose a serious challenge even for experienced hikers: Steep scree and rocky slopes and traverses. One very difficult ford Passing narrow gorges with an active river Bushwhacking Even swamps (!) Details, tips: The first part of the route (Option 3) until Pass3 (Pass ? {03-03} [23.6+0.2/2634]) is pretty easy. The trail between Pass3 and Pass4 is not always in place, but CC here does not present significant difficulties. The main obstacle for us was the navigation challenge for Baule Valley after Pass4. This valley consists of several beautiful amphitheaters separated by a series of vertical rock belts with numerous waterfalls. Although we found the remains of an old horse trail in the valley, the lack of any signs of its use in recent years raises questions about its relevance. Also, the upper amphitheater (from the Pass4 to the first rock belt) turned out to be (at the end of February!) under snow, which complicated the search for the remains of the old trail and we were forced to create our own foot path. After some exploration we managed to find a northern passage (a steep but simple green gully) in the upper rock belt towards a small intermediate valley with a lake to the north, from where the path winds through three more rock belts to the middle valley, a very spectacular point. We walked around the lower rocky belt along the very steep scree southern slope. The path below on OSM maps is represented as a trail, which it is not. This is a very demanding 100% CC on the bottom of a canyon with an active river. In my opinion, in this place it is worth trying to find a bypass of the canyon 100-150m higher along the right (southern) bank of the river. Attention! The following is information about Option 1 RN Rio Los Cipreses actual as of the end of February 2024: The southern part of the Reserva nacional Río de Los Cipreses (the Río de Los Cipreses canyon itself) for visiting requires authorization from CONAF, which is extremely doubtful to obtain, so passing SOBO through the valley may be a violation of the rules, but at the moment there is no registration for exiting from the park. Ford 9 (Ford {03-01} [39.1/1468] ) is very difficult even in late February and can be impossible early-to-mid season. The valley above this ford apparently has not been visited for a long time and is significantly overgrown More photos and trek are here: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/rios-claros-valle-baule-rio-los-cipreses-chile-163289798

  • 2024-Jan-26 to 2024-Jan-31 / 5.5 days / SOBO / 02A - 02 - RR - D - RR / Matthias de Austria

Option 02: Large gate with various prohibition signs at -34.2746,-70.5931 on the H-35 road, so I take 02A, a good choice, a nice, easy path along a canal with clear water, in the shade in the morning. Apparently a favourite hiking route for the locals, with numerous fire pits, some of them quite dirty.

Parts of the path before the pass 03 36.5 are overgrown until you reach higher altitude. You are very often in close physical contact with the local flora. I saw a snake there, a culebra de cola. Thought about it later while bushbashing - how many of them are right now close to me? A short section of the path is impassable with dense thorns (at -34.4261,-70.5885), but you can get out of the way with some light bushbashing and boulder climbing over the river, maybe 200 metres. Good training for the serious bushbashing after the pass. There stay close to the gps track, trying to go back to the track, even just 50m through the bushes, can be very hard as I learned by trying.

Water: Plenty in the beginning, unmarked at -34.3191,-70.5698, possible camp shortly after. Water and locked gate at -34.3406, -70.5565, climb over gate Water at -34.3651, -70.5603 Locked gate shortly before 25.3/1096, climb over Plenty of little streams afterwards almost until the pass. Fill up before you reach it, no water afterwards for some time and bushbashing might take longer than planned and can be exhausting. Fill up water at the stream (also nice pool) at Settler 03 49.7 (there was a closed gate but you can bypass it on the little riverbed next to it, where also the pool is), long exhausting hike up to the pass 03 55.9 follows, with only one stream quite far up. Nice spring at -34.5670,-70.7224, 2 or 3km before 05 starts at the final pass.

Fording: no problems, all water levels low. Except Rio Claro, wild river, lots of water with strong stream. I camped nearby, but next morning it was only a bit less water, scary. I took the detour to the bridge (water waves over bridge, but crossing no problem) at -34.4820,-70.7278

Camps: Day 1: with water -34.4001,-70.5742, Day 2: with water -34.4823,-70.6143 Day 3: with water -34.5094,-70.6531 sandy next to big boulder, Day 4: shortly after pass 55.9, very, very little water, no good camp, Day 5: camped next to an old fall down tree over the river at 71.5/957 with pool but very cold water

Big locked gate at 76.7, some dogs barking, I wait a bit until a friendly lady shows up. Dogs now calm. We chat a bit and I continue, climb over the stonewall a few meters right to the gate.

Car picks me up shortly after and drives me to La Higuera in Agua Buena. Very friendly, can take a shower, do laundry, wifi, vegetarian dinner+little desert, 4 beers, breakfast, got a matress in the still unfinished rooms (no electricity, windows, doors nor bathroom). But he gave me a lamp and a power cable for charging. Unfortunately it was extremely noisy at night due to barking dogs and several roosters. Total cost 55k pesos. I also got some free fruit and lunch the next day, and was allowed to go with the car when they drove to San Fernando, they drove me to Puente Negro, from where I quickly hitchhiked to Las Peñas.

Small supermarket (+ a mini market, but did not visit) in Agua Buena, was open from about 10am, but may vary. Enough good food for the next stage.

  • Jan-4-2024 to jan-8-2024 / 5 days / SOBO / Option 2A - RR - variant D - RR / Matthieu

Nice hike, trail in good condition (a little bit overgrowned sometimes with spiky bushes before the first pass - slippery with rolling stones on the last descent to estero antivero, before going back to the treeline, as lilian said) The only hard part is the bush bashing at km39. For this part, when it goes down steep, try to stick to the tracks or try to go to the left ridge, but don't follow the water streams going to your right like I did, it was hell ! The plants grow wild near water. Matthias had the same adventure I think. When you arrive on flat ground, it becomes much easier.

Variants : I took option 2A to not pass by the private property at the beginning of RR. You can begin by 2A and cross the river to join option 2 . The trail is in very good condition. If you don't want to cross the river you can directly begin Option 2. I took a look at investigation option 2B. It seemed overgrowned and steepy from my bank, so I didn't cross the river to check, and came back for the simple plan.

Water : all water markers are still good. For the first pass (36.5), you have water until 1 km before, a good stream with shadow to rest. For the second pass : as Lilian said, the important water point is km54, good flow. There are few streams in the valley between the two passes but muddy and green... almost done. One little stream 1 km before the pass (63.7), clear and fresh water. So to be carefull I would take water to cross from km 54 to km 71 for the rest of the season.

Camp : on a little pass after Option 2 join RR - at km 43.5 (full of trash and cowshit but close to the river). You have other nice places between 43.5 and rio claro, between the multiple river crosses - on variant D after the broken bridge (on the south bank, after crossing with the good bridge) - km 64.7, flat area as Lilian described, no protection,no water, good view. You have a lot of places when you join the treeline after the last pass.

River crossings : The big question was Rio Claro de las Nieves (the big one). RR crossing seemed like suicide. Locals told me that they don't do it this year. To explain, variant D is actually a touristic minor road. People take the metal bridge (3km after broken one) with their vehicles (i saw 2 camionettas and an old car on it). So it's pretty solid, but when I crossed (16h, the worst time) there was some waves going above it, but not above my feet. Only 5 or 6 paces, really short, and large enough for a big car. Nothing to hold on. It's impressive with the big flow under. No problem for the other rivers. Rio claro de quaucenes to thighs but the flow was not so strong.

Other : another snake near the third pass, they really are lazy and let you approach pretty close !

Accomodation : restaurant la Higuera like the others, they are so nice and you eat well, fresh products !

  • 2023-Dec-14 to 2023-Dec-18 / 5 days / SOBO / RR + Variant B+C+D(extended) + Exploratory Variant 5 / Matthias

I had no right of way discussions and no bad dog encounters. At km 9.2 (Huinganes, no entry-allowed signs) the first farmer saw me but didn’t respond my greetings, at the second house there was a person mowing the grass, it was loud so I passed unnoticed.

Locked gate at about km 20.7 where the puesto is marked downhill. Climbed the fence, some other locked gates on the way to the first pass.

Bush bashing beginning some 2 km past the pass: brought me to my boundaries, I found myself hanging on the steep slope in 1,5 m thick branchwood, feet in water and it was hard to move forward or back. Stay to the ridge to the left in the first steep part!

Rio Clarillo was still too wild to ford for me, so I did the 16 km detour (variant D + 3 km, see earlier posts). The metal bridge was still overflown and there was no hose too hold on. To be safe I kept my shoes on for crossing. Had a short talk with the friendly settler at km 49.7 after opening his fence/gate.

Going down from the second pass to Aguas Buenas I took the exploration variant 05. Great hike on the upper part and down to the first Camp. I found a path leading down to the first marked camp in wide zig-zag through (or past) the first „dotted lines“. I camped at a marvelous arriero camp, which is situated on the other side of the river, a bit (100m) further down than shown on the track. Also for the first dotted line after camp 1, I found a reasonable good path until km 8.2 of the variant approximately: I already wanted to recommend this variant to become regular route :-), but then it was HARD bush-bashing even when I didn’t expect it (solid line) down all the way the ridge! Again, always stay to the ridge, it’s easier there, and don’t follow erosion gullies. There must be a better path as the route quite suddenly becomes worse and as camp 1 seems to be a used arriero camp, and after going down the ridge you hit a good path again. But I was too exhausted after 1h30 of bush bashing to explore that way upwards.

Camps: at km 17.8 (Casa de Piedra), km 41.4 (Camp without water), ca. km 51.5 at 1200m (there’s a better alternative at ca.1400 m shortly after a water source), and at camp 1 of the exploratory variant. Plenty of water apart from the variant, where there is no water until camp 1.

Accommodation: At restaurant La Higuera in Aguas Buenas you can camp in the garden or stay in one of the rooms which are being made. I do highly recommend the place, the family is very friendly and helpful.

  • 2023-Dec-11 to 2023-Dec-14 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Lilian

Km4.6 : water switch on the ground, under a rock after the junction. Be aware turn on lightly, otherwise it will inject several meters away.

Km7.4 : camping spot with fire ring, rock seats and nice tree shades, a stream is flowing nearby too.

Ford[16.1/877] : just up to half of calf, camping spot with 2 fire ring before crossing.

Camp[17.5/875] : crossing of Rio Claro de Cauquenes, look like up to thighs at RR crossing. When you arrive the river, keep walking to upstream about 120m until the rock beach end, you will find rock bar under water there, cross it, up to knee and mostly just half of calf. When you join back the trail, after 10-20sec a large flat area that can fit lot of tents.

Km20.7 : nice water flowing and 2 locked gates, you can climb over them, or go high and back down.

Water[22.8/1173] : flowing nice, and camping spot at km22.9, with fire ring, log seats, rock seats and tree cover, but most are a little steep, just 2 small spots are flat.

Km23.2 : flat area can fit 3 tents on the pass.

Water[25.3/1096] : another locked gate, camping spot with rock seats and shelter before the gate. After you climb over the gate and arrive the stream, a smaller camping spot there, can fit 1-2 small tents.

Km25.5 : flat area can fit 3 tents on the pass.

Km26.8 : a stream flowing good, and a flat spot can fit a small tent just before it. 1 more flat spot can fit 1 tent at km27.

Km29 : flowing with clear water. Rock hopping for dry feet crossing, nice camping spot under a big tree can fit 2 tents after the cross.

Km30.1 : a good flow stream and a locked gate. Climb over it.

Ford[30.6/1315] : flowing with clear water. Rock hopping for dry feet crossing, camping spots under lot of trees can fit many tents with fire ring and log seats after the cross. But lot of trash.

Km32.5 : crystal clear swimming pool!!! Flat spots under some trees can fit 2 tents just before it.

Water[34.7/1696] : completely dry at RR crossing, but is still flowing good at a little downstream, better collect them before you climb up, cold, clear and taste good! Some more small stream are still flowing now before the pass, but for the report in 2019, look like they will dry up soon.

Pass[36.5/2047] : if you are thinking of camping on the pass, forget it! Several flat spots, but tons of cow poop surrounding here, some are fresh, some are dry, you wouldn't like it.

Bush bashing is not fun, luckily it is short and going downhill side.

Ford[40.7/1398] : nice camping spot between 2 river crossing here, beside a tree on grassland can fit 2 tents.

Camp without water[41.4/1424] : can fit many many tents here but no tree cover. Another spot like this one at km42.1

Camp[43.5/1177] : closed gate here, use your arm power to open it.

Km45 : flowing stream and unlocked gate.

When you follow the valley going downstream, you will cross the river sometimes, lot of camping spots at before and after crossing.

Ford,camp[48.3/859] : fording of Rio Claro, i cant do it. It is too hard although at 9am, very very strong flow and up to waist, i give 2 steps and turn back, otherwise I'll be knocked out.

I found at upstream the place that rock beach end, river breaks into 3 parts, it looks like possible for crossing if you are have more body weight than me.

I went to the bridge that Yannick & Nolwenn said, it is at far away downstream but the only safe option.

(-34.48000,-70.72770) : house, easy to find it on satellite map.

It is a wooden rooftop and brick wall house, walking on the road wouldn't miss it. I met the family and their dog of the house, so the gate is open, and they are chilling beside the river.

Follow the road behind the gate will lead you to the small iron bridge, water lever is above it, above my half of calf when i stand on the bridge at 2pm, fast and strong, so when you cross it be careful.

Their dog want to cross with me, but it was washed away by strong wave in 2sec, (luckily it can swim back to shore).

A long dirt road walk back to trail.

Settler[49.7+0.2/810] : a locked gate and a stream, no need to climb gate, walk to the riverbed, you'll find a easy way back to the road that behind the gate, remember bring water, a long way climb up.

Km54 : a stream flowing good with a small pool.

Km54.1 : nice camping spot, can fit many tents, beautiful trees and green short grassland.

Pass[55.9/1772] : lot of ......... , water is flowing in the valley after the pass, but look like will dry up soon.

Km59.2 & 60.7 : flat spot can fit 1-2 tents with good views on the pass.

Km61.6 : several spots for total 3-5 tents on the ridge, excellent views but windy.

Km62.65 : 2 small stream still flowing clear and cold water with a tiny waterfall, easy to collect. Some more stream before the high point, but i think they'll all dry up soon.

Km64.7 : a large flat area can fit lot of tents.

Km67.2 : water is still flowing in the valley, but maybe dry up soon.

Km69 : treeline, trail conditions become much better.

Km69.9 : water flowing.

Water[71.5/957] : flowing nice with log bridge. Camping spot with fire ring before crossing, fire ring and log seats after crossing.

Km73.1 : amazing pine trees camping spot! Can fit 10+ tents, sleeping on comfortable pine land.

Km73.4 : locked gate, climb over it. From here to km73.8 is huge flat area. Km73.7 have a fire ring too.

Km74.8 : closed gate, you can open it by a rope knots on right side.

Settlement[76.7/652] : Los Alps, when you get close, walk slower, at least 4 DOGS here and running out, a women will come out and help you to stop them, she is friendly but need some time to come out, so dont rush to in front of their dogs.

Bridge[77.3/639] : you can follow RR crossing the river by wet feet, or go on the shaking and shaking bridge.

Lastly, i camped in the small garden of the restaurant ' La Higuera' in Aguas Buenas. Hot shower, laundry, dinner and hiker friendly. Decided tomorrow will eat the breakfast here then keep going!

  • 2023-Dec-09 to 2023-Dec-13 / 5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Stiina & Kris

On the trail from Coya nothing much has changed, the wooden bridge still holds. As of now there is water at km 7.2 (before hitting the gravel road) so we filled up there instead of spending time at Fundo Huinganes. The main gate by the road was closed but easily bypassed. At the house right after entering there are about 7 dogs, two of them loose, but they don't come out of their yard despite the gate being open. There was a car there but nobody came to see if anyone was passing. We managed to get through the private land without issues.

Crossing Rio Claro de Cauquenes in the late afternoon was fine at a wide place. Camped at Casa de Piedra. The next day was very hot so we opted for a 6hr siesta and nighthiked up the the pass and down, including the bushbashing. Sunset at the pass was incredible and the starry sky even more so. The bushbashing was just as we remembered from the last time, no improvements. The trail after the bushbashing seemed not used, ie the upper pastures hadn't been grazed and the trail was grassy and a bit overgrown until the puesto at km43.5.

Rio Claro was way too wild for us to cross at 9 in the morning, evident by a dead cow in the middle of the river, so we did the same detour as mentioned before - 8km each way. The small metal bridge was totally under water when we crossed it, thankfully there is a plastic hose that can be used for balance when traversing. Camped nearby the river close to where the old bridge used to be (seemed like a designated camping area, there were other campers and signs "llevate la basura).

No issues getting back to the puesto where the route turns up. Water reliable, trail in ok condition. The way down steep as usual but once you enter the forest you can see the arrieros have cleared it from bush. Lots if water. No issues with dogs or landowners, we didn't see anyone.

  • 2023-Nov-19 to 2023-Nov-23 / 4,5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + variant D / Yannick & Nolwenn

- Water : all markers are good and even more water present - for now there is water as well in between km 55 and km 57

- Camping spot : km 25,5 ( water 100m before) | km 43,5 | km 55,9 ( water 300m after) | km 73,6 ( we asked the permission to the settler that was present - he was really nice )

- River crossing : all easy to cross except for the 'Rio Claro' that was too strong for us ( 1m80 and 65kg) - we took variant D and found out that the bridge does not exist anymore ( has been destroyed this year), we then continued on the dirt road and found another little bridge 3km after. The bridge is behind a 'closed' black gate ( you just have to lift the chain up ) on the left side of the road on front of a house. Then you can go join another dirt road on the other side that will make you rejoigned the GPT.

- Weather : Sunny

- Resupply : in agua buena, we found everything we need for the next section in a little shop on the main road.

- Accomodation : we stayed in the garden of the restaurant ' La Higuera'. They are building some accommodation but it won't be ready until January. We payed 10 000 pesos each for putting the tent, a shower, charging electronics and doing laundry. The owners are super nice and would be happy to host again.

- Option roads : variant D - be careful no bridge as indicated but one 3 km down the road ( read comment on River crossing)

- Warning : at km 76,7 there is a puesto with a lot of dogs that can be aggressive. We went slowly at their encounter and the lady owner came out of the house and talked to us. She gets scared when she hears her dogs screaming, she said that she would prefer if people wait and talk to her before continuing on the road. It is a safer option to wait for her to calm the dogs down.

- Overall  : Nice section, the bush bashing is real, it took us 40 minutes but is not that awful. We encountered a lot of cows and bulls but there were always afraid of us and ran away. We met another GPT hiker on this section!

  • 2023-Nov-19 to 2023-Nov-23 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Jens

The owner of the land at km 9.2 was not very pleased to see me. There is a gate that says private property, you can easily walk around it, no fences. He doesn't want anyone to cross his land, but he made an exception for me. Maybe it would be wise to take the alternative route in.

Two more gates on the RR route that I jumped over. Nobody seemed to be there at the time.

Plenty of water on the route. Camp sites every few kilometres.

The first two river crossings were easy.

Around the first pass (km 40 or so) the trail basically stopped existing for a few kilometres until halfway to the next river. Especially after the pass I had to do a lot of bush bashing. There was no trail, at least as far as I could see. All my Garmin showed was a dotted line, which in my book meant "you're on your own". After what felt like an hour of scrambling, I found the trail again (black line on the Garmin).

I had to cross the river at least 5 times. I tried to keep my boots dry, but gave up after the second crossing and embraced them from then on.

The Rio Claro was very strong that afternoon. It wasn't a very warm day, but it carried a lot of water. I (190, 90 kilos) dared to cross it just before the other river joined it. It was hard work. Someone less heavy might want to take the detour to the bridge.

On the way to Aguas Buenas, at the settlement marked on the map, a dog bit me. Not sure if there is a way around it.

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 think.at 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 Ultratrailca@gmail.com

  • 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 [http://notabadplacetopee.com/gpt01/ Austin Davis

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