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GPT08 (Volcan Chillan)

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Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions

Season 2025/26

Season 2024/25

Season 2023/24

  • 2024-04-12 to 2024-04-15 / 3 Days / Hiking SOBO) / RR ,

Alex + Andrey Option from Termas de Chillan My favorite section for autumn and a perfect weekend escape from the big city. Difficulty: Moderate It’s not hot and there’s almost no dust after a little rain. The foliage of the trees turns into autumn colors! Fords are simple. Although Ford (easy) {08} [48.4/1334] has unusually more water for mid-April, photo attached in FB post. Thanks to Matthias de Austria for clearing access to the stream at the west shore of Laguna Robles. It is a whole year source of fresh water before the ridge. The Lagunillas Camping now is https://www.parqueantuco.cl/

  • 2024-03-24 to 2024-03-28 // 4,5 days // Hiking // NOBO // RR + VARIANT E + VARIANT D // Quentin Clavel

After few days off at Los Angeles, I took the bus to Abanico then hitchhike until the junction between the trail and the road. I had to pay at the park ranger gate the 5K CLP for the entrance of the park (online reservation only, impossible to pay cash, and there's hardly mobile service up there, so prepare yourself by advance ☺️).

Then, you go straight up, and have stunning views over volcan Antuco and siella velluda. I had to check my GPS few times on this first part, and to change my trajectoire to stay on the RR and don't miss trailheads.

I slept at Laguna lágrima. I don't know if it comes from the water here, but I had stomach issues the following days ...

Views on this first part were absolutely wonderful !

The thermals of Los Peucos are just amazing ! Worth the stop, clean, well maintened, and with perfect temperature of water ! Sergio was so kind, he even invited me to lunch with him, that was a very nice break in this day !

Some swampy parts after the Puesto {08} [61.7/1298].

The hike up to the plateau (KM42) was physical, but it results to stunning views over the volcan chillan, and all the wonderful surroundings! There were hundreds of cows on that plateau and it was quite swampy, at the end you reach a super nice camp with incredible thermals ! Best hot springs of the GPT so far for me !

Continue to the pass and arrive in the volcanic plateau, very great too. I was too amazed by the landscape that I lost myself ! I was following a pretty clear track and missed to go on the right of the valley. I had hard time to join the RR as I tried to shortcut, but it was very demanding, sleepy and with losing rocks. Would have been better to backtrack at the junction and find again the RR, anyway...

After a way down where there's just a little overgrown part (for no more than 300m) I reached the terrible Rio Ñuble, that was (I was fortunate) easy to pass for me, at this time of the season, even with quite strong current.

From then I only met amazing people, up for a chat and full of an absolute kindness ! Carabineros first, locals, and Sandra at the microshop in puente el inglés (that was my only option for ressuply (chips, biscuits, fresh drinks, pastas) but at the middle of nothing I was happy about that !)).

  • 2024-03-18 to 2024-03-23 / 5.5 days / SOBO / RR,E,RR,H,RR/ Marilyne

Day 1 - Took the bus from rural terminal in Chillán at 8am to Termas de Chillán. After option 2, I walked NOBO on the RR to the nice hot springs at 40.3, spent the day there and camped at 40.4.

Day 2- Walked the dusty trail to Camping Los Peucos. Ford at 48.4: crossed about 400 meters upstream of the waypoint for the ford. The main flow is quite strong, so I looked for a spot where it was slightly more diverted. Got to camping Los Peucos and got offered a cabin with electricity for the same price as camping as heavy rain was forecasted for the next day (10k/night). Used the wifi which is pretty good around the ranger’s cabin. Hung out in the hot springs being chatted up by a 80-yo man who didn’t seem to care whether I understood all of what he said or not.

Day 3 - 45mm rain - Rest day. The nicest campground attendant, Sergio, let me hang out in his cabin by the fire all day.

Day 4 - Walked mostly on RR but using variant E on the road as the RR trail is overgrown and the trees were soaking wet after yesterday’s downpour. Met two people in a truck that worked for the pipeline that is along that road. Didn’t see anyone else. Camped at Laguna Laja.

Day 5 - Followed the RR except for variant H. Camped at the edge of the forest before the camp waypoint 119.7/1520, didn’t find ants to be problematic. Met a group of 5 young hikers going to Laguna Los Condores right before camp.

Day 6 - Hiked RR and GPT09 option 1A to Salto de las Chicas. Got a ride quickly to Antuco, where I went to the nice supermarket and took a room in town.

  • 2024-03-11 to 2024-03-16 / 5.5 days / SOBO / OH2, RR, Variant C, RR, G, RR / Tobi & Fangwen

Bus to Thermas de Chillan departs 12:30 from Rural bus station in Chillan arrives around 5pm

Hot springs @ KM40.3 indeed one of the best on the GPT - nice mix of hot waterfall and cold spring in one pool. Campsite there is not sheltered from wind, and a fair bit of trash left behind. Definitely worth the small detour from Thermas de Chillan

Baños de Peucos are great for a half rest day, Sergio (caretaker) is the nicest and most welcoming host.

At Laguna El Roble, the better campsite is on the western shore - there is one flowing water source along the edge of the forest a bit north of the campsite (lake gets a bit gross end of season).

Between El Roble and Hermosa, there is cellular reception when on the western side of the ridge (Movistar).

Laguna Hermosa is nice, there is one flat and South wind sheltered campsite behind the bushes on the north side of the lake. It's nice to walk around the lake, some easy scrambling. Do expect power lines overhead.

The two hot springs, and the last ridge hike were definitely the highlights of this GPT section.

The bus leaving Albanico for Las Angeles goes at between 5-6pm -ish

Rest very straightforward, and as described below (dusty, dead horse).

  • 2024-Feb-25 to 2024-March-4 / 7.5 days / SOBO / RR B D/ Matthias de Austria

No snowfiels, almost no Tabanos, except in the forenoon (none in the evening) at Laguna El Roble, about 30 to 40 Tabanos in 3 hours, on 1st of March! Mostly plenty of water, lots of unmarked streams. No water at 106.7 and at camp 119.7, dried up.

Lots of dirt roads and paths veeery dusty.

No camp at 106.6. Flat spot few hundred meters after at -37.24567,-71.39142. But no protection and no water.

Fordings: all very easy except Rio Nuble. Crossed Nuble at ford 23.7, did not scout. It was deeper then it looked and for a meter or so I (187cm, 100kg) had a little fighting with the current. It was the first somewhat serious ford in my life. Got my undies a bit washed. Forded Rio Diguillin at -36.93549, -71.40313, where I saw horsetracks on the ground. Water around kneedeep, for a half meter strong current, but I simply step over it. I marked this easy ford position with a vertical tree stump, might be there until the next storm or flooding. Ford 66.4 was possible dry foot a bit east, but go back to RR afterwards, the road on the map does not exist anymore and this area is a jungle.

At -36.94783,-71.41243 easy to miss junction.

Camps: 1st shortly after the bridge at puente el ingles in the sand. Nice swimming next to it, but no morning sun until noon. 2nd abou q00 to 200m upstream of ford 23.7 next to Rio Nuble. Nice bolders, big pool, but strong current and very cold. 3rd camp 36.2, meadows quite wet, limited protection, just a few bushes. Small cold pool 150m away at Rio Las Minas. 4th a few hundred meters before ford 47.4 on a small flat spot next to the path. Nice camp shortly northwest of trailhead 80.5. Big nice pool at Rio Polcura for swimming next to where option 1 fords. West side Camp at Laguna El Roble as east has shallow water. Stream next to camp dried up, I found a small one a bit further north along the shore. Had to clean up 2m of thick bushes for water access. Camp at Laguna Hermosa very windy, but just follow the black cable to the west for maybe 20m, then go 3m through the treebushes and you are in a little quit well wind protected clearing: -37.274802,-71.383647. Camp 119.7, but water dried up, and very dusty and limited protection, not a good camp. There are some meadows a few hundred m further around the puesto, also no water there in March.

Men cleaning up the RR path north of Los Peucos. Some workers at the camp, but the ranger is working on the trail. No ranger means no firewood for cooking, no wifi and the thermas are without water. So no point in staying there and I move a bit further camp on some dusty place next to the road with a bit clambering river access. Next morning first morning frost.

Hot spring 40.3 is absolutely amazing. Best one I saw on the GPT. Stayed there for hours naked and got a bit sunburned. The "smoking river" a few hundred meters further west is also worth seeing.

Lots of blackberries along RR Rio Los Sauces.

Hardly any paths around camp 29.5 for a few hundred meters, overgrown or landslided. Not a big problem, just slows you down.

Long boring road, but hitch until police station shortly after ford 12.2km. Police friendly, wants passport, detail plans and phone number in case of emergency.

Gate at -36.81995,-71.25333, entry forbidden sign. easy to climb.

RR after junction E is partly overgrown, but still walkable, just slows you down.

Combined Section 7 and 8, in total 17 days, with lots of bathing and sitting around. Run out of food the last few days and had to restrict to one portion per day, which made me even slower due to lack of energy. But it was totally worth it. Still have way too much body fat. Last ridge one of the most beautiful parts of the GPT, stunning views and diverse path.

Hitch ruta Q-45 to Antuco.

Work in progress

2024-Feb-24 to 2024-Feb-28 / 4.5 days / SOBO / RR / Gabriele - Trails of Wander

Day 1 (0.5) - Termas de Chillan - near Camp 08 [42.3/2087]. Late start at around noon from OH-Tl-V 08-02 [2.6+3.3] (Thermas de Chillan Parking) after hitch-hiking from Las Trancas. Reached Las Trancas with RemBus from the Chillan Rural Bus Terminal La Merced. The Sendero Valle Aguas Calientes have been re-routed for a few 100s meters after the fumaroles and it stays higher than the original track. Easy to follow. Once in the Valle Aguas Calientes I continued to Hot Spring 08 [40.3/2173] NOBO which is really a must do on this section and then retraced back to a camping area about 200 m lower than Camp 08 [42.3/2087] that I thought was dryer, flatter and had good access to water.

Day 2 - Camp 08 [42.3/2087] Valle Aguas Calientes - Los Peucos CONAF Hot Spings Camping. I followed the RR for this day. The only note of relevance is that the ford of Rio Diguillin at [48.4/1334] is still hips high with strong current and need to be approached with trekking poles and cautiously. The critical part is only about 2 meters wide, but the current is strong. Water is not particularly cold.

Day 3 - Los Peucos CONAF Hot Spings Camping - camp on Laguna Del Laja shore at [-37.12935, -71.18614]. I was lucky to get a ride for 3-4 km right out of Los Peucos by a CONAF maintenance crew who was going to do some tree cleaning on a minor road down the valley. This route branched out from the RR MR and according to the crew it is shorter to get to the Camino Oleoducto road. The alternative route turns into a faint trail for the last km or so and it crosses Rio Polcura in a very easy and shallow spot with water always below knee and calm current. After the crossing it overlaps with OH-CC-a 08-D for the last km, then it meets RR MR shortly after the ford on the RR. This alt route is flat and easy and possibly shorter of about 1-2 km than RR. On Camino Oleoducto I was also able to hitch-hike for about another 3-4 km to reach the start of the Sendero Los Ratones RR-Tl-V 08[80.6]. Thanks to the rides I was able to reach Laguna Del Laja quicker than expected. I decided to camp on the lake shore at [-37.12935, -71.18614] rather than continuing to Laguna El Roble as the spot was scenic. There I met Hugo, the Arriero who stays at the Puesto nearby Laguna El Roble.

Day 4 - Camp on Laguna del Laja shore at [-37.12935, -71.18614] - Laguna Hermosa. I just followed the RR for this day with the exception of the short CC to Laguna Hermosa where I camped for the night.

Day 5 - Camp at Laguna Hermosa - Camping Lagunilla (10k CLP per day). Also followed RR for this final day. Camping Lagunilla is very good with hot showers and very nice camp sites. Unfortunately no more homemade empanadas, only bebidas from this week moving forward for the remaiming of the season. The following morning I easily hitch-hiked to Abanico where there are small stores and took the bus to Los Angeles at 1 pm.

Overall a good section with variety of landscapes and views particularly around Volcan Chillan / Aguas Calientes and along the traverse above Laguna Del Laja with great views of Volcan Antuco and the Sierra Velluda.

  • 2024-Feb-20 to 2024-Feb-27 / 8 days / Hiking / NOBO / El Abanaico - Puente El Inglés / RR + Option H + Option B / Alex & Christophe

It was a really nice section for us. The part we really loved was from Thermas de Chillan to Rio Nuble. It felt more wild and with less people. So even if you fear Rio Nuble, avoiding this part would be a mistake for us. We think that the edge between km 117.3 and 100.6 also really worth it but can't totally know as we were in the fog.

A lot has already been said but here is what seems important to us:

We started the section hitchhiking from Antuco with a easy and fast ride to El Abanico.

There is some apple trees in the valley near Ford {08} [71.3/1089] and apples were nearly ready to be eaten.

Los Peucos were a nice stop to relax but we weren't alone as a lot of the previous comment. 2 other parties (horse riders) were also camping the same night as us. The road is being improved so this will maybe become a bit more popular than the last 2 months. It was 10'000 CLP pp for us, with firewood and Internet. We didn't try to connect so we can't comment on the speed and quality.

Ford {08} [48.4/1334] (Rio Diguilin) wasn't that hard. Just follow the horse track as it's a good place to ford and there will only be 1m with some current. It's still deep but we ford it at 6pm without any trouble. The best thing with this ford is that the water is warm and you can try to ford it without your backpack a few times before you're sure of the place you like the more. All this without frozen toes ;)

Ford {08} [23.7/950] (Rio Nuble) was ok but still not a piece of cake. We crossed it at 11:30 am and didn't thought it was so deep before going in. I had water nearly to my waist (I'm 174cm tall) and the current in the center is clearly present. The good point is that the river is not ice cold, so you can take your time and go slowly, being sure of the position of your feet and poles.

For the last 12 km, between El Roble and Puente El Inglés, it's full of fruit trees. It felt like being in a free fruit market. We could pick apples, pears, a lot of blackberries. There were even fig tree but it was a little bit too soon. So nice to have a bit of vitamin and fresh food after 8 days.

Finally, after asking at the mini-shop in Puente El Inglés, we learned that there is no more bus going to San Fabián. So we took a beer and some french fries before camping near the bridge after a pretty long day. The next day we walked an hour before we could catch a ride to San Fabián.

  • Feb-9-2024 to Feb-14-2024 / 5 days ( of which 2 half days) / SOBO / Oh2, RR, var B, D, E, H / Matthieu

Very beautiful and diverse section, with the volcan, pastures of agua caliente, the forest and the rock and thorny bushed mountains. At the end of the section, I suggest to follow RR to the lagunilla camping, it's an easy trail in the park, and 2 very nice cascadas to see. From the park entrance there is an osm track that cross Section 9 RR, direclty to the campsite, so you never have to walk on the road. I started at Oh 2 to avoid rio Ñuble.

Trecking difficulties : 1) River crossing of rio Diguillin 48.4 is still not a peace of cake. The current is strong, and where i crossed it was max to the hips in the rapid water. I went on a large place with big rocks on the way to hide behind, it cuts the crossing into 3 difficult but very short parts, and you can hug the rocks not to fall. 2) The pass before Laguna Laja is a cemetery of trees, so the progression is a little bit slow but nothing difficult, it's basic gps navigation. 3) The part between laguna hermosa and Water 118.3 is steep, sliperry with rocks and sand. The tracks are difficult to follow at times. So the progression is slow, i suggest not to start it at the end of the day. I finished on var H without noticing it, just saw the trail from below. I was exhausted when i put my tent at camp 119.7 (an horrible mistake, see below).

Camp : At Fumaroles at the beginning of Oh 2, some flat spaces in the valley and a clear cold river - Ford 50.5, arriero camp super nice - 300m before water 1.5 on var E, a nice flat place but very exposed. I wanted to camp at 72.9, incredible place, but a freshly dead horse was waiting for me, the whole place stinked like hell. Wanted to try to camp on RR along the rio after but it was overgrown at the beginning and it was late so back on var E - Laguna el Roble 98.3. It is an arriero spot with a clear river that goes into the lake. There is a trail into the trees that takes you into the beach for nice camp places. You don't really want to drink directly from the lake, so i don't suggest camp 97.8 (no fresh water). There is a puesto before the last uphill to the lake, really nice arriero inside who advised me this - Camp 119.7 : DON'T sleep there, the whole hill is an enormous nest of unfriendly red ants, I had to cook directly in my inner tent. The river runs very slow to so the water not good. So i suggest camp at the lagunas before, or if you still have courage to follow until the cross country after puesto 120, it's heaven for tents with view on antuco and the river is not far.

Water : all markers correct, no concerns until the final ridge. For the ridge walk of cerro el toro, you can find water at camp without water 102.3 (so this year its name should be with water), water 106.6, laguna hermosa, laguna lagrima (the very little one after the cerro), and nothing after on RR until water 118.

Snow : one patch on Oh 2 on the track, but you can avoid it by a sendero litteraly 10m above, with no problems. No other patches.

Accomodations : bus from Chillan rural terminal, to thermas de Chillan at 14h, you have to walk from vale hermoso to the beginning of Oh2 - Camping Lagunilla, 10k per day, homemade empanadas sandwichs bebidas and cakes, very calm i loved it. For buses, you have to walk to albanico (6 per day for los angeles, of which 9h30, 11h, 15h30, 18h30).

  • 2024-Feb-05 to 2024-Feb-08 / 3.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / OH 02 + RR + OH E + H + J / Joscha

Day 1: OH08-02

I took the bus at 2 pm from the rural bus station in Chillan to the Thermas de Chillan. From there I had to roadwalk 1.5 km to get to OH08-02. There are a few snow fields left around the Pass Pirigallo, but its easy to walk over them. At km 1.2 of OH08-02 I took the Valle de Agua Caliente Trail as short cut to the Camp at 42.3 on the RR. I did not like the spot there, but close to it at -36,91092, -71,36632 are some decent tent spots.

Day 2: RR [42.3-75.1] + OH08-E

The Ford at km 47.4 was max. knee high at 10 pm. (I am 191 cm tall). Be carefull fording Rio Diguillin at km 48.4. The water was just below my hips and the current was pretty strong (around 10:30 pm). I forded it about 60 m upstream of the gpx tracks. There was a big rock in the middle of the river to which I could hold on to. At km 59.6 is a closed barb wire gate that I couldn't open. I managed to climb over it, but it's a little tricky. The RR leads on to the property of the Thermas Los Peucos (km 63.9). After the ford at km 63.7 I had to step over a barded wire fence (no gate). Los Peucos was closed and I didn't see anybody. I didn't like the idea of trespassing so I climb over the front gate (km 63.9) and continued on RR. OH08-B might be a good alternativ to avoid Los Peucos. But I meet Ricardo a few km further south. He was on his way to Los Peucos. If I understood him correctly (my spanish is pretty basic) than he is going to be at Los Peucos for the next two months. So they should be open now if you are interested in taking a break there. There are two easy fords at km 70.0 and 70.6 on the RR. The river at Ford 71.3 is wide, but water was below knees in thr evening. I wanted to camp at km 72.9, but I found the body of a horse directly at the camping spot. It looked like it had died a few days ago and it smelled pretty bad. Therefore I continued to the camp at km 78.6. I accidently stayed on the dirtroad and walked variant E. It has some extra altitude but therefore some nice views into the valley. Water 0.7 on variant E was dry. All other water and ford Waypoints I passed today had water.

Day 3: RR [78.5-107.0]

Laguna El Roble is a nice break spot and the last water source until km 106.7. At the Camp Marker km 106,6 is only a overgrown meadow which isn't flat at all. But there is a descent camp spot at km 106,9. The Water at km 106.7 is only a trickle and might dry out soon. All Water markers I passed by today had water.

Day 4: RR [107.0-115.2] + OH08-H + RR [116.3-117.4] + OH08-J + RR [117.4-134.5]

The next water source after km 106.7 is Laguna Lagrima at km 113.5. I accidently hiked OH08-H instead of RR. Laguna Los Condores is pretty nice. But the last few hundred meters of OH08-J are overgrown and not so easy to walk trough. Its easier to follow the trail that leads to the eastern side of the Laguna and forks of at about km 0.6 of OH08-J. From this trail you can go down to the Laguna. There is water at all markers.

The part from km 100 to km 117 is very spectacular.

  • 2024 Jan 25 to Feb 5 / 12 days / SOBO / Opt 2, Opt 3, RR, Var D, Opt 6 + 2 OSM routes / Michael and Kasia

TL/DR: A beautiful but exhausting section.Reserva Nacional Ñubles is officially closed, but they are still letting people in. If taking Opt 3, look for the trail that starts just after El Trumao heading NE for a more interesting hike. Los Peucos is open, but has no food or power so not currently a resupply option.

Day 0 - We took the bus from Chillan to Recinto hoping to camp for the night and take the early bus up to Termas de Chillán to begin the hike. (The bus that goes all the way to the hotel only goes twice a day. Both leave from the Terminal Rural in Chillan one at 08:00, the second at 14:00.) There were no camping options in Recinto, so we walked to Los Lleuques. We found a hostel called Antupiren at the entrance of town. 13.000 pp for private with shared bathroom, very nice owners. They have a restaurant too. There were some other places with signs for hostal and campamento further down the street. There are 4 or 5 shops and grocery stores in town. If you stay in Lleuques, a little further on is a nice public access beach along the river called La Playita that is popular with locals and a good place to escape the heat for the afternoon.

Day 1 - We got up early and were at the bus stop at 08:15. The bus arrived at around 09:30. It only goes as far as the hotel and then you have to walk about 1 km up to the ski center where the trail begins. The beginning of the trail was steep and dusty, then leveled off a bit. It passes by some fumeroles. There are two paths up to the pass. One is not on GPT or OSM at the moment, but it is a marked path that is clearly visible. It goes more to the left and up. The other is a horse trail which is the one GPT goes along. They both meet about half way up. We took the horse trail up. There is some grassy area and access to a stream. Nice views of the valley on the way up. Close to the top there was still a small snow field left and the way around it was walking above it on large, loose rocks. We had resupplied for 8 days and our packs were around 25 kg each. Due to this we felt it would be unsafe for us to try to navigate the section so we decided to walk back. It was disappointing, but we were also thinking about the difficulties others had in crossing Rio Diguillin further on and figured it was an early warning. On the way back we took the marked path which was actually more difficult than the GPT track, which surprised us since it looked more like a tourist trail. We were rewarded at one point however with a spring gushing out of the ground and took the opportunity to get fresh cold water without the need to filter. When we got back to where the fumeroles were, we chatted with some mountain bikes and a couple of hikers. There is another route down which had an OSM track on the map. The bikers explained that it is the route they all take down. It is open to hikers as well and there are signs advising bikers to watch for hikers, but the biker said there are a lot of curves and it is possible to get hit on the way down if you are unlucky. It was around 18:30 and he said they were the last group, so if we just waited for them to leave we should be able to hike down without worrying. We waited, and it was totally worth it. The trail down is very dusty, but with much less incline than the way up, and at a certain point goes through a really beautiful beech forest with lots of wildflowers growing. There is no access to the estero until the bridge at the end. We tried to find a place to camp, but no luck. We ended up walking the highway back to a point where we had seen a dirt road connect to the estero and camped there for the night. Not optimal, but it was already dark by that point, so we were just grateful to sleep.

Days 2 and 3 - We walked the highway until the Los Coltrahues nature trail that runs parallel to the highway and then walked that to Las Trancas. It was a pretty path and a nice alternative to the highway. In Las Trancas we bought food for lunch and dinner at a shop next to the bus stop. There are one or two other stores back the direction of Lleuques as well. A micro picked us up and dropped us off at the beginning of Opt 3. We had barely started walking when a family in a truck passed and offered us a ride to the river. We were incredibly grateful as the first 3 km of the road is incredibly dusty and there is actually a lot of traffic moving through. From where they left us we walked to the bridge and down to the river to have lunch and coffee. Lots of families were camping around the area. After lunch we got back on the route. A little further on the road was closed to vehicles due to storm damage and construction adding new culverts. No issues walking it. About 6km from the bridge there is a campground called San Antonio. It was also closed since the road was closed, but it was easy to get into. There are picnic tables and plenty of camping along with river access. We camped two nights to give ourselves a rest day. A few locals passed through, but no one else camped. It was very peaceful except for the tábanos. I killed more than 50 over the course of the day and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.

Day 4 - We got up early to beat the heat and walked the first hour in the dark. We passed the area where the road has collapsed and where they are doing a reroute. No issue to walk it. We arrived at the gate that Lilian mentioned, the one with the dogs, at 08:00. There were 4 dogs that bark a lot. The guard came out, it seemed like we had woken him up. We explained what we were doing and he actually had no problem letting us through, but asked rhetorically what we were going to say to CONAF upstairs. The road up is in good shape. There were a few places to fill water along the way. When we arrived at El Trumao there was a CONAF guard there as well as some other people. He was incredibly nice, just registered us and then told us because the park is officially closed there was no fee to enter. He looked at our route and told us about another option, charged our phones for us, let us take water, and then even walked with us part way. The OSM track that runs along the river is a really nice option and we really enjoyed it. The first part is no longer relevant as the river destroyed part of the road and CONAF had done a reroute. If no one is there to show you, head along the GPT route toward Valle Hermosa until you see a trail branch to the left. It will be very obvious as it has wooden posts painted yellow on top and the whole trail has rocks lining either side. Follow that up. The first part was a lot of up and exposed, but after a while we entered native forest and enjoyed stretches that were in shade. There was a rest area with river access. Just after the waterfall lookout the trail dropped down a bit into a grove of old oak trees that was really nice and we camped there for the night (-36.95540, -71.45022) River access was about 100 m further on. This is a really great route option. It is along a trail instead of a road, it drops into RR about 18 km further north than finishing Opt 3 as marked, if you want to go to Los Peucos, you don't need to back track, and it stays on the south side of Rio Diguillin, connecting with RR just after the ford point others had trouble with this season. (Jan, if you read this, we enthusiastically endorse this as a variant for Opt 3!).

Days 5 and 6 - The pass was a little overgrown, but nothing too challenging. On the way up we passed through a beautiful forest. We stopped at the last marked water point on the way up for a snack and coffee. The way down was dusty and then it opened up into a plain. The plain was easy, but as we went around the corner it turned into a swamp. The GPT route avoids the worst of it, but careful foot choice is important in some places. It was also really hot and humid. Then it was up again and then down again to get to Los Peucos. We initially followed RR, but the ford point looked challenging and there was barbed wire on the other side. I went across without my pack to try to find a way up. The rocks in the river were really slippery and I feel in at one point, but no injury. On the other side I climbed under the wire and up a hill. Then I had to climb under more barbed wire. I walked onto the property and ran into Ricardo who manages Los Peucos. He was very nice, and took me to show me the front entrance and a much easier ford point that is defined for cars to pass, which turned out to be Var B. So if going to Los Peucos SOBO, I recommend taking Var B. I went back to get Kasia and my pack and we camped there for two nights in order to clean out gear and take a rest day.

A few notes on Los Peucos. Los Peucos is open, price this year is 5.000 pp for termales only, 10.000 pp for camping, 24 hours of access to termales and wood to make a fire in a fire pit. They were having trouble with both their generator and solar panels and have been without power for two months, so don't plan to charge anything there. Also a section of the road there was destroyed over the winter, so almost no one is going there and they aren't getting any resupply for their tiendita, so don't plan on this as a resupply point until someone posts that this has changed, which may be awhile since there seems to be some bureaucratic issue preventing the road from being fixed.

Day 7 - We left Los Peucos just as it was getting light. The road and trail are in good condition for walking. We took Var D to cross Rio Polcura. River ford was easy, thigh high but very little current. We stopped at the camp at [72.9/1104] to have lunch. There were some arrieros and Carabineros already camped for the night, and it was too early to stop for the day, so we continued on. The valley path that RR follows is surely more interesting than walking the road along Var E, but it is fairly overgrown with spiky plants and it was slow going. There is almost no river access along the path, but there were one or two streams. We do not recommend the camp at [78.6/1203], especially if you are using a trekking pole supported tent. It is overgrown and difficult to access, anything that is not sand is covered in those annoying plants that leave tiny spiky balls attached to your clothes, and river access is not great. We ended up camping in the old road grade just above, but it was pure dust. We really regretted camping here, however it was late and we didn't know if there would be any place else to camp further on. (There is though!)

Day 8 - We were to tired to do the pass, but we didn't want to stay camped in the same place for the day. We found a better campsite just 2 km further up trail (-37.09454, -71.31211). Just before the trailhead to the pass, on the left side of the road, there is a dirt path going down to a camping area that arrieros use (it is the same road as the end of Opt 1). It has grass and could fit probably two or three tents. The river access is about 100 m away, but it was really clean access with a stone beach and even a small sand beach and a great swimming spot to cool off. There is essentially no shade so it wasn't great for a rest day in that respect, but it was directly below the pass, so a great starting point for that. We took advantage of the river and washed all the dust off the tent. The fabric felt like new afterward!

Day 9 - We got up early to try to tackle the pass before sun hit. The trailhead is a little easier to find now as more arrieros and hikers have gone through. The pass up is overgrown in places, but not as bad as we had expected. There were some great early morning views. Something killed most of the forest in that valley some time ago and all the dead trees are sun bleached white which was really interesting. As Lilian mentioned, there is a place where the trail collapsed. People have been walking about 5 m upstream and crossing there, but the short reroute is eroding and it looked a little sketchy to us. We went into the stream bed and climbed up through the bamboo to regain the trail. It was lovely forest higher up and on the other side for some time. Keep a lookout for a nice view of Laguna del Laja from a distance on the way down. The valley was another world entirely. Completely exposed, mostly dry but with some sections of swamp, we lost the trail a few times in a maze of overgrown thorn bushes. We took an afternoon break at the puesto just before reaching the lake. We were a little underwhelmed by the lake itself, I think because it has no trees around. We got a little lost on the way up to Laguna Roble, but a very friendly and helpful arriero staying at the puesto at the end of the valley saw us and came out to help direct us up. We stopped at the marked campsite at the east side of the lake. Previous entries had suggested the west side campsite is more wind protected. I went packless to scout it, but I could not see any way in and the water access near the site looked like marsh. We stayed on the east side, no wind issue for the night. The water in the lake was not too cold, so nice to swim in.

Day 10 - We started early to get through as much of the pass as possible before the sun hit. The beginning of the trail was actually hard to find, but once we were on it, it was clear. The up was very demanding and exhausting, and it was overgrown in parts. There is a saddle just before the final push to the pass where we stopped to take a break and some pictures (great view of the lake, volcan Antuco and Sierra Velluda) but there were biting ants everywhere that swarmed us and our packs so we moved on. Good views of both valleys as we walked along. Reports from previous years suggested no water between Laguna Roble and Laguna Hermosa. There was at least two water points between, one of which was a very nice spring with shade around (-37.21425, -71.37259). Being exhausted and running low on supplies, we had already decided that Opt 6 would be our exit from GPT08. The route down was steep and thus slow, but clear and easy to follow. There are multiple water points on the way down. We camped about 1 km in at the first marked campsite. There was a shady, somewhat flat, somewhat grassy area that arrieros use for camping and a spring flowing just below. It was a nice spot after hiking so many hours completely exposed in full sun.

Day 11 - The first part of Opt 6 down was really nice. There were nice views of the mountains as the sun came up, then it goes into forest for awhile before the arriero path finally meets the service road. We were also fortunate to have cloud cover for most of the day. There are a few unmarked water points between the last marked one and Rayenco. Rayenco is not a settlement but connected to the power plant. Shortly after Rayenco there is what looks like an abandoned picnic area and sports concha. We stopped for lunch, and it could be used for emergency camping if necessary. Hitchhiking out seems essentially impossible. It's just cars associated with the power plant, and our experience is that those vehicles don't take hitchhikers, probably a company policy. We walked to the highway, chatting with the gate guard on the way out. On the highway it took about half an hour, but finally a kind soul, Sergio, who had actually passed us, turned around and came back just to pick us up and dropped us at Plaza de Armas un Antuco. We found lodging at Cabañas Puelche 2 blocks east of the plaza, 15.000 pp for a private room in the hostel portion of the establishment, shared bath, fridge, pool.

  • 2024 Jan 05 to 2024 Jan 09 / 5 days/ SOBO from Termas de Chillan / RR / Hannes&Christian

1. Day: Walked from Termas de Chillan to Rio Diguillín. Slept there at -36.935262, -71.403804 and forded the next morning around -36.935730, -71.401841. Thought there would be less water running in the morning, but actually it looked pretty the same as the day before… 2. Day: Walked to Los Peucos and further down for a nice campsite near the river -37.046868, -71.415394 3. Day: We took Option D to short cut the minor road…easy to walk, CC, recomendable…then along road and path and road again, up to a pass in the woods and down to a widening valley, camped at -37.15603, -71.32019. As others already wrote on wikiexplora we had there as well a pretty freezing night around 0 degrees Celsius I think, although the spot was not that high….around 1450m. A lot of humidity. 4. Day: For us here the nicest part started, walking down to Laguna de la Laja, up to a pass and then all along ridges to Laguna Hermosa. Amazing views. Instead of walking down to L. Hermosa you can camp as well a little above the lake around -37.269841, -71.381748 with water access, at least in early summer I guess. Personally I think it isn’t worth to go down to the Laguna (except no water possibility above) , first because you’ll have an electric power line over your head sleeping there (there is a hydroelectric power station in the valley nearby), second because it can be a windy place at shore…at least for us it was like this. Third: Still something like 1 km from the ridge. Choose yourself. 5. Day: From L. Hermosa to Estación de Esqui. Pretty nice views of surrounding peaks, at the end we walked a pretty annoying road out to the ski area. Then we hitchhiked to Camping Lagunillas, an amazing place with very nice owners. Feels there like being on the Gpt, but with running water and shower. Probably depends on the season…

  • 2024 Jan 13 / 5 days / SOBO / RR, OH-TL / Anh

Everyone feared Ñuble, me too, so I took option 2.

The trail was difficult to find from km 112-117, I left RR and took OH-TL. Otherwise the trail was easy to see. There were only a few snowfields that were easy to cross.

Ford km 48.4: Disclaimer: please do not my mistake! I first tried two best possible spots (hip), but the flow (13:00) was too strong, I couldn’t hold my hiking poles. Then 50m further on I saw two tree trunks arranged like bridges from other GPTs. After crossing them, however, it was not possible to go back to RR after a few attempts. My best possible option was BB with 70 degree slope straight up. It was only possible with bamboo trees, but was very dangerous. I'm writing my mistake here so you can avoid it!

Camp km 106.6: I included this camp in my daily plan (about 20km, 1000m uphill, 350m downhill). here is not possible to find 1qm flat spot. So I had to walk 4km further from my reserve.

  • 2024-Jan-11 to 2024-Jan-15/ 4.5 days / SOBO / Termas de Chillán(Var 2)+RR+Var G+H+J(Lakes)/ Matthias

Started in Termas de Chillán. Hiking, most fordings (see day 1) and orientation was quite easy on this section. Only on last part of Travesía Pilcura some steep snowfields to cross. Warm and hot creeks on first day (Fondo Aguas Calientes), views and lakes on forth day (Travesía Pilcura) were spectacular. Plenty of water everywhere. A lot of annoying horse flies.

Day1: Termas de Chillán - km53.6 Only minor snowfields. Ascent of Volcán Chillán Viejo should be possible without crampons, no snow on steep upper slopes. Fumaroles on ascent from Termas, warm creek with pools right when you come down to Fondo Aguas Calientes. Also people camping there. I underestimated ford at km48.4 (Rio Diguillín), water was up to upper hips and current, I was washed away… But overall no dangerous crossing and with more cautious selection the fording should be easier. Arrieros at puesto at km49.6 (Coihuería) were the last people I met until end of section!

Day2: Reserva Nacional Ñubles Officially the reserva was closed. I entered Termas Los Peucos via RR, watering of meadows was running, I said „Hello“ but nobody answered. Took a bath in the beautiful hot springs, two stone-walled pools.

Day 3: km78.6 (Rio Ñubles) - km98.3 (Laguna El Roble) Easy day … nice swimming at the camp with fireplace in the evening

Day 4: Travesía Polcura - Laguna ElToro Spectacular day: great views, mountains, lakes and path. The detours to the lakes (var G+J, Laguna Hermosa, ElToro and Los Condores) are worthwhile! Some steep snowfields on RR below Cerro El Toro, I used microspikes, but in a warm afternoon you can also safely cross without. Beautiful (!!) camp at Laguna El Toro with sun until 19:45 though it’s deep in a cirque.

Day5: Nice view of Volcán Antuco from the ridge just before the volcán (ca. km125). I left the road and walked +-height parallel to the solar collectors which are visible on the ridge from the MR. From Curva El Candado I tramped down most of the road to the junction to Abanico, where I ate lunch at the friendly cafe/restaurant „Roca“ and where the bus to Los Angeles leaves at 15:00.

  • 2023-Dec-28 to 2024-Jan-01 / 4.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / {08-03} - {08-C} - RR - {08-06} - {08-06B} / Lilian

Avoid of crossing Rio Ñuble, i go for {08-03}.

There is a bus from Chillán to Los Lleuques at 18:00, take about 1.5 hour. A small shop and some tiny shops there, friendly and good resupply. Look like have some restaurants too, but i'm too late so they're already closed.

{08-03} km3.3 : tiny shop selling drinks.

Km4.3 : camping spots or camping possibilities start from here to south.

Km11.3 : ranger station for guard of Reserva National, look like need booking in advance or some permits. Otherwise you can't go in by this gate. (It is impossible for sneak in, two dogs here.)

Luckily after i took 10min to explain what I'm doing, where does my routes go, why i'm here, I'll pack out all my trash, no fire, no pick plants, dig a hole for poop, etc. He let me go in, 1000% thank you to him!

Km19 : bridge for crossing Río Diguillín.

Km19.45 : El Trumao, Camping Relbún. Ranger station and Conaf campground, didn't see anyone when i passed here.

Km19.7 : closed gate, you can open it on left side. Old, steep and rocky dirt road behind this gate, look like no cars on it for some years. (Some place landslide, cars impossible to pass by)

Km21.3 : Rio Relbún, good water flowing nice, rock hopping for dry feet.

Km22.8 : view point of valley, also some flat spots with trees can fit 2-4 tents.

Km23.7 : pass, Paso Atacalco, descent to a beautiful valley.

Km25.3-km26.2 : some tiny streams flowing with good water, but maybe dry up soon.

Km28.4 : Valle Hermoso, Ranger station and Conaf campground, didn't see anyone when i passed here. Río Blanquillo flowing at here too.

Some more tiny streams flowing across the road at south, but i think they will all dry up soon.

Km35.6 : a side trail to see a waterfall, I think it is just soso.

Then connect with {08-C}, then back to RR.

{08-C} km2.4 : a very beautiful demon rock hill on your left side, worth take a look!

RR Ford[71.3/1089] : crossing of Río Polcura, it's a wide river crossing about 80m, luckily it is already made for vehicles crossing so have a rock bar underwater, easy to cross. Mostly just half of calf, in the middle about 10m, up to knee and flowing very fast.

Camp[72.9/1104] : it's a really nice camping spot with tree shade and beside a river.

Camp[78.6/1203] : this spot is not beside RR. When you finish valley trail walk, if you don't join dirt road and keep going walk in the valley then you'll arrive here.

Water[79.1/1214] : log bridge crossing.

Trailhead[80.5/1248] : not easy to notice the trailhead, although it have a fallen board on the ground.

North of the pass is overgrown, south of the pass lot of fallen trees block the trail.

Didn't see any camping spots until almost to valley.

Water[81.8/1475] : when you get close, be careful dont walk too fast. Just before the stream dont follow the trail to left side and go down, it is already landslide and you'll fall off 2m vertically.

Pass[84.2/1744] : tons of huge dead trees and ready to fall down in next second. Don't camp here, it is dangerous.

Km85.8 : flat spot can fit 2-3 tents.

Km86: flat spots can fit 1 tent before and after a stream crossing.

Km95.2 : excellent view point of Volcán Antuco, look like some flat spots at downhill side close to the beach.

Camp[97.8/1456] : beside a tree, can fit 1-2 tents with fire ring. Last reliable water when you climbing up.

Km102 : snow start here, but all you can go around.

Camp without water[102.3/2063] : no camping spot as now, wet, muddy and lot of stream are flowing by snow melt, a fire ring is in the stream too!

I camped at km103.45, just before the pass, there is some brushes provide wind protection from west. Can fit 1-2 small tents.

Km104.1 : a large flat area, but no wind protection.

X[105.4/1934] : no more trail junction at "X", you need to go down a little, then CC to connect the trail at south.

Camp[106.6/1938] : wet, grassy and steep spot. A large flat area after you climb up the stream at km106.95, it is in a valley and no wind protection.

Km109.45 : a small pass, excellent view point of Volcán Antuco and Sierra Velluda!

Snow start at km109.9, unfortunately when i almost climbed up to ridge, i found that km111.8 to km113.5(at least) , all covered by snow on a very steep slope. It is not a good idea to go through this high risk area, also Cerro El Toro is a very sharp rocky peak, not possible walk on the ridge to go around the slope, so i turn back to "X"[105.4/1934], and join {08-06} continues to south.

{08-06} is a nice trail to go down, and look like somone have maintained it, nearly no fallen trees and just very little overgrown, easy to follow and walk.

{08-06} km4.5 : junction of {08-06} and {08-06A}, look like {08-06} in a better condition, also {08-06} from here to km5.6, it is an old dirt road and no more using.

Km5.6 : junction to join a good dirt road. Camping spot just before the junction, and there are also lot of camping possibilities along the good dirt road.

Gate[8.6/808] : locked, climb over it.

Km9.3 : another gate, you can open it on left side, if you want to camping, better before this gate.

Km22.4 : i join {08-06B} for shorter distance to main road for hitching to Antuco.

  • 2023-Dec-19 to 2023-Dec-20/ 2 days / Hiking / NOBO / Antuco RR and Option 6/ Jens

Tried to go up the main route. First pass was steep and full of snow. Decided to turn around and try Option 6.

As option 6 is on private land owned by the Hydroelectrico, a guard picked me up and told me to register with the Carabineros in Antuco. Frustrated I decided to skip section 8 in favour of section 7.

  • 2023-Dec-21 to 2023-Dec-24/ 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / San Fabian - Las Trancas / Ella

TLDR: River fords are still heinous, especially Ñuble. Bring micro spikes if crossing Paso Prigallo to go towards Las Termas de Chillan.

Day 1: Hitched a ride part of the way from San Fabian, and then caught a bus (was a Thursday around 1 pm) until Punilla. Camped at a small, windy site with good river access and near the Punilla swimming hole, which is definitely worth a visit. Some friendly caballeros came around 8 pm to camp as well. Day 2: Walked towards Los Sauces, splitting off to the right where the road/trail led. Could not cross river here because of construction. Went back to the main road and walked North to where there was a (padlocked) cable car and did a challenging ford - current was somewhat strong and water went to my navel (I’m 5’8”/172 cm). In retrospect, would have been better to just walk/bus all the way into Los Sauces and make a safer crossing there. Cabineros in El Roble were nicer to me that the ones in San Fabian. Camped just before Camp {08} [21.6/873] since it now seems to be on private property. Day 3: Had to trespass for about a mile before reaching the Ñuble river but didn’t run into anyone. Ñuble was really difficult. I got there just before 8 am. Crossing the river at designated spot was not possible. I went upstream, around the bend, and about a hundred meters further to where the river widens and gets a bit shallower. I crossed with water about up to my navel (I’m 5’8”/172 cm) but a little past midway the current took me off my feet and I went for a brief swim before grabbing a rock and recovering on the other side. After getting to the other side, I had to scramble/bushwhack up a near-vertical slope to where there appears to be sort of a terrace in the landscape. I found the best spot was behind where the bank of the river flattened out a bit. Thankfully once getting to the top, you’re blessed with a faint trail leading back to the main route. This approach was not very fun at all - it is probably best to wait another week or two before attempting the river. After that, the trail gets harder to follow, especially after entering the larger valley. As per others advice, I tried crossing the river in the valley to the right side, but also ran into impassable shrubbery/broken trees there so I ended up crossing back and forth as needed. The first pass didn’t have any snow. There is a difficult ford after the marker for Trailhead {08} [34.6/1873]. Camped at Camp {08} [36.2/1953] which was lovely. Day 4: Headed towards Las Termas de Chillan. Both passes were very snowy. The second pass, only necessary if going off main trail towards Las Termas, had steep sections that called for micro spikes. I was lucky that there were some people who had just come through and kicked steps in, making this part easier. Hitched a ride to Las Trancas where there are multiple well stocked mini markets and nice hostal options. Not sure if I will continue on GPT 08 given the snow and river conditions so far.

Season 2022/23

  • 2023-Apr-02 to 2023-Apr-06/ 5 days / Hiking / SOBO / El Roble - Los Peucos - Recinto / RR + OH03 / Hannes & Luisa

Hitchhiked from San Fabian to way after El Roble, rather easy on weekends as it seems many locals around. Ñuble crossing with strong current and water above knees (me 185cm), but still ok compared to other months I think. Went up the mountain and into this valley with beautiful oak-trees. Getting out of this forest we crossed the river to the orographic left side as suggested by others...initially a good choice, all the same we had to switch like 2 to 3 times river bank to avoid some nasty Bush bashing...We reccomend to just open your eyes and see which side works best for you after the initial crossing at approximately -36.856679 -71.275261. After the last camp in the valley path clearly visible and steep ascent to the pass. After the pass we got into this amazing volcanic landscape east of Volcan Chillàn. After the second pass we descended to Aguas Calientes, hot thermal pools at the end of a valley surrounded by some green yellow pasture and loads of cows. Good spot to camp...Then we went to Termas Los Peucos, took us 3.5 days till there. Just for the pools they take 10k, pools and camp was 14k. As one of us felt little sick we decided to hitchhike out over OH03. Do not consider this an emergency exit as it is rather difficult to hh out there, very few cars on the road as access is limited due to a private tunnel and only Carabineros and some oil- and gas-pipeline companies are around there with their cars it seems. All the same we were lucky and got out to Recinto (further down in the valley of Termas de Chillán, near Las Trancas...) In this valley or if you get out at Termas de Chillán we highly recommend Cabañas Ayunkoyam owned by Vincente Ruiz in Recinto, +56999991737, call him before. For this rather expensive valley quite a good option. Vincente is a local mountain guide who seems to know every mountain in his country and is a nice guy to talk to.

  • 2023-Apr-02 to 2023-Apr-02 / 3 days / Hiking / SOBO / El Roble - Volcán Chillán - Termas de Chillán / Noémie

Very short section because I got a lift from San Fabián until after El Roble (21.0), a bit before the end of the minor road. Carabineros checked ID and asked for sufficient equipment. Ñuble crossing was not that hard but I had water until my waist, even at the end of the season (I am 1m60 though...). Camped the first night at Camp {08} [29.5/1441], on the left bank of the river, where there was a bit of space. The next morning, it was a bit hard to go up the valley with all the dead trees and no path visible. Tried to follow fellow GPT hikers advices, but ended up crossing the river multiple times to find a walkable path without too many bushes, until Camp {08} [31.3/1629]. After this tricky part, both paths are beautiful and quite easy. The thermal river is amazing. There was plenty of space with beautiful hot water pools but also cold water at Camp {08} [40.4/2150]. The last day, I took OH {08-02} and OH {08-02A} to go up Volcán Chillán and then exit at Termas de Chillán. Beautiful ascent with no specific difficulty except the steep last 300 meters. The place is full of condors flying really close, super impressive. There are no housing options and no buses during the week leaving from Termas de Chillán. You can walk/hitchhike until -36.910163, -71.417798 where buses leave regularly everyday for Chillán. Found many cabañas options in Trancas de Chillán a bit further down. Overall, very beautiful and diverse section (forests, rivers, sand deserts, volcanos) with amazing hot springs!

  • 2023-Mar-13 to 2023-Mar-18 / 5.5 days / Hiking / NOBO / Abanico — Thermas de Chillán / Iris, Alexis

Starting from Los Angeles, we took a bus (at 12:30) towards Abanico and then two rides until the start of OH-MR-V {08-K} [0.0+0.1]. Then, there is a gate (after the Bridge, Gate {08} [126.7/1339] point) locked with a padlock but easy to climb. The CC section (RH-CC-A {08} [26.4/122.0+1.9]) is actually following the MR so we thought better stay on the road. When we reached Camp {08} [120.2/1520], it was completely dry so we continued a bit and found a nice spot in the forest (close to -37.32983, -71.39823).

On Day 2, we continued on the trail, simply taking the shortcut OH-TL-V {08-I} [0.0+0.2]. Then, we chose to take option 08-H to stay high, it was really beautiful. We stayed on the rim until a hard part and then we diverged on the trail that was present a bit below us. As other as noted, on RH-CC-A {08} [18.1/113.7+2.0] you follow a trail or a set of footprints. When the trail and the trace diverge, follow the trail, it is usually the best option. And don't miss Trailhead {08} [113.7/2184], we tried to go around it but regretted it. Then, the trail until Laguna El Robles (Camp {08} [98.2/1456]) is nice but the descent is steep. We believe the path has been cleared recently because lot of fresh fallen branches on the ground. On the lake, we camped on the east side but it was very windy. The other side looked more protected.

On Day 3, we followed the RR until Camp {08} [73.3/1104]. It was a rather uneventful day except we met a lot of arrieros in the morning that went for a wild bull hunt. The camp is nice and felt like a campground.

On Day 4, we hiked for just a few kilometers to reach the Thermas Peucos. It was a very worthy stop, an oasis in the middle of the hike : 10k PP for the camping and hot springs (stoned pools). We even bought a lunch from the minishop which has quite a nice selection. Like others, we used the option 08-C to avoid the pointless climb in the RR.

On Day 5, we did a rather long walk until Camp {08} [40.4/2150] to enjoy the natural pool. The trail is a bit overgrown after the thermas but nothing bad. The day was full of going up : 2500 on the tracks but the GPS said only 2100 at the end of the day. The hot springs are amazing, truly the best we encountered. And we were alone there.

On Day 6, we met a horserider when leaving the camp a bit angry because he did not sleep. He camped near a group that partied the whole night (we believe it was close to Ford {08-02} [1.6/2097]). Then, option 08-02 and variant A to ascend the volcan. It starts with a nice trail and ends up with sand that is really hard to climb. Nothing difficult nor dangerous but extremely tiresome. It took us 3h to go up but we enjoyed our lunch at the top! Then the descent is really fast, thanks to this sand (about 1h). The rest of the trail until Thermas de Chillán is a bit overrun, we met numerous hikers (but it was a Saturday). There, we hitched a ride until Recinto and took the 7:00PM bus to Chillán for a ressuply.

Overall our impressions on this section are a bit mixed. We enjoyed the numerous hot baths and the volcan summit but we were less amazed by the landscapes compared to the previous sections (of note as we did go up quite a lot, we probably were a bit too exhausted to truly enjoy it completely!) . Perhaps it is more rewarding when going SOBO?

  • 2023-Feb-02 to 2023-Feb-08 / 7 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + emergency exit / Martial

Puente Inglés - Los Peucos - Antuco Super pleasant trekk in various landscapes and sweet hot springs. Met Ondrej at the start and shared the road walking before he eventually escapes in the first climb ! Met again finally at the hot river for a deserved rest after big climbing day. Next the descent to los Peucos is rather long with overgrown detour of the swamp at the end. That’s where my phone died for no reason. May it RIP with all my pictures :’( Still if there’s a good soul out there with a machete and long trousers feel free to save this beautiful trail ! Then los Peucos was a paradise oasis for a 14000$ 24h rest day. Not so expensive to me considering the quality of the hotspring service and resupply in the middle of nowhere ! « El Toro » hotspring is a once in lifetime experience for sunrise and had the all domain for myself 😌 Do not hesitate to stop there and meet Ricardo who doesn’t see many souls otherwise. 4th night spent 3km down near los Peucos in a super recommanded magical waterfall bassins with perfect « nuit à la belle étoile » on the hot rock. After km 80 the forest is kind of colonised with annoying flyes and thermites wich makes it not an enjoyable place. Also recommend taking plenty of water from laguna el roble cause dry climb and ridge walking ahead (there’s still a little stream pond under a tree a few km after the pass if you look well). Arrived there in late afternoon with no place to camp and saw emergency exit on the right which triggered green light in my brain (as gear failures were acumalating and motivation low). Felt good after a few tears but the long road walking in the hydraucentral gave me some regrets until i eventually arrived in Antuco after hotish hitchhiking.

  • 2023-Jan-28 to 2023-Feb-04 / 7.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + volcán chillàn & volcán Antuco / Natalie & Tomáš

Day 1 Got off the bus here (-36.67295, -71.29201) instead of los sauces for an easy ford. The bus driver knew of this place. The ford was here -36.67738, -71.28739, knee-high. We crossed around 3pm. The road section until the cabineros was surprisingly popular on a weekend, we got a 3km hitch but if we started earlier I am sure we could have hitched a lot more. The valley is nice though to walk in. The cabineros basically just wanted to know if we had a proper gps and map, we could not understand if they were telling us "not" to go close to volcán chillàn or just "warning" us, I checked online the day before and it said the volcano is in green but the cabineros said it was yellow. Made camp at the 17km way point because it was a good spot. Lots of unmarked water waypoints on the road such as; -36.69615, -71.27770 and -36.72718, -71.26420. Day 2. Crossed Nuble with no problems around 9am. The water was not strong but not totally calm and was under our crotches, I am 170cm and Tomáš is ~173cm. Hats off to the others that crossed when water levels were much higher! Remember to turn right and not left after the ford. The path was better than expected but still can be easily lost until the first pass at 33.2km. Thanks to the tip from Will we took the path on the other side of the river once out of the trees to avoid the blow down, somewhere around or close to camp 29.5. Hot pass. We made camp at the hotsprings after the second pass, their beauty and heat made up for the long day. There are a couple perfect spots near the hotsprings with some cold water for drinking, -36.90156, -71.35089. Spent two nights here. The hot springs are regular creeks, most of which in the valley are hot. Saw some locals camping in other spots, seems like a popular place. Day 3. Volcán Chillàn. Easy climb following the standard route but the last 600m was slow sandish-like material which made for a very quick descent. Instead of going back the way we came we followed an unmarked/unmapped "road" on the south side of volcán Chillàn that lead to switchbacks down to the hotsprings that we saw earlier that morning. Basically if coming from volcán follow the road east from here -36.89199, -71.38543 and aim for the switchbacks to the hotsprings camp here -36.90336, -71.36145. There is some dirty water on the way but very interesting and scenic. I am slightly worried about posting this because it is likely not meant to be walked, also not sure it actually saves time in compared to the normal trail but it allows for a nice rounddtrip. One can get Internet on the way to the volcano when the ski resorts is visible. Camped again at the hotsprings. Day4 Nothing to add for this day, trail was nice and under trees a lot of the way, all fords easy or jump-able. Met two French who were doing the GPT northbound. Camped near the puesto 61.7 before the hotsprings, path was always there, just a little overgrown. Day5 Trail to hotsprings was not that bad, just overgrown bamboo but otherwise nice. The hotsprings is not actually CONAF but a concession. Prices were as described 14mil for camping and 7mil just for hotsprings. If you want to buy food from them I recommend going at the beginning of the month as that is when they restock, for us there was still lots of food left but nothing fresh or good, very expensive. On the road we used option C to avoid the hill as others suggested (seems like the main road now) and as for variant D we did not see anything so we back tracked a bit and took a different unmarked trail here that was successful -37.06894, -71.39599 and forded river here -37.06857, -71.39158 to meet the RR. The trailhead at 81.0 is hard to see, be ready. That trail from 81.0 to the pass was more overgrown in my mind than the rest of the days but still not terrible. Camped on the other side 88.9 (actually a bit further down were nicer camp-spots with lovely short grass) Day6 Somehow at camp 88.9 we woke up to frost over everything. Have no idea what kind of phenomenon this is because I don't think it froze (forecast was for 16 in the night) but even the little moisture in my breakfast bowl froze shortly after eating it... Quick trail to Laguna el roble except the trail is easy to loose just before the Laguna in the grassy section, keep climbing left towards an unmarked puesto here -37.20868, -71.33023. There should technically be a better water source than the lake itself at camp 98.8 but I just took water from the lake:S. The next pass towards the ridge was hot but easy. Good trail until you hit the X at 105.9. Then the path is harder to follow. The camp at 107.1 seems silly and would be better higher above the listed water source. We ended up going cross country all the way from a pass like structure here -37.25066, -71.38499 to Laguna Hermosa because there was a trail on the other side (a bit lower than official RR so it made sense to follow it elevation-wise) that eventually faded away. Laguna Hermosa was worth it as others have stated but unfortunately very heavy winds crept in that night. It was way less windy ok the East side of the lagoonwhich we only noticed in the morning. Day7 Very heavy winds. We made a small short cut to the RR from the Laguna by heading west sooner. We considered turning around on the ridge as the winds were likely around 80km/hr at one point near the pylons but luckily since the route is not actually on the ridge the rest of the way was okay, still windy but not pushing us over. The rest of the ridge was no problem for us, slower of course since there is sidehilling and edging but nothing scary or exposed. There was no snow though. El Puesto at 121 had two dogs but did not see anyone. We camped at Laguna Laja (not nice) to climb Antuco the next day. To no surprise the restaurant and cafe at the ski resort are closed. Other than the water in the lake there are no good water sources past the last water source before El puesto if heading in this direction. There is Enter 3G coverage here. Day8 Started early to beat the heat for Antuco. I turned back after the top of the ski lift because of a stomach bug (probably food but still nicer to vomit in the shade...) but Tomáš went on to finish the climb. The climb was was not worth it. The volcán is not black sand but rather loose rock (boulders to pebbles) which made especially going down annoying. After the ski lift there is virtually no trail. Plus the fact there was only a small crater on top and the weather was very hot and windy in the early morning. I think we were there during a small heat wave, supposedly the day before was 38°C in Antuco proper. After the climb we hitched to the campsite Lagunillas (10mil/person) in hopes of going back to los Angeles but after analyzing the smoke situation of the forest fires we stayed here and used it as a base for preparing for GPT09-10.

It took us 168 hours but without climbing the Volcans the trail could have been walked in five full walking days. End of January means there were virtually no horseflies. Nice trip but due to foot issues, things breaking down and a stomach bug at the end it was a bit of a suffer-fest for Natálie (Tomáš's new shoes are unfortunately painful too). However, the hotsprings, volcán Chillán, Laguna Hermose and the trees (especially the ones with usnea) made it worth while!

  • 2023-Feb-02 to 2023-Feb-07 / 6 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + Option 08-C / Ondrej

Puente Inglés - Camping Las Lagunillas Overall an extremely beautiful route, my favourite in GPT06-08. Compared to GPT06 and 07, this section felt most diverse but also most challenging to navigate. I accidentaly got off track much more often. Still, the route is visible most of the time except the last day after Laguna Hermosa. Even there, sticking to the gpx files makes the section easily passable. One just need to pay a higher attention to where their steps are placed. The fauna is quite rich too - I had a chance to see a tarrantula (the minor road on day 1), crayfish in the rivers, and a snake which I believe was Tachymenis chilensis (on the shores of Laguna El Roble). I believe this section is much more demanding in Dec or early Jan when snow is still present on the slopes. Horseflies were not a problem in my case. I encountered some between km 75 and 85 but that was far from frustrating. I recommend gaiters due to dusty roads in some sections. From thermas Chillan I haven’t met a soul until the end of the section.

Details: On the first day, it is easy walking on a minor road that winds through a forest so you can enjoy shade most of the walk! No complications, just need to climb some gates. I enjoyed a company of a fellow GPT hiker Martial, who shared some useful trout fishing tips and gear with me. We camped at the Nuble crossing.

Second day, Nuble crossing was no problem. Knee-deep at the recommended ford. Then I got lost in the forest numerous time. Checking the gpx frequently definitely helped. I followed the advice of others to cross the river and find a path om the right upstream side. That worked really well, didn’t have to cross any fallen trees! I camped at the hot springs - it is actually a whole thermal river. Amazing, amazing place. Loved to lay in it and watch the stars. Quite a few other people were there (some arrieros and a Chilean family) but there really was enough space for everyone.

The third and fourth day were rather uneventful for me. Very beautiful views along the trail, which was mostly through forests and relatively simple to follow all the way to 2km before Los Peucos. Even there the trail was visible, it was just overgrown. I worried about this part too much based on the previous reports. The path actually felt quite okay in my case. Unfortunately, no soul at Los Peucos. I saw a parked car and a horse, but no human in the area. So I decided to walk 3km more and camp at the next river ford at km 66.4. I also took option C as recommeded by other hikers below, it was perfect!

The 5th day was easy up to the laguna El Roble. Then the climb is quite demanding. Most importantly, there is hardly any water between Laguna El Roble and km106.1. I found a little stream at km102.8 but I wouldn’t rely on it. My strategy was to drink about 1 liter at the laguna El Roble (I filtered the water there as the laguna didn’t seem that clear) and then I took 1.5l with me. It lasted me all the way to Laguna Hermosa. Maybe next time I would take only 1 liter. However, I felt safe to have the reserves. Once you get to the pass, the views are beautiful, as is Laguna Hermosa where I camped for the last night.

On the 6th day, I started from Laguna Hermosa at 8am and reached the main car road around 3pm. The trail after Hermosa disappears and requires a lot of attention to your GPS to navigate. The scree traverses are entirely manageable. I had to think twice before placing my feet though. The trail becomes visible and much easier at km115 when the valley trail connects. No one was at the puesto at km121.1, just three dogs. Trekking poles were enough to fend them off. There is indeed a new metal gate with a lock at approx km 126. No guards are positioned there. I climbed the gate without issues. I then hiked to Camping Lagunillas. There is a very kind owner and his son. Really good people to chat with. After listening to my story they also let me a cabana for a price of camping (10,000 CLP) for the night. The owner’s son is keen to learn more about the GPT and to potentially hike part of the route too. The camping has a small almacen there with some lentils and rice to buy (however, the selection is not enough to resupply). They also sell beer, cookies and can make you a soft dinner and breakfast (empanadas, lentils, waffles, coffee, sandwiches). I hitchhiked to Abanico the next day. It seems there are many more buses from Abanico to Antuco/Los Angeles than just two these days. The bus schedules could be looked up on the Internet. I caught one at 9:30am.

  • 2023-Jan-16 Frank RR SOBO 5 days

Crossed the river before Los Sauces where a dirt road goes right, crossing was only ankle deep. The cable car at Los Sauces is locked & there is often no one there. River is a lot deeper by the cable car (at least waist deep)

At Los Robles the carabineros were not very friendly, which was unusual, & were not too happy about me hiking solo, but after I told them I'd walked there from Santiago they allowed me to proceed. They had no info. about the activity level of Chillan. The 'shop' in Los Robles only had 2L bottles of soft drink & eggs. Rio Nuble was thigh deep late in the evening but you need to pick your spot: a few metres downstream from the RR crossing, before some boulders in the water. Camped a little after the crossing. Before Rio Nuble there is a no entry sign & locked gate but you can climb over it easily & there was no one there. Campsite marked on track file before the crossing was fenced off with no entry sign.

Coming down from the pass late on day 2 there is a cold water spring just before the hot waterfall. Filled up at the spring as the water in the valley is thermal, not sure if it's good to drink. Camped in the valley by the hot stream.

At the CONAF hot springs it was 14,000 CLP to camp but they allowed me to use the hot bath for free. They have a shop but most items are too bulky for one person. I continued for about 10KM & camped in a 3 sided hut 100M to the right off the road before a wide but easy ford. The hut has a dirt floor so you can pitch a tent inside. After Laguna Roble you climb to a pass & there is a spring a little after the pass. I camped just before the spring (room for one small tent, had to clear away some rocks but it was OK) The traverse after the aerials was a bit sketchy but soon improved & I picked up a tiny trail through the scree. Walked to the CONAF entrance gate on the road & hitched out from there. There is a lot of traffic on the weekend.

  • 2023-Jan-13 to 2023-Jan-18 / 6 days / Hiking / SOBO / Start in Termas the Chillan opt. 2 than RR from 40km to 105.9 and finished using opt. 6. / Maks&Gabi

Trail is visible almost all the time. All the fords are easily passable. We had met arrieros 3 times, they were nice and helpful. One of them asked about why we are hiking, as there is a lot of people going this way, but he seemed to be okay with it. There is a lot of really horseflies especially between 83 and 93 km. There were also quite a lot of cows on trail, that were not so happy to see us, but we just walked around them (with some bigger distance). Be careful as the bulls seem to be very protective over the small ones.

Option 06A is probably overgrown - we spent about 15 min trying to find the trail but we gave up after all ( it was about 300m after crossroad ). Gate on 8.6km of option 6 was locked with the padlock, but noone was there so we just walked over the fence.

All other gates on all trail were easily passable. One of the arrieros just noted that we should close them after crossing. From the hydro powerplant till the end of the option 06B there were a lot of people working on a road but none of them seemed to have a problem with us being there. We hitch hiked to Antuco. It was our first try on the GPT (recommended by a local mountain guide from Termas de Chillan) and it was definitely worth it!

  • 2023-Jan-03 to 2023-Jan-08 / 6 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Will

Probably my favorite section so far! A nice mix of remote alpine stretches, forests, and fields. However the horseflies made it hard to appreciate at times, they were pretty much constant during the later section around Laguna Laha.

I hitched from San Fabián around noon and did most of the road walk the first day. The campsite at 21.6 is fenced off. I stayed at 20.3 which didn't have great water access, just a muddy spring. Scrambling down to the river wasn't feasible but I found a bit of clean flow partway down. The Nuble crossing wasn't so bad for me, it was just below my waist (5'11/181cm). Still the hardest one so far. I found the trail afterwords pretty hard to follow, with lots of side paths eventually leading to thorny bushwhacking. It finally convinced me to pull the route up on my watch for the first time, definitely worth it here. A ways after the river crossing you'll come out of the woods into an open river valley. I recommend crossing the stream there and finding the path on the other side, instead of struggling through the blowdown/landslide debris along the gpx track. The trail was fairly slow from the Nuble crossing to los Peucos. After that it's super fast except for a few stretches in the mountains above the Laguna Laha. The natural hot springs just below the pass near the Volcan Chillan were very nice, but full of little flies. They didn't seem to bite. The camping at los peucos was very expensive, but they had a bit of food for sale (fruit!!). Comfy grass, wifi, well maintained bathrooms. The hot springs there were too hot for me, slightly painful. I missed option C and definitely regretted it. The road up was super rocky, and hot with no shade. The stretch above Laguna Laha was the driest I've passed so far. Thankfully there were a few snow fed streams/ponds left, but I should have carried more water to be safe. Laguna Hermosa was true to its name, a nice place to camp my last night. The main road at the end was pretty busy, you could hitch right away and skip the entire last 13ish km. But the extra little stretch of trail at the end was definitely worth it to me. It took me a while to get a ride to Antuco even though the road was busy. Most people were just going a bit further along. It's not the nicest town but there's decent selection for resupply. I got a room for 15k/night at a cabana/hostal place on Sgto. Aldea street. For some reason I didn't have cell service there, with Movistar.

  • 2023-Jan-01 to 2023-Jan-07 / 6 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + Option C / Martin & Helena

We took bus from San Fabian (corner on the other side of the gas station) in the afternoon, and camped after ford of Los Sauces river (water only to the ankles). A lot of annoying tabanos, but plenty of space to camp. Quite a lot of locals go there as well. The next day we continued to the ford or Rio Nuble that turned out to be the worst so far for us. Doing it in the afternoon was not the best idea - the current was strong and even when it was just waist-high, we were not able to pass through the fastest part where the path takes you. We figured out to go more upstream, but just like 30m maybe? to a point where the water was really deep but completely calm. There is a rock wall on the other side. The water reached our chest at that part and our hands holding poles were under the water, making it hard to gain stability. We decided to take our chances and try to cross, using rocks covered with some grass to gain traction. There were times when we were floating in the water with close to 0 stability but we eventually made it. Best to be there early to have the best possible conditions. Until the end of the day we managed to get up through the forrest. Before you get out of the forrest you are crossing a stream that is going down between the rocks, but if you take a minute or two before it path that goes lower than trail, you will find a nice spot by the water with some wooden bench and nice covered place to camp. We prefered to be out of the forrest so we continued, but found only a field of fallen trees caused by landslide. It was possible to find a place to camp closer to the river. It is best to continue on the other side, which we did the next day. You will soon connect to the trail again, before going up.

The way up from the valley is quite steep. From the pass you get a nice view of the Chillan volcano. Going further down to the lava field, we followed advices of others and get up to the top of lava field right away and continued walking on it. After the pass you will find a valley with hot springs which are simply amazing. Good to plan camping there so you can enjoy it fully. From the valley the trail is clear, until a short section before the official camp (1-2 kms before it), where it’s more of a bush-bashing. This part starts near a puesto where we came across herd of young bulls that seemed to be more curious that we would like and we had to go around them, a little off the trail. We struggled a little to find our way into the camp, which was not so clear from our gps (eventhough the path is clear all the way to the river) - the camp is secured by wire fences that we wanted to avoid, but at the end we crawled under them to get to the camp, aprox. according to our gps. If you follow the river downstream you might get to the official gate / entrance, not sure. Like other mentioned the price is quite high, and so are things in the little shop - most of it are classic camping things that last long like pasta, rice, canned fruits, a lot of cookies… but we were grateful for it anyway. The hot springs there are also amazing, man-made stone pools, with the view of the stars in the night it is perfect and worth the price. There are maybe 10 dedicated places to camp with wooden desk and bench, covered by roof (good when it’s raining). More space is close to the showers and the common, shared house with kitchen, fireplace and again desks with benches. We met there some workers from a gas company, fixing pipes close to the laguna, who were sleeping in the camp. The guy watching over the camp (from CONAF) was also nice and helpful - if you need anything, this is the right person to ask.

On the next day, we continued on the minor road, where we took the C option, like others. Following the RR we found the 08-E option (which follows the MR) to be a better choice since the RR is a little overgrown in the beginning and with thistle-vegetation. Easy pass in the forest, and nice places to camp in the valley. We were lucky to find their cows again (luckily on the other side of the river), but bulls woke us up in the morning - this must have been the fastest packing in the history. We enjoyed more fun with the cows and bulls later in the valley, that were blocking our way and refusing to go away - that made us to take another short detour around them.

A lot has been already written about the last part of this section that takes you up to the plateau. The climb is quite steep and long so don’t forget to take water from the last laguna - that is the last option. The next stream we found was about 2 kms from the point where you reach the ridge. We camped before Laguna Hermosa with nice view of the volcano. There was some melting snow above the laguna and we found 4G signal there (where the pole is). We found the descent down to be quite ok, there are small slippery rocks so it’s necessary to be careful, but nothing too bad. The descent gets very dusty later (when it’s dry) and is still steep in the forrest with a lot of water from the snow. We got to the main road in the afternoon and were lucky to catch a ride all the way to Antuco. We booked the only available place we found on booking called Puelche de Antuco, a really nice cabin. The town is nice with a lot of restaurants and shops.

  • 2022-Dec-28 to 2023-Jan-02 / 6 days / Hiking / SOBO / Los Sauces - Antuco / Anna & Christopher

We took the bus at 6 pm from San Fabián to Los Sauces and camped next to the river.

The path until the river crossing of Rio Ñuble is basically a dirtroad, so we got there pretty fast. Only the horseflies were very annoying. We recommend bringing insect repellent. Christopher is 1.88m and the water went up to his navel at the main route crossing. Anna with 1.63m was not able to cross the river there. After some tries we found a possibility a couple of hundred meters upstream, where the water just went up to Anns knees. The tough part was to get up to the path on the other side. After some bush bashing, you have to get up a 3 to 4 meter high, almost vertical slope. We found a tree, whose roots we used to climb up, which was not super easy. Once you are up there, there is a good path that leads to the main route.

The next day was nice until the valley around km 25 (where the river is not correctly positioned in the gaia app). There are tons of fallen trees and it was really hard to get through and there was mostly no visible path. It's probably best to stick to the upstream right side of the river. Afterwards the path gets really nice. Especially in the evening sun, it was very beautiful to cross the volcanic landscape. We camped in the valley at km 40 at the hot springs.

The third day has a good path at the beginning. Just the last 3 km it gets more difficult, especially approx. 2 km before Los Peucos, where it's mostly bush bashing. The camping at Los Peucos is nice, as well as the hot springs, but we had to pay 14k CLP p.p. to camp there and in the evening there are tons of mosquitos. We would have camped a bit further downstream, if we had known that to be honest.

The next day we took option C, like Veronica suggested, to avoid an unnecessary climb. Then we made an unnecessary climb following the road and not the main path, because we couldn't find the entry to the path right away and feared more bush bashing. But the path looked great from above. The rest of the route until shortly after Laguna Hermosa was really good. There is not much snow left and therefore there are not a great many places to fill up water. After Laguna Hermosa the path gets very hard to cross, due to lots of stones and gravel without a visible path. But it's very beautiful up there and finally not hot anymore. The descend has a easy to find path but is pretty slippery. Once you pass that the rest is pretty easy until the road, from where we hitchhiked to Antuco. We stayed at Camping Rucue for 15k CLP the camping lot. You pay for the lot not per person.

  • 2022-Dec-14 to 2022-Dec-19 / 6 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + GPT08-02 / Véronica

Route: Los Sauces - Río Ñuble crossing - backtrack to Los Sauces - hitch to Termas se Chillán (GPT08 option 2) - Los Peucos - Laguna Laja - Laguna Hermosa - CONAF near Abanico

San Fabian is a great place, loved swimming in the Ñuble River when it got hot. The owner of Cabañas San Fabian is super kind. I hitched back to the trail because I didn't want to wait all day for the bus that leaves at 6pm.

Registered with the carabineros at El Roble, but I could not ford Río Ñuble at the RR crossing. Current was very strong, and has I been able to stand up in it, the water would have easily reached my chest (I'm165 cm). I tried several times to ford the river at three different places, several km apart from each other, with no success. I would advance in the stream until I felt I couldn't take another step without being swept, and couldn't get halfway across. I suppose I should have expected this - it's a very high snow year and mid-December. I even tried calling out for help at the puesto on the west side of the river near the "no trespassing" gates, but no one was there. The long walk back to Los Sauces felt very defeating. Also, the "wooden bridges" described by Jo and Veronika are actually only cable crossings, and inaccessible by two barbed wire fences. Not possible to cross the river there either. Ríos Los Sauces and Las Truchas only came up mid-thigh though.

Regained the GPT at Termas de Chillán, Option 2. Basicall took almost the whole second day to hitch there. Beautiful trail, but steep. You get to ford hot creeks, which was pretty cool.

The trail is overgrown in some places, the worst spot is between the last puesto before Los Peucos and Los Peucos. Very hard walking through, wished I had a machete. Only lasts a km or two thankfully. All three puestos before Los Peucos looked abandoned.

Didn't meet anyone at Los Peucos since I got there fairly early in the morning, but the hot springs there are amazing. Really hot, clear water, a little stone pool in a garden. Loved spending time there.

Taking GPT08-C avoids a pointless climb and descent on the regular route, and has a nice path the whole way.

Trail gets more difficult once you start climbing up to the ridge after Laguna El Roble. The views are incredible though, absolutely spectacular. Lots of water sources up on the ridge due to many lingering snow patches. Most of them are not a problem. After the junction with GPT08-06, the trail kind of disappears. Keep an eye on the GPS as you climb and descend steeply on the slopes. It reappears again after the following camp and water waypoints.

Laguna Hermosa still has a couple snow patches on its shores, cold place to camp, but beautiful. After Laguna Hermosa is where it gets really challenging. There is no trail afterwards that I could find, basically cross country the whole way to the TR at 116.8 km. As you approach the "trailhead" waypoint, there is LOTS of scree traverses, and steep snow patches which require microspikes or extreme clambering to get around. Treacherous in some places. I fell a couple times. The ground is very loose and unstable. Things get better actually once you reach the official cross country section at Laguna Lágrima. Still some steep bits, but the ground is more consolidated, and there's more bedrock to help with traction. I reccomend taking the optional route CC-08-H. There's a faint trail to follow and it avoids clambering up on the ridge.

Very glad to see a clear track again at 116.8. But still some problematic snow fields in this stretch above Laguna Toro, where it was too steep even with microspikes, and I had to do some very careful/serious climbing around. Not fun. Fell again here. Once you reach the long descent into Valle de los Carpinteros it gets much better. Still some snow in the woods over the creek. Right now you can walk on top of it like an ice bridge. There clearly was a LOT of snow here this past winter, it lingers until 1750 m or so in the south-facing valley.

The puesto at 121.1 looks abandonned too.  Lots of downed trees in the area. There was no one, and no metal gate (or any gate) whatsoever before reaching the road in the National Park.

The 4 days from Volcán Chillán to the end of the section, I saw no other human. I found this section also to be harder than GPT06, especially the last day. The snow complicates things. If you wish to avoid dangerous clambering and sketchy snow and scree traverses, take Option 06. The trail is good before then.

Season 2021/22

  • 2022-Jan-28 to 2022-Feb-06 / 10 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Veronika & Jo

Los Sauces -> banks of Rio Ñuble -> hot springs at flanks of Chillan (-> escape to Concepción via Termas de Chillan to buy new shoes -> hot springs at flanks of Chillan) -> Los Peucos -> camp before Laguna Laja -> Laguna Hermosa -> camping Lagunillas (6 proper hiking days)

Nice section again. Hot springs in the first half, beautiful views of Laguna Laja, Volcán Antuco, Siella Veluda in the second half. Laguna Hermosa is true to its name, and was the first to not have horse or cow droppings on its sandy shores :D Sad to not have crossed Molly and Melissa.

- The lady at the cable car was not sure whether we could cross with our heavy backpacks, so we forded the river at Los Sauces.

- From about km 20 the sides of the road are fenced. The camp at km 21.6 is no longer available.

- There is a gate at S 36° 49.177', W 071° 15.206' (blocking access to the trail) marked private, no entry. We saw some cars returning through a second gate (blocking access to the river) and asked if it was ok to cross the first gate. They said "For you, sure." I get the impression that Chileans rather want to keep Chileans out... This gate is not a problem NOBO.

- Fording Rio Ñuble was the deepest ford we ever did. Balls deep indeed! Quite doable though, as the water is clear.

- There may be an alternative path on the western bank, starting at the wooden bridges at S 36° 49.177', W 071° 15.206'. Some local at the San Fabián tourist office mentioned having hiked this way.

- The trail at S 36° 49.177', W 071° 15.206' (around km 30) has eroded. After searching, we had to push through some bushes on a steep ridge to continue the trail. Maybe more obvious NOBO.

- At the start of the cross country at km 34.6 get to the top of the lava strip after fording the river. For us, this was easiest at S 36° 52.853', W 071° 18.793'.

- The water at the camp at km 37.3 was mostly dried up. Don't count on it by the end of January.

- The bus stop at Termas de Chillan is close go Hotel Nevados de Chillan. There are way more buses at Las Trancas de Chillan, 8 km down the road. Fortunately, the whole area has great 4G coverage with Entel, so you can look up the bus tables with the key words "REM bus Termas de Chillan".

- The CONAF camp Los Peucos has excellent hot springs and a mini shop. Camping costs 10.000 pp. The guards are very friendly and donated some fruit :)

- The CC section around km 95 had a clear path, but the subsequent TL section before Laguna El Roble did not.

- The trail after Laguna Hermosa was hard to find, we went quite slowly clambering on the loose scree or sand. Going down the mountain ridge at the end of the CC section was similarly difficult. Fell twice - could not find solid footing on the slope.

- The lady at the puesto at km 121.6 was friendly, asked where we came from, went to, and pointed us to the exit road. She seemed friendly, but a subtle hint to "please stay off my land" would have been lost on us in translation. The new metal gate is easy to pass through. The CONAF guard's wife at the final CONAF post mentioned that we were hiking the "sendero biologico" when we mentioned Laguna Hermosa. This trail must pass over the lady's land too?

- The ATM at Antuco is broken.

- Supermercado Santa Teresa in Antuco sells 125ml bottles of alcohol desnaturalizado 96° in the nail polish section.v

  • 2022-Jan-24 / 6.5 days / Hiking / NOBO / RR + OH Cerro Las Águilas / Molly and Melissa

At the "gate" waypoint, we actually met two men installing a new metal gate. They told us we needed permission to pass, and that the owner would come by shortly. We talked to her, and at first she was very determined not to let us through. I don't know what convinced her - we showed her our garbage bag and shovel to show we would leave no trace, we told about the gpt and how far we had walked. She also expressed concern for her animals being disturbed, or that we would get lost. We then showed her our personal locator beacon, and she finally softened and told us we could go through if we payed 5000 pesos each and continued all the way to Laguna Hermosa, past her lands, before we made camp. She also owns the puesto marked on the route. If going northbound and wanting to avoid a potential conflict, it might be better to take the option along the ridge.

We took the bus to Abanico and hitched to the national park, not the easiest as all the cars were full. The car was stopped at the entrance, and we had to explain our route. We weren't asked to pay, probably because we weren't really going to the national park. You walk a little through it though on some nice paths, and then you reach a gravel road. Shortly after, at the "gate" waypoint, we actually met two men installing a new metal gate. They told us we needed permission to pass, and that the owner would come by shortly. We talked to her, and at first she was very determined not to let us through. I don't know what convinced her - we showed her our garbage bag and shovel to show we would leave no trace, we told about the gpt and how far we had walked. She also expressed concern for her animals being disturbed, or that we would get lost. We then showed her our personal locator beacon, and she finally softened and told us we could go through if we payed 5000 pesos each and continued all the way to Laguna Hermosa, past her lands, before we made camp. She also owns the puesto marked on the route. If going northbound and wanting to avoid a potential conflict, it might be better to take the option along the ridge. As noted previously, after climbing to the ridge on the rr, the terrain is difficult, but the views are amazing. Not a lot of water, but we managed. Many of the campsites off route, including Laguna Hermosa, require quite a climb down. You stay high up quite a while, which gives amazing views.

The cross country along Laguna Laja has a nice path all the way. Then you reach Patricio's puesto. He's very welcoming, and has had people stay in his puesto before. We just drank coffee with him though. His brother German lives in the valley right after Laguna el Roble, but his puesto is hidden in the trees.

Alternative route Cerro Las Águilas We chose the Cerro las Águilas alternative, because Volcán Chillán was in yellow alert. While walking there, we met two carabineros on horseback who wanted to know which way we went. Don't know if they would have forbidden the rr. The ascent to Laguna el Lobo is through deep sand, it was very tough and took way longer than we thought. We ended up camping at the Laguna which was nice enough. The ascent from there of the first little hill seemed completely unnecessary to us, at least if you have been by the laguna, as you descend to the same level. It would be worth it to walk to the right and ascend directly on the brown mountain, following the GPS from there. The ridge walk was tough as well, a lot of scrambling. The GPS often wanted us to go right of the rocky tops, where going left or directly over often seemed easier/safer. There is no water until the valley between the two passes. There, we also found a nice campsite right after the big stream on the bottom, a little to the left. After reaching Rio Ñuble, you follow it for a long time. There are multiple streams running towards it where we had to take off our shoes - no lack of water here, though. The alternative also fords Rio Ñuble itself in a different location compared to the rr - we had no problems whatsoever there. It reached mid-thigh and wasn't too strong, and we are both around 160 cm. It is a very low snow year though, and very dry. Here would be a nice place to camp.

After rejoining the rr, we decided to continue to the waypoint "camp". That was a mistake, though, as everything around there is fenced in with big signs saying "private property". The second campsite right after is not fenced in, but doesn't look that good on the first glance. The rest of the way to Puente Ingles is gravel road. El Roble has a house that sells sodas - it has a "bebidas" sign. We crossed Rio Los Sauces beneath the cable cars quite easily, the water was mid-thigh - again very dry year.

Puente Ingles In Puente Ingles we stayed at a campsite a little north of the cable car crossing, marked on the map in Locus Maps as "lugar". It is 10,000 per tent, there are bathrooms, cold showers and tables. They also have a cabaña which was occupied. Puente Ingles has a small shop with sodas, ice cream, tortillas, biscuits, coffee and chips. It is quite nice to bath in the river. The bus still leaves at 7 and 10 in the morning.

  • 2021-Dec-15 / 5.5 days / Hiking / NOBO / RR / Marc Anthony

Beautiful view of volcán Antuco when walking up towards the ridge line by Laguna Laja and a staying at Los Peucos camping site was a big highlight on my journey on the GPT. Had my dinner in their wonderful hot spring while staring at the clear starlit sky in the cool night. Two nice guys working here and they even donated me some pasta, fruits and vegetables. Walking near the active Chillán Volcano and watching the fumaroles while being circled by a group of condors was also a cool experience.

With that said, this section kicked my ass. Mainly due to some bad fitting shoes I recently bought in Los Ángeles and because I suffered from bad chafing in my butt which made me walk like I had shit my pants for a couple of days. This combined with some tough terrain (specially near Laguna Laja) and countless of horseflies made this section quite challenging for me. But definitely worth it!

Like mentioned by hikers in the previous years fording Rio Ñuble can be a bit demanding especially for shorter people. It was getting late when I reached the river so I decided to camp nearby and cross the river in the morning. Had water up to the balls (i’m 189cm) and the current a bit strong but it was not too bad. Hitched a ride from Puente El Ingles to San Fabian and later jumped on a bus to Chillán to buy new shoes once again. Room with private bathroom for 15.000 at hostal El Molino in San Fabian, nice lady who owns the place.

Season 2020/21

Season 2019/20

  • 2019-Nov-10 / Jan Dudeck

Volcan Chillán remains active. The regular route passes the crater closely therefore Option 1 appears currently the saver if someone does not want skip section GPT08 completely. This option passes the danger zone with more distance. In case of an eruption volcanic ash is likely to affect Option 1 but the risk of direct volcanic effects is lower (flash flood from melting snow and glaciers, land slides, lava and flying rocks).

  • 2019-Dec-30 / 6 days / Hiking / SOBO / Ian Hikes + Tobias

Overview: Just want to say quick that the termas vapaors in Mèdano are worth checking out, I highly recommend them. Please consider checking them out, they are only ½ km off the trail and absolutely worth it. They are sauna boxes built around a few hot rocks emitting hot steam. The result is a steam room/ sauna experience. I personally spend over 4 hours chilling out in the steam rooms. After a 2-hour road walk on the side of the highway you make your way back on trial. This section takes you thru many areas used for grazing livestock with puestos in sight almost all the time. Carizales a small settlement right on trail has a small store and the family also sells bread. There was also a puesto that sold us fresh goat cheese and Coca Cola. It is marked as a waypoint on the GPX file about 20km south of Carizales. Much of the trail is very dry and exposed and the landscape is void of trees and vegetation. There are many great places to jump into the river and cool off. The section up and around the lake offers great views of the mountains, volcanoes nearby and Laguna Dial. The trail itself is well established and never had any real trouble navigation. There were also quite a few hot springs on trail or close by.

Difficulties: Hot and Exposed (especially in summertime). Resupply Distance.

Highlights: Hot springs. Great sweeping views. Pools of cool water to jump into in the middle of the day.

Please feel free to reach out and ask me any questions at Ultratrailca@gmail.com

  • 2020-Jan-20 / 3.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / Option l start south OH 08 - 02 / Martin

Solo. Because I was not allowed to walk close to the Volcanoe by the carabineros, following the RR, had to take the optional start south OH 08 - 02, in Nevados de Chillán Ski Resort. Funny enough, I walked the first day across the volcanoe anyway, it had some smoke coming out but nothing dangerous happened. Then followed RR to the end. Cross country segments in the ridge close to Laguna del Laja were demanding and not ideal for a solo hiker. But it was worth the effort, one of the most amazing views I have seen so far. Beautiful section. Resupplied and stayed for one night in Abanico.

  • 2020-Jan-05 / 3 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR /Ty & America

Can ford river @ los sauces easily rather than walking from Puente Ingles. Cable Car was all Locked up. Registration @ El Roble like the others. We camped at the hot rivers close to Volcan Chillan and I fucked up with the gasoline in my stove. Buzzkill...: but Fortunately there was an exit to Termas De Chillan close. We got rides easily from the road.

  • 2020-Jan-03 / 4.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Maddie & Tom

Starting at El Ingles and hiking southbound towards Abanico. Lovely section however can be slow at times when the track is hard to follow. We had to register with the Carabineros at El Roble. Before crossing Rio Nuble there is a large gate with ‘private property: no entry’ written on it. We found this off putting. The river crossing itself was fine in the early morning but could be challenging without trekking poles and with a very heavy pack. After the Laguna de La Laja the track becomes especially more challenging and rocky. In poor weather it could be dangerous given the slippery slopes and steep descents. We honestly found this section harder than GPT06 and would swap the difficulty ratings. Took a bus into Los Angeles at 5pm to resupply for the next section. Did not investigate Abanico as we caught the bus as it was leaving.

  • 2020-Jan-02 / 6 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + optional hike along Laguna de la Laja / Martina & Ivo

Los Sauces to Abanico.

Los Sauces: If you tell the bus driver you want to cross the river by cable car (carro azul) he honks at the bus stop and señor Marcial comes from the other side to get you. Ford Rio Ñuble: If you are a dwarf like me, you should ask your taller hiking partner to carry your backpack, otherwise it will get wet. Demanding. Volcan Chillan: PLEASE NOTE: We were absolutely aware that our buddy Volcano could erupt or explode at ANY GIVEN MOMENT and that this was NOT a SAFE option to hike. (But it was beautiful! ...and a bit overgrown in some places. There is not much of the trail left before the first pass.) Laguna de la Laja: It was beautiful but we definitively wouldn't recommend it. There is no trail along the Laguna. At the beginning you can walk on cow tracks close to the waterfront. Afterwards it's 15 km of cross country. The 3 km into the third inlet took us 3 hours and were really dangerous because of loose rocks and steep cliffs. The following investigation part (@08-04-#002) was mainly a quite nice trail, but we lost it twice and it took us ages to find it again, and in this steep and not very easy terrain you don't want to loose the trail. We were really glad when we got back to the regular route. From Abanico there are several buses per day going directly to Los Angeles. Resupply in Abanico is possible.

  • 2019-Dec-30 / 5 days / Hiking / SOBO / OH 1 / Matus & Anna

We had to register in Carabinieros. They didn't have a problem with leting us go even regular route, seemed like eventual crossing to Argentina is their primary issue. Optional 1 - to the juction with valley walk without problem. Cross coutry part on the ridge was easy to navigate. On downhill there is no trail so we went crosscountry again. It's bit overgrown in some spots, we found trail cca after half of descend. Last flowing water is before juction with valley walk. We saw some water holes cca 2-3km before Laguna de Lobo. Rest of the regular trail - cross coutry sections were demanding. Otherwise no problem. We got hitch to Los Angeles after CONAF station so no idea about resuply or accomodation.

Season 2018/19

  • 2019-Jan-13 / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Martin Lizondo

Volcán Chillán was in "alerta naranja". Río Ñuble impassable at S36° 50.188' W71° 14.935' Better continue following the minor road in the alternative route.
When hiking the alternative east route (Paso Aguila) do not descend to the valley at S36° 57.919' W71° 14.752'. It's unmantained and overgrounded, because of recent forest fires. Better stay above the tree line until Laguna El Lobo.

Season 2017/18

Season 2016/17

Resupply and Accommodation

  • Abanico

At least one restaurant with pizza Store?

  • Antuco (from Abanico)

Many smaller supermarkets, which have most things - easy enough to resupply here. One of the two ferreterías has gas (the one furthest from Abanico). Many accommodation options and some restaurants. March 2024: Good Accomodation with a nice Mapuche family in a single room, shared bath with hot shower, washing machine and including breakfast 18000 peso: Fanny, +56 9 9404 4771. There is an ATM (Fee: 5500)at the town square southend of town which even gives some smaller notes. Bus to Los Angeles

  • Puente Ingles

Store with chips, ice cream, bread, chocolate, sodas. Possibly some accomodation option at the store. Campground with one cabaña a little further down the room - sign says cabañas - 10,000 per tent, toilets with cold showers and a room with a fireplace for cooking

  • San Fabián (from Puente Ingles)

Many accommodation options - almost everything was fully booked when we were there (Feb 2022). Supermercado La Montaña seems to be the best option - not the easiest place to resupply, but definitely possible. Harder than in Antuco. Great Venezuelan restaurant Canela Passion. Bus to San Carlos

Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns

Resupply and Accommodation along the Route

Transport to and from Route

  • 2022-Feb-5: San Fabian to Puente Ingles

Bus at 2 pm and 6 p.m. in front of the carabineros including Sundays and Holidays.

  • Puente Ingles to San Fabián

Bus at 7 am and 10 am - leaves from the campground, drives to the shop and the back again towards San Fabián

  • Bus from Antuco to Los Angeles about once an hour in daytime.
  • A few buses from Abanico to Antuco or you can hitch fairly easily.
  • Jan-24 / Joscha

Bus from Chillan (Terminal La Merced) a Thermas de Chillan at 8 am and 2 pm (weekends at 1:30 pm) for 3900 Pesos. The buscompany is "Rembus". Their Website isn't up to date, but you can check their Facebook page for informationen.

Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues

Links to other Resources

Retired Section Article GPT08 - Volcán Chillan


This river is hot! Aguas Calientes Valley
Laguna Laja and Volcán Antuco, by Matúš Lašan