GPT08 (Volcan Chillan)

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

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

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Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions

Season 2025/26

Season 2024/25

Season 2023/24

Season 2022/23

  • 2023-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

  • 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. There is an ATM at the town square 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.

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