GPT12 (Rio Rahue)

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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-Jan / Martin&Helena

On regular route (SOBO) after puesto at 62.9, there is another puesto after approx 1km. It’s situated right on the road, soon after start of CC and before Gpt12-G End and it’s guarded by 4 or 5 agressive dogs. It was impossible to go around, so we were continuing with our trekking poles in front of us but dogs started to attack us and in the end I was bitten by one of them. The owner was there too but basically did nothing and dogs were absolutely out of her control.

  • 2023-Mar-01 to 2023-Mar-05 / 5 days / Hiking / NOBO / RR / Iris, Alexis

Arrived in Liucura late in the 28th Feb afternoon by hitchhiking our way from Lonquimay. There is also a bus that leaves at 7:30 PM. We shared our plans with the carabineros and asked for a place to pitch and he sent us near the river, after the truck "parking" (-38.64806, -71.08856 - really nixe and private spot). There are 3 shops in Liucura with supplies and we even had a nice diner for 6k each at the Hospedaje. Started early the next day with 12-P until 12-R. This way we avoided to climb any fence. There are plenty of paths going upward so we ended up not following the one from the tracks but something that joined the top quite directly. Then we enjoyed our walk on the ridge. We continued for a while and camped at Laguna Escondida. The marked point is in the wood, a bit far away from the water but wind protected. We decided to go much closer to the water and met our two first GPT hikers going southbound on the trail!

The next day we took 12-H to avoid the aggressive dogs and then sticked to the RR until Camp {12} [51.6/1293]. The descent in the forest (RR-CC-A {12} [52.3/52.8+2.2]) was a bit painful as it is steep and without path. Following the OSM route is not better.

Day 3, we followed the RR until Laguna Marinanqui (Lake, Camp {12} [33.9/1281]) where we camped. Then we met Reyes, a local from Peluhue who was waiting a group of "gringo" since the previous day. We spent the night here with him, tasting our first cooked pinones.

On day 4, we hiked to Camp {12} [20.4/1625] (Banos Coyucos). All the fords of Rio Pulul were easy. On the trail we crossed a group of horseriders (Reyes' gringo) that got lost in the mountains and were on their way to the lake. Then we had our first pinata moment : we found an araucania and hit a ball with a branch for a rain of pinones. At the bayos, we met two persons preparing an asado for the group of riders and an other group of people just staying for a bath. Both pools are great, the second one (the smallest and a bit more down) is a bit warmer. We got invited and fed by the riders (smoked cerdo, tortillas al rescaldo, goat asado...)! They eventually left and we were alone in the bayos for the night.

On Day 5, we hiked until the junction with GPT11 but without taking options 1 or 2 following the advices of the previous hikers. Then we directly continued to GPT11. On a side note, on most of the section, you will walk on well marked trails that are easy to follow. It contains multiple extremely scenics moments, at least one highlight per day (several for the last one). Definitely worth it to hike! There are no more tabanos at this period of the year, but indeed many wasps !

  • 2023-Feb-12 to 2023-Feb-16 / 4.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Natalie+Tomàš

Combined 10+11+12 continued mid-day from 11. Started mid-day at Banos de Pelehue, Tomáš explored the banos, there was a pool that had some cold water flowing to it, which is diverted, so the temperature should be nicely warm. However, it resulted in smelly hands for two days despite soap. The first hot springs waypoint is wrong but the location is very scenic. We continued to Banos Coyucos for the night and luckily arrived just before a storm hit. The Banos Coyucos were not "great". The first one with the A-frame roof is not that warm, more like stale bathwater, but the second further down with only a partial roof is much better. We spent the stormy night in the second one so more heat would have been nice but I am sure it's a good temperature for day time bathing.

Day2 Late start but great trail from the Banos to the marshy flats. I met Rosè from the puesto right at the beginning of the flats, she was very easy to get along with and had a good sense of humor. I would recommend looking for her if you were in need of help. She also helped show me how to avoid the marsh by sticking slightly high on the side of the hill, there was a little bit of a trail. The next plateau up was forgettable, accidentally walked along variant A for too long before dropping down to the RR. The RR is much faster than the side hill that hops from one puesto to the next on variant A. The rest of the way to Laguna Marinanque was enjoyable, definitely leave your sandals on at the bottom for the multiple river crossings. At this time of year Marinanque was still boggy but caused no problem's. However, I would be careful at the Northside not to get stuck in the bog, it looked very deep. We slept at the abandoned puesto 37.7 (No Water).

Day3 Fast and lovely trail to camp51.6. After then and up the steep grass hill it is CC. I wouldn't rely on the GPX here as it i basically just straight up. The last water source before the hill 52.2 makes a nice rest. Just to clarify once again, there is no water at the first plateau; camp54.5. However, the water at the small lakes on the main plateau did not look awful, just goose poo around. Up and over the main/last pass is straightforward but the other side is still boggy. The first camp was not good but if you walked up the bog directly on top of it there was a source of clean water. We slept at the second camp; 59.5, which felt the best of all three, there was water, a little muddy but the third camp looked dry.

Day4. You can make a small short cut on a wide "road-trail" just before the RR turns off from the main trail towards puesto 61.8. Crossing the bottom valley here is still very boggy. The lady at puesto 62.9 was very welcoming, offering food/chocolate/coffee. She had some angry dogs but they behaved well once she called them. The next puesto up from her had the dogs that bit a past GPT hiker. They were indeed the aggressive type but the lady tied the worst one up in order to let us pass. If she hadn't we were going to skirt around on the right into the forest to hopefully avoid them and or you could descent back down the hill and go far left. Like Veronica said there is some water at -38.41178, -70.99125, not tasty but not filtering it had no consequences. At the intersection of RR and J I met some friendly carabinieros that were going into Argentina to fetch some Chilean horses, they were taking on a good trail. From the water source I just described and towards Maximiliano's puesto I did not enjoy the trail, didn't make much sense and felt I was zig zaging in the valley for no good reason. Day got better once meeting "Maxi" and his son. Jan, if you are reading this Maximiliano says hi and has only good things to say about you. I told him you were off in the mountains somewhere but hopefully will come back to visit again. He wanted to make sure people were good to us and luckily we told him we only had pleasant encounters. His neighbor down the road (Seguro?) was also extremely friendly. The rest of the way to Laguna Verde was fast, a mixture of old roads and easy trails and a CC bit. The first puesto at Laguna Verde was abandoned and we slept in the grass beside it. It was very windy and the water in the lake was very dirty but luckily we found a small dribble of flowing water near the puesto. In the morning everything was covered in frost and slightly frozen, our first freeze.

Day5 Our final day was easy, the ridge got a little tedious (but was surprisingly beautiful in parts) and I was very happy it wasn't a hot day because otherwise it would have been very dry and uncomfortable. We managed to avoid all barbed wire fences (even though they could be jumped because 3/4 of the fence is cow panels and just the top two lines are barbed). When you are walking down from the trail from the ridge instead of turning left and jumping over your first fence we just went straight down towards the main road (aim for this open gate -38.63510, -71.09298), it is on the first dirt road marked on OSM branching from the main road when going into Chile from the border after Liucura. There were a couple big dogs at the end but they were locked up. Only 1km of road walking back to Liucura, past a nice looking restaurant, and or you could just start hitching to Lonquimay if desired. We agree that you could technically resupply in Liucura, it was a very happening border stop with fruit and vegetables, sold out bread and then all the other basics- but no canister fuel obviously. The bus situation from here is confusing as the shop owners and locals all say different things. What I gathered was that there was a bus going to Lonquimay at ~7, ~12 and ~4pm but I don't think it runs every day. Hitching to Lonquimay looked easy but we hitched to Icalma (more difficult) even though supposedly there was a bus to Icalma at 730/8/830?pm. Once again I don't think the bus runs everyday or weekends, possibly only Mon- Wed- Friday. In Icalma that was the case, if going to Lonquimay or Melipeuco there was only a bus Mon,Wed & Friday. Sadly I forget the exact times but I remember the first bus was very early, leaving ~6am and then a bus to lonquimay at 3pm. Icalma had lots of little minimarkets and cheap accomodation, slept in cabana for 20mil/night (10mil each)


-If I was to do this trip again I wish I had more time to spend at the puestos.

-The picoñes are falling, also wish I doubled up on fuel in order to cook them. We tried mashed picoñes in Icalma and they were delicious!

-The wasps have replaced horseflies, never got sting but got bit.

-Many of the trails this time of year were "dirt-dust" but on the bright side most bogs were avoidable.

-No problems with water, only had to carry extra water on the last day after the final water stop at 87.6.

-luckily only had a few bad days of smoke, mainly when we were close to Trapa Trapa.

  • 2023-Jan-18 to 2023-Jan-21 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR starting from the termas de pelehue / Will

I merged onto section 12 at the termas de pelehue, where I was immediately greeted by a group of 20ish condors taking off from a patch of grass in the valley. My pace got even slower, watching them fly low around me.

I went on to camp at the Banos Coyucos, easily my favorite hot springs so far. Perfect temperature, clean, but still felt natural. There were two groups of Chilean hikers there, all super friendly and generous.

The next day of walking through the valleys was beautiful and pretty fast. A bit before the big climb I had my first unpleasant encounter, with a group heading down the road by ATV. The leader stopped and asked if I had authorization to hike there, I said that I didn't know that I needed it. He seemed to think that was obviously a lie. He became somewhat friendly once I explained my plans and after discovering that I was foreign. He gave me some direction advice then set off. In hindsight I figure he must have been a landowner. I did see quite a few littered beer cans afterwords, maybe he was trying to prevent that.

The steep climb was tough, and I ended up camping pretty late up top. In terms of water I only saw a few muddy puddles though I didn't look very hard. There were a few ponds the next morning just over the hill.

The rest of the section was easier than I expected, and not so interesting to me. I should have carried more water on the final 20km. If you want to skip the barbed wire fences you'd have to take variant R at the end of the ridge walk. I thought I could skip them with variant S but most of them were before the turnoff so I ended up following the regular route the whole way. Thankfully they were solid and pretty easy to climb.

No luck hitching out of Liucura so I spent the night. There were no buses on Sunday but someone at my hostel gave me a ride to Lonquimay the next day. If you're continuing on then Liucura could work for a basic resupply, but I'm planning on relaxing a bit then skipping ahead. See for the bus schedule out of Lonquimay.

I'm still one day behind the same set of footprints I've been following all the way since section 7. I guess I'll never catch up.

  • 2023-Jan-15 to 2023-Jan-18 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / Termas de Pelehue (junction GPT 11, option 1 and GPT 12) - Liucura / Anna & Christopher

We connected section 11 and 12 and started at Termas de Pelehue around km 9. The first day the path was easy to find most of the time and the views were great. The canyon to Laguna Marinanqui is very beautiful. We camped after the last rivercrossing before the Laguna.

To path around the Laguna involved some bushbashing and muddy ground. Until the CC ascent the path was good. The ascent itself is pretty tiring. We could not find water at the point indicated by Véronica so we continued until the first small Laguna on the plateau. That was a great spot to camp and the Laguna has clear water.

The following part is not hard to navigate and continues with spectacular views. Ascending the next hill at appr. km 67 we followed a good animal path on towards the west of the hill (instead of the CC part of the RR), next to an accesible creek. Easy trails the rest of the day. We camped at the water waypoint [78.4/1775] between Laguna Escondida and Laguna verde.

The next part is great and easy until towards the end of the ridge after the last ascent, where the path finding gets harder with some bush bashing parts. On the last kilometers we descended until the main road to avoid climbing barbed wire fences. The shopowner of the resupply in Liucura offered us to camp in his garden. The next morning we hitchhiked to Lonquimay. The buses from Lonquimay to Temuco leave at 8 am and 12:30 pm, not sure if there is also a later bus.

  • 2022-Dec-25 to 2022-Dec-30 / 5.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR (combined with GPT11 via GPT11-02) / Véronica

Route: Junction at km 12.9 where GPT11-02 meets with GPT12 - Baños Coyucos - Laguna Marinanqui - Pehuenche Extortioner valley - Laguna Escondida - Liucura

Absolutely beautiful section. Really loved the cross-country bits on high plateaus and ridges, amazing views. I did not have any navigation issues. I met no one 4 days in a row.

I connected GPT11 Option 2 with GPT12, so I missed the Pelehue hot springs. I did find a good creek at the "water" waypoint at 15.9 km, not dry like what Veronika and Jo found last year. I really enjoyed the camp at Baños Coyucos in an araucaria forest, and the hot springs there were great too! Perfect temperature, and not as dirty as I thought they might be.

Lots of boggy cow pastures along RR-TL-V {12} [25.6+07], had trouble finding any sort of trail there. Enjoyed the trail along Río Pulul in the canyon with all the fords. All the river crossings were easy, and I found many lovely potential camp spots on that stretch.

Just north of Laguna Marinanqui (where you have the option to take 12-C), there is a large marsh to contour like others have mentioned. I managed to cross without getting all muddy by closely following the regular route. The trail kind of disappears after the junction with 12-E, but following the GPS it's not too hard to reach the base of the big CC climb to the high plateau. This climb is steep, but not dangerous - you climb on grass and dirt (no scree). There was no water at the "Water ?" waypoint, but I found a hidden spring nearby at S 38° 21.247', W 071° 04.140'. There are also shallow lagunas up on the plateau you could get water from. After the passes coming downhill into the Pehuenche Extortioner valley, the three campsites in a row there were quite waterlogged from snowmelt. The trail was a river in a couple places there too. Lots of squishy walking, wouldn't be ideal to camp there right now.

The next CC stretch after the Extortioner valley is awesome on a rounded ridgetop. There is a nice meadow and good water source shortly before reaching the next pass. From this pass all the way to Maximiliano's puesto is a good horse trail, not cross-country.

After the "water" waypoint at 87.6 km, after Laguna Verde, there is no more water until Liucura, so I filled up in order to dry camp on the ridge further along. All the subsequent CC stretches until Liucura have paths running along most of them, makes walking easier :) The final ridge walk starting at km 95.3 is fantastic, and there's lots of sheltered areas up there too where you could camp if you have enough water.

I followed the regular route all the way to Liucura (ended up climbing over 4 different barbed wire fences once I was off the ridge). Hitched into Lonquimay and will be skipping down to Section 16.

Season 2021/22

  • 2022-Feb-14 to 2022-Feb-15 + 2022-Mar-07 to 2022-Mar-10 / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Veronika & Jo

The first day we continued from GPT11, starting at Termas de Pelehue (where you can camp, though you have to search around for non-sulfury water pushing up through the meadows). We continued along the border with Argentina. Great all-around views, decent trail instead of CC most of the time, no water at S 38° 09.380', W 071° 01.300' <- in agreement with Molly and Melissa.

We escaped to Ranquil in the south to resupply, and got back three weeks later, taking the afternoon bus from Lonquimay (mon-wed-fri, bus early the morning and in the afternoon). Slept in the refugio in the valley east of Ranquil. The road between Ranquil and this eastern valley is almost fully MR instead of TL.

Continued RR until the Pehuenche Extortioner valley, but took optionals 12-H and 12-5 to arrive at Pehuenco in time to take the bus Friday morning at 08:00 (also mon-wed-fri) to make sure we made it to our plane in Puerto Montt on Sunday. We skipped Laguna Escondida and Laguna Verde with pain in our hearts :(

We saw the camp site at 12-H and asked around in the roundabout way ("do you know a camp site?") standing next to it, but no positive answer came. We camped at the pass before Maximiliano's puesto instead, where there is a little water turning into the usual cow meadow. Met Maximiliano there :)

  • 2022-Feb-21 / 5 days / Hiking / NOBO / RR + OH 02 / Romain

Regular Hiking Path : - There are a lot of Araucaria trees. I managed to save 2 days of food just by harvesting piñones on the floor following the path. I would recommend to not rely on it because it depends on the period, but there was plenty.

- the path after Laguna Marinanqui wasn't easy to follow because it was like a swamp but once I manage to cross this humid part it was all good

- Camp on Ford {12} [32.6/1299] (Rio Pulul), great place with lot of space, grass, dry wood, almost no wind when I camped there, I really appreciated this place

- I did the multiple fords without removing my water shoes because there are close and it worth it

- Camp {12} [17.0/1794] : I had to stay one day there due to raining conditions. Looking at the places after, it's to my mind the last place to camp before starting going uphill, it would be too windy and too cold to camp farther. During the rainy day the temperature dropped to less than 10° I think, I had to stay in my duvet. And during the night I got ice on my tent, it wasn't extreme but it was good to be well equipped.

- Option 11-02 and 11-02B to reach back the regular route was the best part I did of my entire trek, with a condor flying 10-15m above me, spectacular landscapes, ... I really recommend it but only in stable good conditions because it was really really windy, and going northbound otherwise 11-02B would be very demanding because of the sand.

- the hot spring {11-02B} [1.2/2113] and more generally the place with vapors and boiling water at some places and many condors flying around you is very impressive

- Nobo : Demanding clampering, in good weather only : everything is in the title and the other commentaries well describe it. I hadn't felt really in danger following the track but I was much tense and aware of everything. It's definitely not a good idea to be there not in good conditions. And you need to have time to do it in one time, there is no place adapted to camp until the pass {11} [27.6/2174] and event just after it's still much wind, and at some point the earth/sand soil make you hike very slowly. I thank the people who wants through before me, their tracks were much helpful to see the way and to not slip in the sand. Except these points the place is beautiful and I appreciated it a lot in the continuity of the part before.

Option 12-02 :

- 11-05G : the road from Lonquimay start with concrete and become gravel at a certain point, but lot of people use it and without hitchhiking many proposed me to take me

- transition 11-05G to 12-02 : the road leading to the ferry is really smaller than the main one, I missed it because I wasn't enough attentive to that

- Ferry : the indicated opening time are : 8:30-17:30 from Monday to Friday, 8:00-10:00/16:00-18:00 on saturday ; I arrived there at 13:30 on the Monday and there was nobody to move it, fishermen told me to wait for a car but they seem to say there should be one until 1 or 2 hours so I crossed the river going up, water reached my hips and I arrived in a farmer property, people were very friendly, but should I do it again I would cross going down (easier to reach + no problem with entering a property)

- 12-02 continues by crossing the river on a beautiful wood hanging bridge (12-02A continues straight), I appreciated this path with plenty of rabbits, aracauria trees and beautiful landscapes. I slept close to the river in a flat field with apple and peach trees. It seemed people are used to camp there with lot of campfire marks, really windy the day I camp there

  • 2022-Jan-10 / 6 days / Hiking / NOBO / Molly og Melissa

Amazing section with great views. Definitely don't skip the two high parts unless the weather is bad. We didn't find it to be dangerously steep except for a few metres on the descent before Laguna Marinanqui, which were uncomfortable. Tábanos were better than expected, it was pretty windy. We also brought a fly swatter. It was very effective for killing those who sticked around during breaks, and gave a lot of satisfaction

We took the alternative route to the east right out of Liucura due to the notes of other people. Shortly after, we saw a path climbing the mountain, and took that. Big mistake - the path disappeared quickly and left us to climb steeply through dense bamboo. We learned the lesson of staying close to the route, and this payed off. Often, when the route is marked as CC, a path exists that follows the route closely. On one of the CC sections we met a man with his animals, who wanted to know what we were doing. He said that we needed a permission from someone in Liucura to be there, and that many people came by and disturbed the animals. When we apologized and said we didn't know and that we'd go on to Laguna Verde he didn't pursue the subject and seemed friendly enough. We ended up camping on the beach by Laguna Escondida. On the descent from there to the Pehuenche Extortioner valley we passed a puesto not marked on the GPS. It seemed empty, and the gravel road was right next to it. There were some very aggressive dogs that we gave a shock, though, they quickly surrounded us. The owner got them calmed down a bit, but one of them to still took a bite of my sleeping mat on the bottom of my bag while we were calmly talking to the owner. After the Pehuenche Extortioner valley you climb a pretty tall mountain pass to an amazing high plain. The descent from here is, as others have written, very steep, not too difficult but definitely better down than up. From there you have a very nice easy trail with good views almost all the way to Laguna Marinanqui, but at the river crossing and every time there is a puesto of trail the trail diverges, and you often have to follow the less obvious trail, so it pays off to look at the GPS often. After Laguna Marinanqui we just kept our wading shoes on for the six river crossings, it worked very well. None of the crossings were difficult in any way. We camped at the Coyuco hot springs. It's a nice enough camp site with a little bench and table under the Aucaria trees, but not too many big sites for the tent. The hot springs are a little bellow, covered by some planks. They are pretty dirty but a perfect temperature, no views either.

The last big ascent nearing the Argentine border was amazing and should definitely not be skipped unless the weather is bad! There is a small CC section, but most of the way through the pass there is a nice trail - stick to the route and you will find it! It lasts all the way to the gravel road to Ranquil. There is a boarder post, and a pretty flat grassy area where it would be possible to camp on the Argentinian side of the border, next to a stream. In general, plenty of water all the way to the second hot springs. From there, nothing until you reach the river in the bottom. The hot springs are in an amazing area, and would be a beautiful campsite with great views, bit requires clear and calm water. We didn't see the hot springs ourselves, but we met some Chilean tourists who liked them.

Water: Generally, water is plentiful, but with some comments. We started from Liucura on midday on a very hot day, and having read about plentiful water we brought a liter each. However, there was nothing until the first waypoint, which we couldn't reach, so we ended up going down to the river in the eastern valley and camping there. Furthermore, on the ascent from the Pehuenche Extortioner valley where there are three campsites on a row, the first didn't have water and the second only very little. On the high plain where it's marked water? there was water, but very still and dirty. Would only drink it if very desperate. Shortly after joining the path after the descent there are very nice streams. We arrived in Ranquil in the afternoon on a Sunday, and hitched to Lonquimay - very challenging though, with three rides and some walking in between

  • 2021-Nov-23 / Hiking / NOBO / RR / Marc Anthony

After i finished GPT 3 i headed down south to GPT 12 in order to hike the next couple of groups in a northbound direction since it’s more suitable to hike from down here this time of year compared to the more northern sections

It was love at first sight! I was so thrilled to escape the exposed terrain of the north and come down here to this beautiful part of the country, where you can enjoy the nice shade from the Arucania trees. Got the bus from Lonquimay to Liucura at 14:00 and started my trip on the optional route east of the RR to avoid previously mentioned barbed wire fence. Later I climbed up to the mountain ridge and followed the RR.

After my first night I was woken up by the sound of a bunch of cows running around my tent, and a stuck my head out to find a Pehuenche man on a horse wearing a balaclava, looking at me. Was very surprised at first but he was a nice guy who was just curious about me. We took some photos of each other and I got to ride around on his horse. I general I found water to be plenty, the weather good and the trail in good condition. There are although some very steep sections every now and then where you have to be careful. I was also hit by a hail storm during a mountain pass but luckily it quickly passed.

At laguna Marinanqui towards the end of the section I met a group of Chileans from Victoria who were out on a weekend fishing trip. We drank a few beers together while catching some salmon in the Laguna and after i joined on the walk back to Ranquil. We took GPT option 1 to skip the nothern hump. And on arrival at Ranquil they gave me a ride back to Lonquimay. Great fun!

Season 2020/21

Season 2020/21

Season 2019/20

  • Feb 2020-Feb / Hiking / NOBO / Lauric

Took optional #002 east of regular trail to avoid climbing over barbed wire. It is an easy road. Then we climbed up on the ridge with optional #003. Not exactly on the track but we found a trail going up. On the ridge it's amazing with 360 views. Easy walking too. Optional down in the valley would be easier but less rewarding. Continued our way to the pass 1920m (after taking mate at Maximiliano's puesto). At the pass we left the regular trail to end up on a descending road. Easy descent to optional 12-04-#001 and easy walk in the valley. From there we avoided the extortioner and up to the second pass (2120m). The views are amazing. Very steep and CC descent. Wouldn't have liked to go up this part. From the pass to laguna Marinanqui is pretty boring but easy part. Laguna is very beautiful and a great place to camp. North of laguna is ankle deep in cowshit. We got up by the river to the termas. There are 2 pools. Then we headed town to Ranquil to finish the section. Carabineros let us camp on their field. Bus to Lonquimay Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6AM and 5PM in front of the police station.

  • 2020-Jan-24 / 3.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR mostly / Frank

At the high lakes I continued on RR-CC-I@12-57.1+7.5, a spectacular traverse but at the end there is a very steep & slow descent on rock, scree & sand. I would consider this descent to be dangerous & best avoided by taking the Pehuenche Extortioner variant. After Maximilian's Puesto I took OH-MR-V@12-03-#001out to the road then into Liucura. At least 2 places to stay there, they both have a restaurant. Also a cafe & 3 shops, you can resupply easily.

  • 2020-Jan-23 / Hiking / SOBO / RR Ending at ranquil carabineros / Ty & America

Just hiked to The hot spring from the top of section 11. Not much to report. Hot springs were luke warm. There’s some sort of makeshift hut covering them. Nice camp there though. We got a hitch when nearing the carabineros to Lonquimay. Wouldn’t usually count on this though. Definitely middle of nowhere. Apparently the bus comes at 5.

  • 2020-Jan-17 / 3.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + OH 03 / Martina & Ivo

Start: Termas de Pelehue, End: Primary road towards Lonquimay Amazing section. The Termas de Pelehue are gone due to the lack of maintenance. The second hot springs the same, but the fumaroles above are quite impressive! The third hot springs down in the valley are great, there are several pools just below the camp. After the second pass (2'180) we decided not to do the investigation route as it looked pretty uncomfortable to us. The descent after the third pass (1'920) to Maximiliano's puesto was a nice trail, not at all CC. There our longing for a beer was so huge that we took the optional route 12-03-#001 through the beautiful araucaria valley. Believe it or not, shortly before arriving at the primary road there came a bus, taking us to the junction, from where a connecting bus to Lonquimay was leaving, everything within 10 minutes :-) Excellent resupply and accommodation in Lonquimay, funny town.

  • 15-Jan-2020 / 3.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Maddie & Tom

Spectacular section, some of the best scenery we have seen so far! Some of the ascents and descents are quite steep and technical. There is lots of loose rock and no easy track to follow. It was quite windy and all the high passes are dangerous in poor weather. The trail is also overgrown and difficult to follow in some sections. This makes it slower than you might expect, however it is perfectly doable. Good resupply in Licura at the end of the section, as well as nice places to stay (around 20000 pesos for a double).

  • 9-Jan-2020 / 5 days (GPT11 + GPT12) / Hiking / SOBO / RR + OH 2 Matus & Anna

We combined sections 11 and 12. It took us 5 days including one zero because of weather. Patagonia showed us bit of it's potential in these two sections. All walked trails were in good condition and CC sections pretty easy to navigate. In the sadle of section 11, because of strong wind, poor visibility and fresh snow and ice we were forced to take optional to the valley. There is a big snowfield, I don't recomend sliding on it all the way. It the lower parts there were big holes into the stream. From Ranquil we took optional #002 because we didn't want to climb back up. Uphill is more a minor road, downhill nice trail. After a laguna we took a optional to the Pass 2180 and road around the Pehuenche Extortioner. We needed to get down from elevation ASAP bacause of wind. We passed puesto early in the morning and no one was around. After rainy day everything above 2000m was white. We took trail to pass 1920m which was just with bit of fresh snow and then took minor road #001 down to valley. So I have no idea about the rest of the trail. Edit: adding a picture from the last sadle 1920m, we did after "rainy" day.

  • 2019-Dec-06 / 10 days / Hiking / NOBO / RR from Liucura without the northern slope, so we went directly to Ranquil from S38°12.723' W71°05.208'/ Sophie & Hendrik

In total we were 11days on the trail, of which we spend 1.5 in the tent due to bad weather. The route is free except for one fort, but there is a workaround. Also we had a couple of navigation problems, which cost us several hours. See recent alerts and suggestions.

We liked: The quickly chang landscape and its huge variety, beautiful cinematic views, funny animals, that water was always available, bathing in the rivers, beautifully blooming plants.

We did not like so much: The problems we encountered due to navigation mistakes, the hailstorm on the mountain ridge, beercans that people drop on the paths.

We bluntly hated: The amount of horse flies. In the northern part we were not able to make one step without having at least five buzzing arround our faces. This army of blood suckers was sent by a source of pure evil to annoy hikers.

The following is a chronological accumulation of all our observations made in the last 11 days. Note for navigation difficulties that we walked northbound.

- The most southern CC part direclty north of Liucura is now bordered by fences. You have to follow the path and then go left through a gate. The gate on the western fence is some 80m further south than you would expect. It was locked and we had to carefully (barbed wire) climb over it. It might be a lot easier to take the optional route in the east to get up the ridge.

-We were unable to find and follow the path at S38°24.881' W71°00.281' down to the valley. We endet up on a path a little further south. However, this path starts to lead further and further south, so that at some point we startet to ge back to the original path through the woods, which did cost several hours.

- Getting up the mountain at S38°24.450 W71°01.871' we startet ca 300m further north than indicated by the CC route due to fences and rivercrossing opportunities in the valley. (We thought CC means come up with your own route anyway.) At ca 1720m of altitude, still 300m north of the indicated route we found a good looking path leading up the mountain and followed it. At its end we assumed it would not be a bad idea to continue from here on in north west direction up the mountain. We now know it was a very bad idea. We ended up in a very uncomfortable and seriously dangerous climbing situation in which we really did not want to be. So our advice: stick to the route here!

- The Ford-125 (S38°20.908 W71°09.294') looks impassable right now. You can avoid it by using an improvised bridge about 120m further west.

- At roughly S38°17.091' W71°01.354' the path broke away into a very steep descent. It is passable, but also slippery and includes a certain risk of which you should be aware.

- The daily bus out of Ranquil does not stop at the busstation because it is too large to reverse there. You have to walk down the street ca. 2km to where a bridge crosses the river. The bus reverses here and does not go up further up the road. Right now it stops there at 6 in the morning.

Season 2017/18

Season 2016/17

Resupply and Accommodation

Ranquil - no shop but there are families who sold us sopaipillas

Lonquimay - Supermercado Espinoza next to the bus stop has most things. A little shop on the left hand shortly after the bus terminal when walking from the bus terminal towards the center has gas. The shop has different air mattresses, clothes and some outdoorsy things in the windows. There's also a ferretería that might have. Several accommodation options.

Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns

Resupply and Accommodation along the Route

Transport to and from Route

  • To Liucura

Updated Jan 2022:

Bus from Temuco to Liucura (goes all the way to Icalma) Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:30am (+ 15:55?), 5 hours of travel. Leaves Liucura at the bus terminal next to COPEC at 12. Also busses from Lonquimay to Liucura Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 15 and Tuesday+Thursday at 14

Bus from Temuco to Lonquimay every day - Monday-Saturday 15:55, Sunday 17:30 There may even be busses from Santiago to Lonquimay

  • Ranquil

Updated 2022, Jan Bus from Ranquil to Lonquimay (on Mon, Wed and Fri at 7:30am from the village

Bus from Lonquimay to Ranquil Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 15:00 - bus terminal next to COPEC Buses to Troyo leave every day and can drop you off at the crossing to Ranquil, about 30-40 km, but hitching might still be difficult from here

  • If skipping section 13-15:

We went from Pucón to Temuco, but it seems to be the long way around. It might be worth it to ask around in Pucón whether there is a rural bus to Curacautin, and from there to Lonquimay, as that seems way faster on the map - alternatively it could be possible hitching this route.

  • Lonquimay

Update 2022, Feb

Bus from Santiago - Terminal Sur to Lonquimay leaving at 21:40 and arriving around 8:00

Company : Jet Sur

$26.000 for semi-cama

Commentaries : really comfortable, nice and professional people, USB-plugs, I took it on Sunday night, it was the only one on Sunday, I don't know if there are some on the other days

Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues

Links to other Resources

Retired Section Article GPT12 - Río Rahue


Araucarias on GPT12
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