GPT16 (Volcan Quetrupillan)
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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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- 1 Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions
- 2 Resupply and Accommodation
- 3 Transport to and from Route
- 4 Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
- 5 Links to other Resources
- 6 Images
Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions
- 2023-Mar-01 to 2023-Mar-05 / 5 days / Hiking / SOBO / OH-01 & 02 + Quetrupillan summit + Villarica traverse / Martial.
Puesco - Pucón Villarica traverse is indeed an interesting alternative for GPT16. The views on Volcanos are gorgeous and trail in good conditions for the all trip. My personal camping recomandations are Laguna azul, volcan Quetrupillan waterfall (on osm : -39.51160, -71.75365) and estero aihue (39.47713° S, 71.88582° W) or Zanjón pino Huacho for clean water access and sleep under the stars ✨ Although siphon water from the bucket in the zanjon was hard but should be better after recent rains.. Water from the various glaciar rivers is way cleaner in the morning to be drunk. An interesting combo for people in need for a treat would be stopping in Termas Geometricas wich looks to be one of the best attraction of the region.. (20mil or so) I luckily was granted with nice weather for Quetrupillan climb wich for me is really worth-it. Hopefully you get a lucky ride for the long descent from the centro de ski to Pucón. Take plenty of water if you start nobo !
- 2023-Feb-22 to 2023-Feb-26 / 4 days / Hiking / OH-01 +03 Villarrica traverse (West-bound?) / Natalie & Tomáš
We did not end up following the GPT but instead ended up doing the Villarrica Traverse (so options 01 and 03 of GPT and then some more). It was our last trip before flights back home so ending directly in Pucón made the most sense, just sad that our last hike wasn't actually on the GPT...
Thoughts: Really beautiful, surprisingly diverse and not as many people as expected. The busiest place was at Laguna Azul and the glacier lookout. We are both very happy to have walked it and since it was our last hike it was a pleasure to be on trails that allowed one to reflect rather than think about the next step. Highlights were the ease of the trails, vistas, Araucaria sillouettes, a return to volcanic landscapes, the crater of Quetrupillan and the forest canopy.
Access: Bus from Curarrehue to Puesco leaves at 5pm, just once a day. It leaves from here;-39.36321, -71.58433 and is white and green. Probably easier to hitch as it only goes to Puesco (aka CONAF). It leaves Puesco to Curarrehue at 730am supposedly.
Description: The traverse is well documented and therefore I will only explain two different side trips. Note that if coming from Puesco the last section between Chinnay camping and the ski hill is scarce of water because most water available is recommended not to drink due to high levels of ash in the melting glacier. The two good sources are; estero aihue; 39.47713° S, 71.88582° W and Zanjón pino Huacho which is actually just a tap over a bucket; 39.43604° S, 71.99502° W. There is also an app you can use to follow the traverse; https://villarricatraverse.cl/
Camping at Laguna Azul is crowded (in the minds of a GPT hiker) so one can camp on a different beach or up high on the trees on the south side of the lake. Wild camping is supposedly illegal but does not seem to apply for the section of the traverse between Chinnay and the ski resort, there are many bivy spots.
Side trips: First side trip, Volcán Quetrupillan: If one is doing the traverse and wants to summit Quetrupillan easily and quickly I recommend following the osm trail on the NW side of the summit, there is a good trail, however we both did something different. Tomáš was successful at making a traverse of the summit and I was not. From lake Azul we followed the GPT option03 until the base of the col where one goes straight up to the crater. I continued on the GPT trail and turned back ~2m from the true summit due to the terrible rock quality but at least the way to the crater was easy (if you are there know that the red dirt is soft and not that steep). Tomáš on the other hand went one ridge further south and was able to easily follow it up to the summit, traverse south on the summit and come down on the osm trail. He notes there were only two bits of simple scrambling but was still easy despite having his bag. After my failed attempt on the summit I just went straight down the West side of the mountain to hit the normal Villarrica traverse and met back up with Tomáš.
Second side trip, glacier Pichillancahue to above "glacier mirrado" and back to normal trail (the route is on OSM): When coming from Chinnay there is a very obvious trailhead for Glaciar pichillancahue. Tomáš used this to make a small but high traverse to somewhere near Estero Aihue and therefore avoiding the last bit of road walking and elevation loss. I was lazy and hungry and opted to have lunch at the camping Pichillancahue instead which was a terrible decision because the water there was barely drinkable (ash and dirt) and Tomáš supposedly had nice clean water up top.
If it wasn't for bad weather I think this traverse could be done easily in 3days, even two if you are efficient. We took 4 because we had one morning of rain and were in no need of rushing and did the sidetrips. However it would have been nice to have one more free day to rent gear and try to climb Villarrica but the information on whether or not the summit is open was very confusing. Locals told us it was closed but you could go up most of the way if you had gear but then again there was a mountain guide who said we could go, so it will be a mystery. We both would love to come back to this area with simple glacier gear and climb Villarrica and Lanin and also go back to Sollipulli to traverse its glacier. For now it will have to wait :)
- 2023-Feb-02 t 2023-Feb-05 / 4 days / Hiking / NOBO / Quetrupillan + OH-01 / Yannic & Mirjam
Very beautiful and easy stage. We hitchhiked from Panguipulli to Liquine and then via option 16-B to the camp at Laguna Azul. Very pleasant path in the forest with a slow ascent. We stayed at the lagoon for 2 days and made a day trip to the volcano. The trail was not always easy because of the strong wind and the occasional snowfields. East of option 16-03 there is another way marked on the map, a little more to the east could be good, because then you avoid the two big snowfields that you see at the top.
From Laguna Azul we continued via Laguna Blanca on the Villarica Traverse (Option 16-01) to Laguna Las Avutardas. The road is well maintained and the landscape after the second pass is fascinatingly different from the previous one. Very nice camping spot at the lagoon. From the primary road we caught a car to Curarrehue and from there a bus to Pucon.
- 2023-Jan-29 to 2023-Jan-31 / 3 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Maks & Gabi
Started in Catripulli and hichhiked to 16km of RR. We found it as a good solution to skip road walking as it is not so attractive. Remember to take enough water with you because on ascent to Laguna Blanca there is only one silty river. This part is not so hard unless the temperature is high and you are walking like us in the midday. Probably the ascent road is going to be worst cos they are destroying the trail to build a road ( most probably - it doesn't look nice and it's quite annoying ) There is quite a new gate with old sign on 18,5km ( it looks like entrance to some private propertie with seperate plots), it was open so we just walked through and we didn't meet anyone to ask.
Plateau is really amazing, worth seeing and there are a lots of tiny streams near Laguna Blanca with clean water. At Laguna Azul there are a lot of tourists sleeping there. Descent was plesent until the road started. The entire trail is well visible. Down there there is community of mapuche, they are really nice and talkative. There is a chance that when going NOBO or sleeping on their land you will have to ask about permission to go through but it shouldn't be a problem. We hitchhiked with one of them last 3 km of RR.
- 2023-Jan-27 to 2023-Jan-29 / 3 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR + Quetrupillan / Will
I also came in through Catripulli. I caught two quick rides but was still left with three hours of hot uphill road walking. If you aren't worried about connecting footsteps I bet you could find a better start/end point. The other hikers out there (on the Villarrica traverse) were mostly ending at Puesco, I heard rumors of a bus there. Sounds like a much better route if the bus exists. This is marked as option 1.
Coming out of the woods the alpine section was beautiful but short. I spent two nights at Laguna Azul, taking a side trip up Quetrupillan. There were a lot of fun snowfields to navigate. My new shoes were grippy enough to get me through easily even though I didn't bring my trekking poles. Most of the water was chalky.
The final scramble up to the summit (after reaching the snow filled crater) was treacherous. Might not be worth it. I went up around the right because it looked like a more gradual climb but I had a few big solid looking boulders come loose and tumble down. The route straight up seems better.
Laguna Azul was bustling, both nights I was camped with a few Europeans doing the Villarrica traverse. Met a crazy dutch couple biking it. I even heard that there were some people visiting by helicopter, before I showed up.
At the end I walked down to Liquiñe, lots of food places along the road. I camped at the Termas de Punulaf (decent, 15000 pesos) before continuing onto section 17H (highly recommended!).
- 2023-Jan-23 to 2023-Jan-24 / 2 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Anna & Christopher
Catripulli - Reyehueico Short and easy section!
From Pucón we took a bus at 19:30 to Catripulli (Buses Currarehue, last one leaves at 21:00). From there we hitchhiked to km 18 of the RR. We camped next to Estero Huililco (silty water as the others mentioned).
The next accessible water source is the ford of Estero Huililco at km 23. The walking until the plateau is easy (dirt roads and good paths), no navigation issues at all. Around Laguna Blanca there was still some clear water of the snowmelt. Here walking got a bit tougher due to the sand, but the plateau really is beautiful. After Laguna Blanca there is a good, visible path again until Laguna Azul. We camped at the Laguna and had the first rainy/stormy night.
Because of the bad weather we didn't climb the volcano the next day and went down directly. It's a good path the whole way. Around 4 km before Reyehueico we got a ride directly to Panguipulli :)
- 2023-Jan-03 to 2023-Jan-05 / 3 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Véronica
Route: Catripulli - Laguna Blanca - Laguna Azul - summit of Volcán Quetrupillan - Reyehueico
I found this section beautiful, and quite easy, since most of the time you are on 4x4 tracks or well-maintained CONAF trails. No navigation issues whatsoever.
Pucón is a bustling hiking town, great place to get new gear/shoes and resupply. I stayed a few days at Chili Kiwi Hostel there, highly recommend! Buses from Pucón to Catripulli and Curarrehue are very frequent, I did not have to wait.
I started in Catripulli because the road walk is shorter from there. I was very lucky and ended up getting a ride (without even trying) up to the end of the gravel road beyond Rinconada, where a wooden gate marks the start of a lovely forest trail. As others have mentioned, Río Huililco is quite silty, and although the trail follows this river a while, I didn't collect any water there. The first night I camped at the treeline before the final climb to Laguna Blanca (before the start of the CC section). I found some good water in the ravine east of the trail, but it required some bushwhacking down a steep hill covered in vegetation.
The plateau up by Laguna Blanca is beautiful, there are multiple creeks feeding the lake — some of them are silty, but others are clear, just pure snowmelt. The cross-country section had a nice path running through most of it, so navigation was very easy. Between Laguna Blanca and Laguna Azul, there are still some snow patches, but they are easy to walk across or around.
I dropped most of my gear off at Laguna Azul to climb the volcano. I started around 11 a.m. and got back at 4 p.m., this included an almost hour-long break at the top to take in the spectacular views of Volcán Villarrica and Volcán Lanín. There's still a fair bit of snow on Quetrupillan, and instead of following the GPS I went up my own way to the rim, avoiding most of the snowfields. The crater is filled with snow, it's awesome! Coming back down, I half ran, half slid down a giant snow field, which was a lot of fun. That night I went for a swim and camped at Laguna Azul, a beautiful spot. For the first time on the GPT, there were other people (local tourists) camped with me there!
The rest of the trail down to Reyehueico is easy, downhill through a mature forest. Once you get to Trafún Chico, the trail becomes a gravel road. I was able to hitch the last couple kilometers to the main road, and get a ride to Panguipulli to resupply and head down to GPT19 after.
- 2022-Jan-01 / 5 days / Hiking / NOBO / RR + summit of Quetrupillan / Molly og Melissa
5 days - including a very short day due to bad weather We were passed by a car on the gravel road shortly after Reyehueico. They told us that the place marked as camp on the GPS was closed, but we could camp on their land a little before on the place marked bridge. They wanted 5000 pesos per person, and there are no facilities, so we found it a little expensive but didn't want to discuss in the rain. They also sold us freshly baked bread which were huge and the best we have had so far, as well as sopaipillas. The gravel road here was pretty, but a lot of aggressive dogs who could easily crawl under their fences to follow us. We only had to climb one gate which seemed to be more to keep in cows than to keep out any hikers. At the waypoint gate there was nothing. We camped right before the waypoint water before Laguna Azul. At Laguna Azul there are two camp waypoints, the first is a little spot on the river bank, the second is the "real" camp with lots of spots in a little forest right next to the lake. It's nice, but there have been left a lot of garbage.
From there, you follow the Villarica traverse trail for some kilometres through very beautiful landscapes. When you reach the valley where Lago Blanco is (it really is white), you leave the trail for some fairly easy cross-country around the lake. On the far side, the whole valley was covered in water and we had to walk barefoot, but it was after three very rainy days. Finding the path at treeline was a little difficult, but we just made sure to be right on the trail on the GPS and found it. Then followed a short trip through beautiful aucaria forest, followed by a gravel road. Here, we saw several "no entrar" signs meant for people going towards the national park, but there was no one around. We even asked for water while still in the no entrar-zone as we didn't know, and weren't told off. It was difficult to find a campsite, but at La Rinconada there was a house saying "Es bienvenido aquí", maybe you could ask there. We accidentally walked to catripulli instead of currarehue as we missed the turn off and realized too late.
Water: Until Laguna Azul, no problem. At Lago Blanco we didn't find any streams that weren't chalky, though we thought that some streams running down the mountain on the far right side might look better. We didn't investigate, though, as we thought we had enough. However, Estero Huilinco was the same, so we ended up asking at a house if we could get some water.
Summit: We basecamped at Laguna Azul and followed the nicely marked trail up. Be aware that the summit route diverges after about a kilometre, with no trail to be seen. We followed the GPS for a while but decided to walk to the crater rim somewhere else, as the summit seemed more difficult and the height difference isn't that big anyway. The volcano itself looked a lot like Volcan Puyehue, but the views were different of course, and the crater had a lot more snow. It was great to spend an extra day above the treeline.
- 2021-Dec-05 to 2021-Dec-07 / 3 days / Hiking / NOBO / Villarrica Traverse / Alex Abramov
We made Villarrica Traverse here. This traverse is an excellent variant to go in (out) to (from) GPT.
- 2020-Feb / Hiking / NOBO / RR / Matthieu
From Liquiñe to Catripulli Following the RR, I personnally never had to cross any barriers of barbed wire or closed portals. It is all an official CONAF trail. I used Lago Azul as a base camp to do the ascent of the summit. Awesome place. A little cheer to Ty, America and Sanita with who we had (I assume) the biggest GPT hikers camp of the year !
-The ascent: Better use your head than your GPS, avoiding the snow to go up. The path I took was finally closed to the OH 002, going between the snow fields, but I never crossed any trail road. The very end is quite steepy and the rocks easy to break, and you have to climb a little bit to arrive to the final cairn. Better do it with good weather conditions and without your big bag ! I wasnt confident with going down the same way, so at the cairn I just took directly west down the rocks and actually found a downhill of good sand, really easy to do, fast and safe. No climbing down this way. I joined my previous tracks after, near the OH 002.
-Water supply: As Ty say, No water between the end of Lago Blanco and a little bit before the Estero Huililco. The track is easy and fast thow in the forest, and I didnt take more water supply going down.
I didnt do the final forest part just before Currarehue, hitchhiking to Catripulli.
- 2020-Feb-27 / 4.5 days / Hiking / SOBO / Catripulli Start & Optional end to Conaripe / Ty & America
We started at Catripulli because it was a bit shorter road walk compared to Curarrehue. Be aware of the big waterless start. You do have (mostly) friendly people on the road who are more than welcome to help with water. After Comunidad Rinconada (maps.me) don’t expect any water (besides the extremely chalky river water) all the way up to Laguna Blanco. Small Water falls on the right side of the lake have great clear water. We camped at Laguna Blanco by said falls a bit off the track file to find shelter from the wind. Then camped at Laguna azul the next day to summit the following morning. Beautiful place. Actual summit is sketchy, so we hiked to the rim and were perfectly content with that. I don’t recommend taking the optional OH-TL-V@16-02-#002 over the pass. It looked sketchy/snowy. The optional a bit further was perfectly fine. On the way down to conripe on OH-TL-V@16-02-#003 there is a good place to camp by water with plenty of wood ~1.5 km after the marked water source. We had luck hitching a ride from the termas at the bottom right to Conripe.
- 2020-Feb-7 / 3 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Martina & Ivo
3 days for this amazing section. Trail in good condition, no navigation difficulties. At 39°23'11"S 71°37'48"W, where it says "se vende leña eucalyptus", we didn't climb the huge locked gate to our right but just continued the minor road. We passed two unlocked gates and got back to the regular route after 1km. Shortly afterwards we arrived at a high fence of seven strands of barbed wire, where we turned left into the forest, following an almost invisible path, and after 500m finally found a gate and got back to the regular route after 1km.
- 2020-Feb-06 / 2 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Frank
Came from GPT15, resupplied @ 2 supermarkets in Curarrehue. Going up from Curarrehue they are logging in the forest but track still clear. Went over the fence with 7 strands of barb wire. Later there is a wooden gate saying 'No Entry Residents Only' went over it onto track, no one around. When you cross the Estero Huilico fill up with water. You can wade it but if you go down on the left about 20 metres there is a footbridge hidden in the forest. Later you are near the river but it is in a gorge with dense vegetation so it's not accessible. Made a dry camp high up in the forest before the lakes. Hardly any snow left on the route.
Near the end of the route there is no place to camp at 'Camp 119' but continue a little down the road & there is a tiny field just before 'Bridge 51' where you can camp. Just before it the road goes round in a loop, on the lower part of the loop are two houses next to each other. Ask there if it's OK to camp by the bridge. Just after the bridge I continued straight to the main road (marked bus, shop) to resupply. However, it's not necessary to do that, if you continue on the RR you will find shops in Liquine.
- 2019-Nov-13 / 7 days / Hiking / NOBO / RR from Liquiñe to where the trail joins the S-947 / Sophie & Hendrik
We were 7 days on the trail, of which 2 were just camping out bad weather (23 walking hours) . First day we started late and went to what the first camp on the map. Next we went to the camp without water from the track files (We found some stream there. After filtering amd treading it with chloride we were able to drink it.) We stayed there one day, waiting for better weather. Next day we went to the Fort at Laguna Azul. However, we did not cross it until two days later, as we first waited for better weather conditions. Then we crossed the volcano and camped below the treeline on the other side. Last day we hiked to S-947 and hitchhiked to Pucón for some Food and a real bed.
What we liked: Sudden changes of landscapes, beautiful Araucaria forrest, remoteness (didn't meet people for 5 days), breathtaking views and scenes on the volcano, the snow was beautiful (obviously depends on the season), the many plushy chilean tarantulas on the north side.
What we did not like so much: The gravel roads on both ends of the section.
- 2020-Jan-22 / 2 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Tom & Maddie
No issues, trail in good condition and cross country section is not hard to navigate. We took a bus out to Panguipulli at 08:00 on a weekday. We decided to skip 17 and 18. We then bussed to Los Lagos and then Futron and then to Rininahue. We then got a hitch back onto the regular route of 19 37km in. Less than 8hrs off the trail to skip 17/18.
- 2020-Jan-31 / 2 days / Hiking / NOBO / OH-02 Start from Termas el Rincon (Conaripe) to Currarehue / Jean & Virginie
To start the option track (16-02) after el Rincon termas, we have to pass a gate closed but it was possible to pass on the left. We didnt see anyone inside. After few kilometers on the minor road in good condition, we pass a small house where the guy explained us the track (turn on thé right at the arrow marked Laguna to get on the trail - track a little bit different from the gpt route but that join it further). After we went up on Quetrupillan volcano with amazing view. Trail in good condition and easy to navigate. This option join the regular route at the laguna Azul, nice site to camp. After the cross country section was not difficult to follow and the end until Currarehue was alternation of (a bit) overgrown trails and minor roads (+ some barbed wire). Bus to Pucon every 20 min from Currarehue.
- 2019-Nov-18 / Sophie & Hendrik
90% - 95% of the area from 1500m upwards are completely covered in snow. Think about snow shoes and be careful as there are melting streams covered and hidden by snow. Also, unlike us, keep in mind that snow reflects the sun and can cause burns from below on your nose and chin.
- Kara Davis
Follow the main road, 199-CH, south out of Curarrehue until the gravel road turn off, S-981. After several kilometers, the road transitions to single track through a eucalyptus forest. Be careful to not follow one of the several other tracks that wind through the forest. The trail exits onto a gravel road, S-947, that follows Estero Huilico. Turn off onto a 4WD track, but be aware there are several other 4WD track spurs. The trail narrows into an obvious single track as you enter Parque Nacional Villarrica. Be prepared for the possibility of snow during this section at higher elevations. At treeline the trail ends and the cross-country traverse begins. This cross-country traverse follows the volcanic landscape at the base of Volcán Quetrupillán. During high snow years, Laguna Blanca may be frozen and snow covered. Be aware that snowpack may make parts of the GPS route difficult, and keep safety in mind when choosing a route. Instead of following the recommended route which ascends through a chute, snowpack forced us to climb up to a pass further to the left and then rejoin the route. Depending on the time of year, Laguna Azul may also be frozen, but water is available at the stream crossing at the southern end. After beginning the descent into the forest, try and find a well maintained trail. The trail joins a dirt road, T-447, which continues until the paved highway, 201-CH, to Carringue. Town: Carriringue. Carriringue is a tiny town with a small market which offers snacks but is difficult to resupply out of. There are also several signs advertising Cabañas.
Resupply and Accommodation
Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns
About 30 minutes bus ride off trail. A hiking tourism town that has everything a hiker might need
A little down the road from Currarehue. Has two small shops which probably sell pastas and other basic stuff
Resupply and Accommodation along the Route
You can buy bread and sopaipillas at the house right before the "bridge" waypoint just before Reyehueico.
A house in La Rinconada sells eggs
Some Aucaria trees
Transport to and from Route
2022-Jan: Busses go from Panguipulli to Reyehueico on weekdays, and from Valdivia to Panguipulli (two hours bus ride) every day. Hitching was quite easy for us even though it was raining.
The bus from Currarehue through Catripulli to Pucón leaves approximately every 15 minutes on weekdays, and every 30 minutes on weekends - goes in both directions - about 30 minutes
Bus Pucón - Curarrehue
Operator Igi Llaima, Terminal, Palguín 550
Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
Links to other Resources
Retired Section Article GPT16 - Volcán Quetrupillan