GPT30H - Coyhaique
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Recent Alerts and Suggestions
- 27 Nov 2022 Frank
Rio Nireguao near El Gato was not fordable in late November - chest deep & running fast. It was easily fordable & only knee deep in late January. Rio Nireguao is the only serious ford on GPT30. All other rivers had bridges or were easily fordable. It is highly advisable to attempt the ford SOBO only. It's a 10 minute walk from the road. If you are unable to cross it NOBO you will have to backtrack for 1 or 2 days.
Reserva National Coyhaique is open Tuesday-Sunday 9:00-16:00 but: You are required to register your visit on www.aspticket.cl Entry costs 6200 pesos for foreigners. The only trail currently open is a loop walk to Laguna Verde, not on the GPT. I asked if I could walk NOBO to exit the park at Rio Baguales. "No, closed" To avoid complications I walked around the park on the road. I got the bus to Rio Baguales & walked to Coyhaique, 13KM downhill. Any bus to Villa Ortega can drop you there. There is a carabinero post at Rio Baguales, I'm not sure if they would let you walk through it to enter the Reserva SOBO. Road is busy & parts are very dusty, not a nice walk, you could bus around it to start at Rio Baguales.
Duration: 5 Days, Direction: NoBo Participant: Tobías Schorcht
Difficulties: heat, Tábanos, entering Rerserva National Coyhaique
Highlights: Mountain??, friendly settlers, minimarked in El Gato
This stretch was surprisingly beatiful. Especially the people up there are very friendly and alwas up for a chat. Could not enter Reserva Coyhaique, because it was closed that day. The alternative Route leeds over private land of Alexandra Andreea Calfa (+56984608184) who wasn‘t there and could not let me in. So I had to do some roadwalking instead. I was very surprised to find a well equiped minimarked in El Gato!
Season Section Log
- 30-Mar-2023 Hiking / SOBO / Martin & Helena
We decided to go with more optional trails here, because of the weather forecast, and also because it is mostly road walking anyway. After a night spent close to the bus stop at the end of section 29, we continued on the Carretera until approx. km 5, where RR turns right to X-421, but we decided to continue around Lago Aguirre Cerda to Villa Manihuales. This part took us 1 day, but we were in the town quite early, so we could have a nice dinner (2-3 restaurants open, we went to the burger place), buy everything we needed and find a camp. We stayed for 10k CLP in Dona Ruth camp, where you have hot water, electricity, and a common refugio for cooking. From there we continued to the junction of X-500 and Route 7 and in the late afternoon connected back to the RR at km 88. No problem with passing around the settlements. We spent the night at km 93.7, by a small lake. The rest of the trail is again straightforward, even though we lost the track around km 115, and this made us take an unnecessary detour. It was because we followed some minor road in the forest, so keep an eye on the GPS there. Because of all the road walking, we found this section not so attractive, but especially the last part before Coyhaique had some nice views.
Contact: @martin_hanzelka @helenneka
- 23 Nov 2022 4 days RR mostly SOBO Frank
As I was unable to ford Rio Nireguao in late November I split the section as follows: 1. Bus to El Gato & walked 41KM from El Gato to Carratera Austral on road. 2. Walked from Rio Baguales to Coyhaique on road. 3. Bus to Villa Ortega & hitched to near Emperador Guillermo on Ruta 7 where the RR goes left over a bridge, walked from the bridge to Rio Baguales in 1 long day. 4. Got the bus to El Gato in late January, forded Rio Nireguao & walked to Ruta 7 near Emperador Guillermo in 1 very long day. 1. was NOBO & 2, 3 & 4 were SOBO.
1. I got the bus to 1KM before El Gato where the RR SOBO goes off road near a campsite to a ford on Rio Nireguao. I continued NOBO 41KM on the X421 gravel road. From El Gato you ascend 300 metres then only a couple of small ascents. Good scenery but it was raining & cloudy when I went through. A shop in El Gato & Cabanas although they normally rent to groups. No facilities after El Gato. When you reach the mine don't follow the track file which goes into the mine (there is a fence and an Entry Restricted sign) but stay on the X421 road which goes around the mine. Go left at a junction then over a bridge, you soon rejoin the track file. The road is fenced off with very few places to camp: a few KM after the mine where the road forks, the right fork goes past camping spots by the river. 3.7 KM before you reach the main road (Carratera Austral AKA Ruta 7) you can camp near a shrine to San Sebastian. It was a wild day with rain coming in horizontal sheets so I continued to Ruta 7 & hitched to Villa Manihuales. There is a bus stop where you reach Ruta 7 but only 1 or 2 buses a day, it's better to hitch.
3. Route is initially on small dirt roads then through fields & some CC. After you cross a stream near a waterfall you descend a gully choked with trees. Easiest to go down on LHS of gully. Descending to a big field I met some cows & one of them charged me. When I scared it back the cow crashed through a barbed wire fence. So keep your distance if you can. When you reach Rio Baguales there is a small footbridge about 200M upriver from where the RR crosses the stream. From the road I hitched back to Coyhaique.
4. A few kilometres after the Rio Nireguao ford you reach a road. RR goes by a settler's house, he was friendly. He told me there is a bridge over Rio Nireguao. I didn't see it but if it's where he described, it will be on or near the optional route a few km upstream from the RR ford. RR to Lago Largo is on road. As you approach Lago Largo the RR takes a shortcut to cut out a loop on the road but the shortcut is v. overgrown, best to stay on the road. The road continues from Lago Largo to Villa Manihuales but you go right on a small road which ends in the forest. Then you start going uphill CC in the forest. I went up about 200M right of the RR, there is a small trail initially. I continued up 200M right of RR sticking to less overgrown areas. As I approached treeline I contoured left to rejoin RR. The last 200M of ascent is above treeline. There were small snowfields as there had been a recent storm but I was able to go around them. The descent was easier on open scree then a track in the forest. Some young trees growing on the track but you can get through them with easy bush bashing. When you reach the road the route goes left. After about 2KM there is a campsite $ but I hitched out to Villa Manihuales.
|G: Aysen Norte
|Chile: Aysén (XI)
|Carretera Austral (Camino Picaflor)
|Minor Roads (MR)
|Primary Roads (PR)
|Published & Verified
|Jan - Apr (Maybe: Nov, Dec, May)
|109 km (1 Options & Variants)
|Total on Water
|2 (of 5)
|3 (of 5)
|Forest, Farmland, Settlers, Road Walking
|Demanding River Fords, Resupply Distance
Satellite Image Map
Elevation Profile of Regular Hiking Route
Section Planning Status
Recommended Travel Period
Benefits of Hiking and Packrafting
Recommended Travel Direction
It is best to attempt the crossing of Rio Nireguao SOBO.
Section Length and Travel Duration
Suitable Section Combinations
Bring supplies from Coyhaique. You can top up at a small shop in El Gato.
Several places to buy camping gas in Coyhaique
Services: ATM and Money Exchange
Accommodation: Hostals and Hotels
Cabanas in El Gato, they normally rent to groups. There is also a hospedaje advertised just before El Gato on RHS of road near the ford on Rio Nireguao.
Villa Manihuales, although not on the RR, is a handy base. Avoid Hostal Austral there, poor value & their dogs are muy loco, one of them bit me while I was talking to the owner. Hostal Manihuales near the square south of the bridge is good & cheap. Run by Carlos, if he's not there call him on +56 97625 5670
There is a campsite $ in El Gato next to the ford on Rio Nireguao. It may not be open early in the season.
Transport: Ground Transport
Transport: Shipping Services
Resupply on the Trail
Location, Names, Available Items and Services
Access to Route and Return
Access to Start
2023 info: There are buses from Coyhaique bus terminal to El Gato on Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 5AM & 4PM & on Sunday at noon & 4PM. The bus goes via Villa Ortega & Nirehuao & gets to El Gato in about 2 hours. They stop in El Gato for anything between 30 minutes & 1.5 hours before returning to Coyhaique.
There are occasional buses from Coyhaique to Villa Ortega & (less frequently) to Emperador Guillermo on Ruta 7.