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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
Frank partly on RR flip flop Dec 19-21 2023 and Jan 23 to 25 2024 6 days (4 full days and 4 half days including walkout after the hike)
1. I talked to the carabineros at Pampa Guanaco and they allowed me to walk to the border which is currently closed. Very little traffic but I hitched a lift for about 8KM with a worker from Estancia Bellavista which is near the border. Walked back and camped at Pampa Guanaco. The next day I hitched to Rio Grande via the San Sebastian border.
2. From Tolhuin I walked inland on roads to Laguna Negra & hitched back. You can walk from Tolhuin along Lago Fagnano to Laguna Negra which is nicer but a few KM longer. Laguna Negra is seperated from Lago Fagnano by a gravel reef. There is an alternative route along the reef (OH-BB&CC-A) but the reef has a small breach you would need to ford.
3. I got a taxi from Tolhuin. About 3.5KM from Laguna Negra the road goes left down to the lake & a jeep track continues straight ahead on RR. I walked in on the jeep track. On Openstreetmap it's shown as a trail & about the point where the OSM trail ends it becomes a horse track. It fades out in meadows but runs good through the forest. It mostly follows the track file but in places runs about 50-100 metres to the right of it. In clearings it fades out again but just follow the track file. At the point where the route divides the RR ran uphill on a small trail. I took the alternative route OH-TL&CC-V which led CC straight through the meadow, then in forest it joins a fence & you follow the fence out (handrail it) to another meadow. In a huge meadow the track file route was leading me back into the forest on no trail so I stayed in the meadow & handrailed the forest. In another meadow there was a corral & from the corral I found an old cart track which led me back to the track file route which soon followed a jeep track out to the road (Ruta 107)
Followed Ruta 107 a few KM to Ruta 18. Saw no traffic on Ruta 107. A few vehicles on Ruta 18. There is plenty of water in the forest & some in the meadows but once you are on the road there is no water until you reach a campsite at the West end of Lago Yehuin. I walked on Ruta 18 & in the evening I got a lift for about 6KM & walked down to a good campsite by a ruined Hosteria on Lago Yehuen. It's marked as Picnic Site on Openstreetmap.
4. From the camp at Lago Yehuin I walked to the road junction at Los Cerros. Here I paused the hike as the frontier at Bellavista is currently closed. I walked back about 11KM to the point where I got a lift the day before & then hitched back to Tolhuin.
5. In January went by Uber from Rio Grande to the Bellavista border which cost about 25,000 pesos or 21 euro. Uber is cheaper than taxi. I asked the Argentinian police and they allowed me to walk to the border without crossing it. I continued on RR SOBO from the border via Estancia San Jose. Route goes CC from the Estancia then picks up a small trail which bypasses Estancia San Justo. It soon joins a road which you follow for 14KM. The road becomes a good horse trail which continues to Puesto 38.2. Met the Puesto owner riding out. Then route is CC for a bit. All CC sections I walked were easy in open terrain and I never went more than 3KM of true CC before encountering a jeep, guanaco or cow trail. All river crossings were easy and knee deep or less in late January. A jeep track leads towards Rio Turbo, left it to ford the river and about 2KM after the ford I joined a good cow trail which led out towards Puesto 52.4. It becomes a jeep track as it nears the Puesto, which is visible from a long way off. The Puesto was occupied and they spotted me and came out in a jeep. They were friendly and invited me to stay at the Puesto.
6. I continued from Puesto 54.2 on a quad track, picked it up again after fording the river but it soon becomes a cow trail which fades out, then went CC. Trail led towards Puesto 69.3 which is good and was unoccupied. A road led out from the puesto but after about 4KM it starts to go the wrong way and I left it to go CC towards a forest, then handrailed the forest staying outside it on small trails. The route pulls away from the river, climbing slightly. At the high point there is an old puesto, not marked on current track file. It was raining and I cooked in the puesto and camped in a corral behind it. The puesto is dirty and OK for cooking but best to camp nearby.
7. From the old puesto the RR drops to the river on a good trail. It is not shown on the map but you drop to the junction of two rivers and you need to ford the first river at the point where it splits into two channels forming a big island. Then continue high on bluffs above the second river which is shown on the map. Pull away from the river on guanaco trails which join a good cow trail. You come to the junction between the RR and OHCCMRA Here the RR continues on cow trail. I went left CC on OHCCMRA which drops into a small valley. Very soon, before some beaver dams, you need to leave the valley and follow the track file route down, detouring a little off it to avoid bush bashing. When you descend to the valley there is a hut, no door but in good condition, it has a stove, two beds and a mattress. Forded the river easily, my last ford of more than 400 on GPT Santiago to Ushuaia. You go out from the ford and soon find cow trails and a jeep track. Only the first 2KM of OHCCMRA are CC. The point marked Buildings 6803 on the track file is Estancia Rio Claro and a good road leads out from there. The Estancia is in use but there was no one there. I continued to the main road at Los Cerros. There was no traffic and I walked out to the point where a road leads down to Lago Yehuin. Very quiet, I waited 4 hours but didnt get a lift so went down and camped at the lake again.
8. I walked out about 15KM, saw no traffic en route. Approaching Estancia Rivadavia I saw the estancia workers in a jeep. I waved to them and they drove back and picked me up. I then hitched out from near the Estancia to Tolhuin in a logging truck.
Resupply and Accommodation
Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns
There is one shop selling camping gas in Tolhuin. Also a big Anonima supermarket. You can also get gas in Rio Grande & it has several supermarkets & a few outdoor shops. Hostal Argentino in Rio Grande is good value.
Resupply and Accommodation along the Route
Frank December 2023 There are cabanas at Estancia Carmen. I met the owner & they are open. There should be a restaurant there also. It's called Refugio Corazon Fueguino.
Transport to and from Route
There are regular minibuses from Tolhuin to Ushuaia & Rio Grande
Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
Frank Januaray 2024. I was told that the border will reopen on 1st February. They are building a bigger bridge which hopefully will withstand the winter rains. If the border is closed you can talk to the Argentinian border police and they should allow you to walk to the border without crossing it.
I met the owner of Estancia San Jose. He was friendly but at first told me to walk around the Estancia on the road. After a discussion he allowed me to go through on the RR. Estancia San Justo is currently locked in a legal dispute over ownership and there is no one there. If you want to avoid possible issues you could stay on the road from the border and then follow OH-MR-V68A which is a road going through Estancia San Justo (a bit longer than the RR which goes through Ea. San Jose)
Links to other Resources
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