A Guide to Trekking Mount Fitz Roy
With glaciers wrapped around tall dark mountain peaks, and continual wind blowing through fields and forests, Patagonia’s wild landscape may seem daunting and unconquerable. However, trekking Mount Fitz Roy proves to be an exhilarating and perfectly achievable experience for any level of athlete.
Located in Parque Nacional Los Glaciers, Argentina’s National Park, Mount Fitz Roy is the most popular trekking destination in all of Argentine Patagonia.
Mount Fitz Roy has several trailheads, most of which start directly in the town of El Chalten. The closest airport to Mount Fitz Roy is in Calafate. Several buses run daily directly from Calafate to El Chalten. Upon entry to town, all buses stop at the park office and the entire bus unloads to hear a brief talk about the park and it’s trails. The town’s main industry is tourism and it does an excellent job of helping travelers prepare for Fitz Roy.
El Chalten is a well-planned, small resort community with accommodations ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels. Catering to the traveler, there are restaurants and coffee shops a plenty, as well as small tourist shops that carry local products. Companies also offer many other types of excursions such as fishing, horseback riding, and rock climbing trips.
Argentina has put no small effort into making this destination ready for trekkers. The park boasts meticulously maintained trails and well-marked paths. Many kilometers into the park, the paths are still perfectly cut and occasionally even lined with stones.
Numerous trailheads and many paths give trekkers great flexibility in planning their route. Trips can last from 2-5 days depending on how many areas the hiker desires to see and side trails they opt to hike. While camping is only permitted in designated camping areas, there are many throughout the park and it is not hard to plan your route around them. All the camping areas are located near water sources and outhouses.
Day Hikes: Prefer to sleep in a warm bed every night with delicious Patagonian lamb served in quaint restaurants? Thanks to proximity of El Chalten, the park is almost entirely accessible on a series of day hikes and many stores offer box lunches. Pack some water, grab a map, and enjoy hikes varying from 2-8 hours each.