From El Chalten
, head to the north end of town and look for the signs that say "Senda a Fitz Roy
." As you gain elevation on switchbacks you quickly move through a Southern Beech forest. Most of the initial elevation gain is in the first mile. You'll pop out of the forest and get some nice vistas of El Chalten
and Rio de las Vueltas
. From there, you'll encounter some climbable rock (rhyolite) outcroppings.
As you come upon the Rio de la Cascada
river valley at about 2 miles, the trail flattens out and heads into the forest. At this point you can make a cut left for a detour to the Laguna Capri
. If the weather is clear after another mile you'll come to Mirador Fitz Roy
where you'll get you first view of the famous mountain. Slowly you meet back up with the river where it spreads out in a open wetland with some expansive views. This is also where the trail meets up with the Madre e Hija
trail. Continue on some raised walkways and bridges until you reach the campground, Campamiento Poincenot
. Most people stop here and camp.
The trail continues where it weaves it way through the bleached white rocks and braided waters of the Rio Blanco
. As you cross the river you are soon back in the forest after a total of about 5 miles. The next mile the trail rockets up precipitously switching back and forth up the steep face. Finally the trail starts to dome off and drops you off in the glacial till at the edge of the powder blue waters of Lago de los Tres
. The trail offers spectacular views, and once you've had your fill, return the way that you came.
Birds include Condor, Buzzard- Eagle, Magellanic Woodpecker, Torrent duck, Burrowing Parrots. In addition, you can see the Huemul (a tiny, elusive deer), and potentially the Patagonian fox and puma.