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Mount Fitz Roy Treks and Hikes

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Rising from the ground to a staggering height of 3,359m, Mount Fitz Roy is one of the most formidable peaks to conquer in the world. The mountain sits in Los Glaciares National Park in Argentinian Patagonia and is iconic in shape with sheer jagged edges and no discernable walking path. In brief, Fitz Roy is no easy climb. With only an average of one person making it to the top of this mountain each year, the eight-day expedition to its summit is not hugely popular – or easy. Yet many people travel to the vicinity to trek one of the several routes on or around the mountain.

Routes Around Mount Fitz Roy

Hikers and trekkers who don’t want to go all out can take one of the easier routes that lead to various passes and valleys around Mount Fitz Roy. In fact, the day hikes here are known to be world class. Hikers and trekkers who don’t want to go all out can take one of the easier routes that lead to various passes and valleys around Mount Fitz Roy. In fact, the day hikes here are known to be world class.

1. Fitz Roy Hikes

These day hikes usually last a few hours and are suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels. Head through some of the most beautiful parts of the Fitz Roy Massif and see sparkling glacial lakes and breath-taking vistas.

The most popular day hike route to Fitz Roy is the Laguna de Los Tres Trail. From El Chaltén, the town that sits at the bottom of Mount Fitz Roy, this hike leads you right to the base of the mountain. The trail takes hikers past the stunning Piedras Blancas glacier, the breath-taking Laguna de Los Tres viewpoint and the gorgeous Laguna Capri. The route takes between 7–9 hours to complete.

2. Fitz Roy Treks

Mount Fitz Roy Trek
A trekker gets a glimpse of Mt. Fitz Roy during the trek

If a hike just isn’t enough for you then you might want to opt for a trek. This option allows you to cover far more ground than a one-day trip would. Generally, treks take travellers through the centre of the park so they can see the best of Mount Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre and Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. Other sights you could see include Electrico Valley, Tunel Valley and Paso del Viento (Pass of the Wind). In the evenings, groups set up camp in the stunning alpine wilderness and take advantage of the spectacular star-gazing opportunities.

One of the more popular 2-day treks starts in El Chaltén, reaches the bases of Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy, and comes back. On the Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy two-day trek, you will see everything that a day hike would offer, plus a whole host of other incredible sights. Points of interest along the route include Madre and Hija lakes, Laguna Sucia and the Torre Valley. You can expect to walk around 8 hours on the first day and 9 on the second. You will camp at the Poincenot Campsite.

3. Ice Cap Treks

If you’re feeling really adventurous then you might want to try one of the ice cap treks. This is as close as you will get to the peak of Mount Fitz Roy without having to do any extreme climbing. It takes a couple of days to reach the ice caps but once you are there the views are second to none. Be prepared for extreme weather and incredibly strong winds once you’re up there.

How to get there

Getting to El Chaltén is relatively easy thanks to Argentina’s excellent network of public transport. First you will need to get to El Calafate by plane from any of Argentina’s big cities. Routes are serviced regularly by LADE airline and prices are very reasonable. Once you are in El Calafate it is simply a matter of catching a bus to El Chaltén. The bus journey takes about 3 – 4 hours but can be longer if the weather is or has recently been bad.

El Chalten Patagonia, Argentina
El Chalten village in the Argentinean Patagonia

Top Tips

  • Patagonia is not cheap so make sure your budget can accommodate the activities you want to do there.
  • Patagonia is not cheap so make sure your budget can accommodate the activities you want to do there.
  • You do not need a visa to visit Argentina as long as you are only going for less than 90 days. Travel tips on Argentina can help you plan a better trip.
  • The routes around the park are well marked and signposted so don’t worry about getting lost while you’re there.
  • Taking your own camping and trekking equipment will save you a lot of money. For more information, read our guide to equipment needed when trekking.
  • Be aware that the weather in Patagonia could change in a heartbeat, so be prepared. Know when to visit Patagonia before you start planning.
  • Make sure you have a tent that can withstand the extreme weather and isn’t likely to blow away in the wind.
  • Open fires are prohibited in the park so you will need to take a stove with you if you plan on cooking.

Amongst the many amazing treks and hikes in Patagonia, a Fitz Roy hike or trek ascertains that less is more. The incredible vistas and the sense of accomplishment that a Fitz Roy route can offer in a day or two days’ time is unrivalled. Despite its popularity, there are ample opportunities to completely detach yourself from the world and explore areas of untouched natural beauty without a single other person in sight. 

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