Dientes de Navarino
Trekking in Tierra del Fuego – Day 2
Laguna del Salto – Laguna Escondida
Hiking 10.8 km Asct: 624 m Descent: 722 m Max Elevation: 835 m
Accurate height profile
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After a long breakfast and foto session it was time to start the hike.
After dismantling our tent, we continue to walk on the shore of the Laguna del Salto until we reach a small stream (Hito 11). From here it is straight uphill, this stream leads you through a flat meadow with nice little campsites (Hito 12) after which it goes uphill again.
Over rocky ground, we enter the Paso Primero. Here it is common to find snow even during summertime (Hito 13).
Later that day we observe our first real highlight, the Paso Australia (Hito 14). The Paso Australia marks one of the highest points of the entire trek (776 m). Be careful while passing the Paso Australia, the snow might be slippery. We used crampons for this passage.
Above the Laguna del Paso is the perfect spot for a small break, you will have a fantastic view over the Laguna and the enclosed mountains.
Our trek continues at the southern side (left)of the lake, towards the Paso de Los Dientes (H15), with 865 m the highest point of the entire circuit. The Picacho Diente de Navarino (1118 m) is towering over this beautiful pond. You might have the chance to glimpse a view of Cape Horn and its neighboring islands.
Cape Horn is the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego. Although not the most southerly tip of South America (which is the Diego Ramírez Archipel). Cape Horn identifies the northern edge of the Drake Passage and presents the point where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet.
We spotted several possible campsites next to the lake (which might be windy during the night).
We keep west (right) and descend, crossing a small ridge, through southern beech forests. Here the trail split, and you can continue towards the Lago de Windhond, we headed 240 degrees west to the Laguna de Los Dientes (Hito 16).
You’ll notice a pyramidal shaped mountain known as Cerro Gabriel, located at the northern shore of Laguna de Los Dientes. Here the trail is getting muddy and even a few hundred meters of the trek can take a while to complete. Close to the Laguna de Los Dientes are several camping spots, a few of them are even wind protected (Hito 17). The lagoon is located between the rocky ridges of the Dientes de Navarino mountain range.
Slightly uphill, the trail meanders in about 40 minutes to the Laguna Escondida (Hito 18).
Right on the shore are some weather-exposed campsites, but already a few minutes upstream, you can camp superbly. The day was nearly windless, and we decide to camp close to the Laguna.
If you are planning to purchase a tent for this trek, make sure that the footprint is as small as possible. We had difficulties to find a spot for our tent, and we were forced to settle at a more exposed campsite (Hito 19). During the night the wind gusts got so strong that the tent was pressed down on our bodies. The loud whirlwind makes sleeping nearly impossible. It felt like hours before we finally fell asleep. During the night we had to fix the tent a couple of times due to the high wind speeds.