GPT08 - Volcán Chillan
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Recent Alerts and Suggestions
- 2022-Jan-24 / Molly and Melissa
At the "gate" waypoint, we actually met two men installing a new metal gate. They told us we needed permission to pass, and that the owner would come by shortly. We talked to her, and at first she was very determined not to let us through. I don't know what convinced her - we showed her our garbage bag and shovel to show we would leave no trace, we told about the gpt and how far we had walked. She also expressed concern for her animals being disturbed, or that we would get lost. We then showed her our personal locator beacon, and she finally softened and told us we could go through if we payed 5000 pesos each and continued all the way to Laguna Hermosa, past her lands, before we made camp. She also owns the puesto marked on the route. If going northbound and wanting to avoid a potential conflict, it might be better to take the option along the ridge.
- 2019-Nov-10 / Jan Dudeck
Volcan Chillán remains active. The regular route passes the crater closely therefore Option 1 appears currently the saver if someone does not want skip section GPT08 completely. This option passes the danger zone with more distance. In case of an eruption volcanic ash is likely to affect Option 1 but the risk of direct volcanic effects is lower (flash flood from melting snow and glaciers, land slides, lava and flying rocks).
- 2019-Jan-13 / Martin Lizondo / Regular Route Southbound
Volcán Chillán was in "alerta naranja".
Río Ñuble impassable at S36° 50.188' W71° 14.935' Better continue following the minor road in the alternative route.
When hiking the alternative east route (Paso Aguila) do not descend to the valley at S36° 57.919' W71° 14.752'. It's unmantained and overgrounded, because of recent forest fires. Better stay above the tree line until Laguna El Lobo.
Season Section Log
- 2022-01-28 to 2022-02-06 | Veronika & Jo | GPT08 RR SOBO
Los Sauces -> banks of Rio Ñuble -> hot springs at flanks of Chillan (-> escape to Concepción via Termas de Chillan to buy new shoes -> hot springs at flanks of Chillan) -> Los Peucos -> camp before Laguna Laja -> Laguna Hermosa -> camping Lagunillas (6 proper hiking days)
Nice section again. Hot springs in the first half, beautiful views of Laguna Laja, Volcán Antuco, Siella Veluda in the second half. Laguna Hermosa is true to its name, and was the first to not have horse or cow droppings on its sandy shores :D Sad to not have crossed Molly and Melissa.
- The lady at the cable car was not sure whether we could cross with our heavy backpacks, so we forded the river at Los Sauces.
- From about km 20 the sides of the road are fenced. The camp at km 21.6 is no longer available.
- There is a gate at S 36° 49.177', W 071° 15.206' (blocking access to the trail) marked private, no entry. We saw some cars returning through a second gate (blocking access to the river) and asked if it was ok to cross the first gate. They said "For you, sure." I get the impression that Chileans rather want to keep Chileans out... This gate is not a problem NOBO.
- Fording Rio Ñuble was the deepest ford we ever did. Balls deep indeed! Quite doable though, as the water is clear.
- There may be an alternative path on the western bank, starting at the wooden bridges at S 36° 49.177', W 071° 15.206'. Some local at the San Fabián tourist office mentioned having hiked this way.
- The trail at S 36° 49.177', W 071° 15.206' (around km 30) has eroded. After searching, we had to push through some bushes on a steep ridge to continue the trail. Maybe more obvious NOBO.
- At the start of the cross country at km 34.6 get to the top of the lava strip after fording the river. For us, this was easiest at S 36° 52.853', W 071° 18.793'.
- The water at the camp at km 37.3 was mostly dried up. Don't count on it by the end of January.
- The bus stop at Termas de Chillan is close go Hotel Nevados de Chillan. There are way more buses at Las Trancas de Chillan, 8 km down the road. Fortunately, the whole area has great 4G coverage with Entel, so you can look up the bus tables with the key words "REM bus Termas de Chillan".
- The CONAF camp Los Peucos has excellent hot springs and a mini shop. Camping costs 10.000 pp. The guards are very friendly and donated some fruit :)
- The CC section around km 95 had a clear path, but the subsequent TL section before Laguna El Roble did not.
- The trail after Laguna Hermosa was hard to find, we went quite slowly clambering on the loose scree or sand. Going down the mountain ridge at the end of the CC section was similarly difficult. Fell twice - could not find solid footing on the slope.
- The lady at the puesto at km 121.6 was friendly, asked where we came from, went to, and pointed us to the exit road. She seemed friendly, but a subtle hint to "please stay off my land" would have been lost on us in translation. The new metal gate is easy to pass through. The CONAF guard's wife at the final CONAF post mentioned that we were hiking the "sendero biologico" when we mentioned Laguna Hermosa. This trail must pass over the lady's land too?
- The ATM at Antuco is broken.
- Supermercado Santa Teresa in Antuco sells 125ml bottles of alcohol desnaturalizado 96° in the nail polish section.
- 2022-Jan-24 / RR northbound + OH Cerro Las Águilas / Molly and Melissa / 6.5 days
We took the bus to Abanico and hitched to the national park, not the easiest as all the cars were full. The car was stopped at the entrance, and we had to explain our route. We weren't asked to pay, probably because we weren't really going to the national park. You walk a little through it though on some nice paths, and then you reach a gravel road. Shortly after, at the "gate" waypoint, we actually met two men installing a new metal gate. They told us we needed permission to pass, and that the owner would come by shortly. We talked to her, and at first she was very determined not to let us through. I don't know what convinced her - we showed her our garbage bag and shovel to show we would leave no trace, we told about the gpt and how far we had walked. She also expressed concern for her animals being disturbed, or that we would get lost. We then showed her our personal locator beacon, and she finally softened and told us we could go through if we payed 5000 pesos each and continued all the way to Laguna Hermosa, past her lands, before we made camp. She also owns the puesto marked on the route. If going northbound and wanting to avoid a potential conflict, it might be better to take the option along the ridge. As noted previously, after climbing to the ridge on the rr, the terrain is difficult, but the views are amazing. Not a lot of water, but we managed. Many of the campsites off route, including Laguna Hermosa, require quite a climb down. You stay high up quite a while, which gives amazing views.
The cross country along Laguna Laja has a nice path all the way. Then you reach Patricio's puesto. He's very welcoming, and has had people stay in his puesto before. We just drank coffee with him though. His brother German lives in the valley right after Laguna el Roble, but his puesto is hidden in the trees.
- Alternative route Cerro Las Águilas
We chose the Cerro las Águilas alternative, because Volcán Chillán was in yellow alert. While walking there, we met two carabineros on horseback who wanted to know which way we went. Don't know if they would have forbidden the rr. The ascent to Laguna el Lobo is through deep sand, it was very tough and took way longer than we thought. We ended up camping at the Laguna which was nice enough. The ascent from there of the first little hill seemed completely unnecessary to us, at least if you have been by the laguna, as you descend to the same level. It would be worth it to walk to the right and ascend directly on the brown mountain, following the GPS from there. The ridge walk was tough as well, a lot of scrambling. The GPS often wanted us to go right of the rocky tops, where going left or directly over often seemed easier/safer. There is no water until the valley between the two passes. There, we also found a nice campsite right after the big stream on the bottom, a little to the left. After reaching Rio Ñuble, you follow it for a long time. There are multiple streams running towards it where we had to take off our shoes - no lack of water here, though. The alternative also fords Rio Ñuble itself in a different location compared to the rr - we had no problems whatsoever there. It reached mid-thigh and wasn't too strong, and we are both around 160 cm. It is a very low snow year though, and very dry. Here would be a nice place to camp.
After rejoining the rr, we decided to continue to the waypoint "camp". That was a mistake, though, as everything around there is fenced in with big signs saying "private property". The second campsite right after is not fenced in, but doesn't look that good on the first glance. The rest of the way to Puente Ingles is gravel road. El Roble has a house that sells sodas - it has a "bebidas" sign. We crossed Rio Los Sauces beneath the cable cars quite easily, the water was mid-thigh - again very dry year.
- Puente Ingles
In Puente Ingles we stayed at a campsite a little north of the cable car crossing, marked on the map in Locus Maps as "lugar". It is 10,000 per tent, there are bathrooms, cold showers and tables. They also have a cabaña which was occupied. Puente Ingles has a small shop with sodas, ice cream, tortillas, biscuits, coffee and chips. It is quite nice to bath in the river. The bus still leaves at 7 and 10 in the morning.
- 2021-Dec-15/ RR NoBo/Marc Anthony
5.5 days Beautiful view of volcán Antuco when walking up towards the ridge line by Laguna Laja and a staying at Los Peucos camping site was a big highlight on my journey on the GPT. Had my dinner in their wonderful hot spring while staring at the clear starlit sky in the cool night. Two nice guys working here and they even donated me some pasta, fruits and vegetables. Walking near the active Chillán Volcano and watching the fumaroles while being circled by a group of condors was also a cool experience.
With that said, this section kicked my ass. Mainly due to some bad fitting shoes I recently bought in Los Ángeles and because I suffered from bad chafing in my butt which made me walk like I had shit my pants for a couple of days. This combined with some tough terrain (specially near Laguna Laja) and countless of horseflies made this section quite challenging for me. But definitely worth it!
Like mentioned by hikers in the previous years fording Rio Ñuble can be a bit demanding especially for shorter people. It was getting late when I reached the river so I decided to camp nearby and cross the river in the morning. Had water up to the balls (i’m 189cm) and the current a bit strong but it was not too bad. Hitched a ride from Puente El Ingles to San Fabian and later jumped on a bus to Chillán to buy new shoes once again. Room with private bathroom for 15.000 at hostal El Molino in San Fabian, nice lady who owns the place.
- Start Date: January 4, 2020
- Section: GPT 8 Southbound
- Duration: 6 Days
- Name/Alias: Ian Hikes + Tobias
- Overview: This section takes you thru some remote areas around the Chillan Volcano region. This section has many hot springs and thermal activity as the volcano is very active these days. This section is longer, and we went a few days at a time without seeing people. The tall jagged mountains make many of the canyons hard to access along with the many parks and reserves. The lower half has you walking around Laguna Laja across the ridgeline which offers amazing views in all direction later giving way to spectacular views of volcan antuco
- Difficulties: Difficult terrain, lots of vertical gain and very remote. Also lots of route finding and cross country above the tree line and big mountain passes. Resupply distance.
- Highlights: Hot Springs!! (The most amazing hot springs I have ever visited in my life) Beautiful mountain passes, great views in all directions and especially of volcan Chillan and Antuco
- Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2020-Jan-20 / Martin / Optionsl start south OH 08 - 02 SOBO/ 3.5 days
3.5 days. Solo. Because I was not allowed to walk close to the Volcanoe by the carabineros, following the RR, had to take the optional start south OH 08 - 02, in Nevados de Chillán Ski Resort. Funny enough, I walked the first day across the volcanoe anyway, it had some smoke coming out but nothing dangerous happened. Then followed RR to the end. Cross country segments in the ridge close to Laguna del Laja were demanding and not ideal for a solo hiker. But it was worth the effort, one of the most amazing views I have seen so far. Beautiful section. Resupplied and stayed for one night in Abanico.
- 2020-Jan-05 /Ty & America / RR SOBO/ 3 days
Can ford river @ los sauces easily rather than walking from Puente Ingles. Cable Car was all Locked up. Registration @ El Roble like the others. We camped at the hot rivers close to Volcan Chillan and I fucked up with the gasoline in my stove. Buzzkill...: but Fortunately there was an exit to Termas De Chillan close. We got rides easily from the road.
- 2020-Jan-03 / Maddie & Tom / Regular Route Southbound
4.5 days. Starting at El Ingles and hiking southbound towards Abanico. Lovely section however can be slow at times when the track is hard to follow. We had to register with the Carabineros at El Roble. Before crossing Rio Nuble there is a large gate with ‘private property: no entry’ written on it. We found this off putting. The river crossing itself was fine in the early morning but could be challenging without trekking poles and with a very heavy pack. After the Laguna de La Laja the track becomes especially more challenging and rocky. In poor weather it could be dangerous given the slippery slopes and steep descents. We honestly found this section harder than GPT06 and would swap the difficulty ratings. Took a bus into Los Angeles at 5pm to resupply for the next section. Did not investigate Abanico as we caught the bus as it was leaving.
- 2020-Jan-02 / Martina & Ivo / Regular route southbound (and optional hike along Laguna de la Laja)
6 days from Los Sauces to Abanico.
Los Sauces: If you tell the bus driver you want to cross the river by cable car (carro azul) he honks at the bus stop and señor Marcial comes from the other side to get you.
Ford Rio Ñuble: If you are a dwarf like me, you should ask your taller hiking partner to carry your backpack, otherwise it will get wet. Demanding.
Volcan Chillan: PLEASE NOTE: We were absolutely aware that our buddy Volcano could erupt or explode at ANY GIVEN MOMENT and that this was NOT a SAFE option to hike. (But it was beautiful! ...and a bit overgrown in some places. There is not much of the trail left before the first pass.)
Laguna de la Laja: It was beautiful but we definitively wouldn't recommend it. There is no trail along the Laguna. At the beginning you can walk on cow tracks close to the waterfront. Afterwards it's 15 km of cross country. The 3 km into the third inlet took us 3 hours and were really dangerous because of loose rocks and steep cliffs. The following investigation part (@08-04-#002) was mainly a quite nice trail, but we lost it twice and it took us ages to find it again, and in this steep and not very easy terrain you don't want to loose the trail. We were really glad when we got back to the regular route.
From Abanico there are several buses per day going directly to Los Angeles. Resupply in Abanico is possible.
- 30-Dec-2019 / Matus & Anna / SOBO through Optional 1
It took us 5 days. We had to register in Carabinieros. They didn't have a problem with leting us go even regular route, seemed like eventual crossing to Argentina is their primary issue. Optional 1 - to the juction with valley walk without problem. Cross coutry part on the ridge was easy to navigate. On downhill there is no trail so we went crosscountry again. It's bit overgrown in some spots, we found trail cca after half of descend. Last flowing water is before juction with valley walk. We saw some water holes cca 2-3km before Laguna de Lobo. Rest of the regular trail - cross coutry sections were demanding. Otherwise no problem. We got hitch to Los Angeles after CONAF station so no idea about resuply or accomodation.
|GPT08: Volcán Chillan||Hiking||Packrafting|
|Group||B: Zona Arrieros||Total||140.1 km||47 h||134.3 km||43 h|
|Region||Chile: Bío Bío (VIII)||Trails (TL)||80.1 km||57.2%||56.6 km||42.1%|
|Start||Puente Ingles||Minor Roads (MR)||41.9 km||29.9%||39.5 km||29.4%|
|Finish||Abanico||Primary Roads (PR)||8.7 km||6.2%||9.5 km||7.1%|
|Status||Published & Verified||Cross-Country (CC)||9.4 km||6.7%||5.8 km||4.3%|
|Traversable||Jan - Mar (Maybe: Dec, Apr)||Bush-Bashing (BB)||-||-||-||-|
|Connects to||GPT07, GPT09||Investigation (I)||-||-||-||-|
|Options||271 km (6 Options & Variants)||Exploration (EXP)||-||-||-||-|
|Hiking||Packrafting||Total on Water||22.8 km||17.0%|
|Attraction||5 (of 5)||5 (of 5)||River (RI)||-||-|
|Difficulty||4 (of 5)||4 (of 5)||Lake (LK)||22.8 km||17.0%|
|Direction||Both ↓↑||Both ↓↑||Fjord (FJ)||-||-|
|Character||Forest, Alpine Terrain, Volcanic Terrain, Summit Ascents, Hot Springs, Mountain Pastures, Arrieros|
|Challenges||Demanding River Fords, Exposure to Elements, Clambering, Resupply Distance|
Satellite Image Map
Elevation Profile of Regular Hiking Route
Elevation Profile of Regular Packrafting Route
Section Planning Status
Recommended Travel Period
Benefits of Hiking and Packrafting
Recommended Travel Direction
Section Length and Travel Duration
Suitable Section Combinations
At least one restaurant with pizza Store?
- Antuco (from Abanico)
Many smaller supermarkets, which have most things - easy enough to resupply here. One of the two ferreterías has gas (the one furthest from Abanico). Many accommodation options and some restaurants. There is an ATM at the town square which even gives some smaller notes. Bus to Los Angeles
- Puente Ingles
Store with chips, ice cream, bread, chocolate, sodas. Possibly some accomodation option at the store. Campground with one cabaña a little further down the room - sign says cabañas - 10,000 per tent, toilets with cold showers and a room with a fireplace for cooking
- San Fabián (from Puente Ingles)
Many accommodation options - almost everything was fully booked when we were there (Feb 2022). Supermercado La Montaña seems to be the best option - not the easiest place to resupply, but definitely possible. Harder than in Antuco. Great Venezuelan restaurant Canela Passion. Bus to San Carlos
Services: ATM and Money Exchange
Accommodation: Hostals and Hotels
Transport: Ground Transport
Transport: Shipping Services
Resupply on the Trail
Location, Names, Available Items and Services
Access to Route and Return
Access to Start
- San Fabian to Puente Ingles
Bus at 2 pm and 6 p.m. in front of the carabineros including Sundays and Holidays.
- Puente Ingles to San Fabián
Bus at 7 am and 10 am - leaves from the campground, drives to the shop and the back again towards San Fabián
Return from Finish
Bus from Antuco to Los Angeles about once an hour in daytime. A few buses from Abanico to Antuco or you can hitch fairly easily.