GPT50 (Cabo Froward)
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* Start Date to Finish Date (use Format YYYY-MMM-DD) / Duration in Days / Hiking or Packrafting / Travel Direction (SOBO for Southbound or NOBO Northbound) / Chosen Route and/or Option Name (RR for Regular Route) / Names or Alias
Summary with remarks to route that are considered useful for other hikers and packrafters. Include alerts, suggestions and personal perception of attractiveness and difficulties.
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- 1 Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions
- 2 Resupply and Accommodation
- 3 Transport to and from Route
- 4 Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
- 5 Links to other Resources
- 6 Images
Section Log, Alerts and Suggestions
- 2023-Jan-20 / 4 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR / Tom Pieper
This section was a worthy final for my journey on the GPT! Even seeing at least 2-3 other hikers per day it felt really remote. I enjoyed the long walking on the beaches and the special atmosphere up at the cross at cabo froward, looking down the magellan strait and imagine the first sailors passing this strenous passage. Its possible to do this track in an enjoyale pace in 4 days in good weather, but I guess it to be much harder in bad weather. Especially in strong winds walking will be much slower at the coast. I found the short inland sections really nice - only a little muddy but nothing serious and an impressive landscape. I tooked a packraft which helped me crossing the second river, but if you have enough time I recomment to not carry it on the track. Going in the packraft close to the shore looked feasible in some moments but wind turns often and you do not want to be blown onto the sea here! I found the tide tables for cabor froward more accurate (I provided a link). The fox is present at the camp south of the 3rd river. He completely devastated the tents of two chilenos who made a day trip to the cabo. Hang ALL your food higher than 2 m. He can jump pretty high and even reached their food hanging at 1.5 m :D There is also a tame fox living near Bahia del Aguila. You might see him relaxing on the beach. Saw also colibris. The seem to love the fuchsia bushes.
There were many people and cars at the parking lot. Hitchhiking was no problem at this time of the year.
- Frank RR 3 days 29-31/12/2023
1. I got the bus to San Juan. Last stop is @ Rio Santa Maria (the stop is marked on OSM) Not much traffic @ 9AM so I walked 8KM to the roadhead. On the road there is a house with some boats. A big dog came out & started attacking me but 4 people came along & when in a group he retreated. Easy walking to the hut. Saw a whale, some penguins & dolphins near the lighthouse. The first river is v. easy, I was able to jump it. 2nd & 3rd river crossings were both easy & knee deep within 90 minutes of low tide. There are sticks marking the crossings. Cross about half way between the sticks & the sea. The 3rd crossing is a little shallower than 2nd but can be harder as it flows faster. Approaching the third crossing there are two small basic sheds on the beach, good for a break but not sleeping. 300M after the sheds a route going into the forest is marked. At low or mid tide it's easier to stay on the shore. There are some rocks but it's easier than navigating the maze of fallen trees. The forest route may be better @ high tide. Camped after the 3rd crossing. The water @ 1st river is good. 2nd & 3rd river water needs to be filtered. It was still green after filtering but tasted OK.
2. Continued to the cape. Stayed on the coast all the way apart from one place where it cliffs out & you do a short workaround on ropes & fallen trees. The shore is mostly rock, not difficult by GPT standards but it's slow going, about 2KMPH. Good trail up from last campsite on the 300M ascent to cross. Several small streams along the way. I returned to the 3rd & 2nd rivers & crossed both easily near low tide. Crossed the 2nd @ 10PM & camped after the crossing.
3. Tired after 2 long days. Had a long break @ the hut & walked easily out to the road. After a few KM I hitched to Punta Arenas. Lots of people camping & cooking asados as it was new years eve.
At the 3rd camp he ripped a tent & punctured a sleeping mat when only food wrappers were inside. He also snatched food hung too low from a tree. Recommendation: If you go from 3rd camp to cape on daytrip, take all your food & rubbish with you. Take down tent & hang your gear as high as you can in a tree. If it has no traces of food it will be OK. There was some rope @ Camp 3 (after the crossing) but best to bring 10M of light cord with you.
- 2023-04-12 to 2023-04-16 / 5 days / Hiking / Circuit SOBO & NOBO / RR from km 19.7 there and back / Jakub & Veronika
We hiked this beautiful and remote trail from and to the parking lot. The trail is hard, especially in the humid weather (the stones on the beaches are more slippery further you get), but there are no problems with the orientation on the trail, you just need to follow the track files when you're not sure, where to next. Usually you can choose between walking on the beach (low tide) and forest path closer or further from the shore (hight tide). We recommend to take the further one at least ones so you see the endless peatbogs with miniatures of Chilean cyprus trees (here the late season and morning frost helps with harder surface) and deep Andean primary forrest. The thing that complicates all is tide. You NEED to have tide charts with you (see below). Sleeping is easy, puesto serves for the first night just fine with still usable stove and benches to sleep on (if anybody could provide an ax, please do it, it would be a great help to others 😉 and camsites are on both sides of all rivers and even in the middle of them. Last but not least, we have one personal wish, when you walk this hike, have spare plastic bags to collect some rubbish. The first puesto and all the campsites suffer from tourist and fishermen waste. We tried our best, but there is much more to do.
For tide forecast see Links to other Resources below.
- 6 to 9 March 2023 / Véronica / GPT50 RR out and back / 3.5 days
An absolutely beautiful section and fitting end to my GPT journey. I was fortunate to hike it with mostly good weather, although it was cold and sometimes difficult to warm up after fording the rivers, which can only be crossed during low tide. I had the tide charts for Punta Arenas downloaded, and carried some extra food in case I got stuck at the river crossings and had to wait out low tide. I went during the full moon and so got two low tides during daylight hours — in the mornings around 9 a.m., and then in the evenings around 8 p.m. I always timed my crossing of the rivers with the lowest tide. I found it easy to hitchhike from Punta Arenas to the end of the road at Punta Árbol. The route is relatively straightforward to follow along the beach, or coastal forest, or peat bogs until you reach the third river. There is a refuge right before the first river with loads of delicious raspberry bushes. It also would be a good place to sleep or wait out bad weather. It has a couple of platforms to use as beds, a wooden table, and a small woodstove. The first river (Río Yumbel, km 31.3) is easy to cross at both high and low tides. You can cross either at the mouth of the river where it meets the Strait, or further upstream behind a log dam, where water levels only reach your shins. The second river (Río San Nicolás, km 38.7) is the deepest of the rivers. At low tide the water went to my upper thighs, and the second time I crossed (on the return) it went up to my waist (I'm 165 cm). There are sticks planted in the sandbars that serve as good markers for the shallowest place to cross. The third river (Río Nodales, km 46.6) went up just past my knees. Some people leave their tents and most of their gear at Río Nodales and head to the Cape with a day pack, but I preferred to bring all my things due to tide timings and to have the freedom to camp where I wanted. (There have also been reports of foxes destroying unoccupied tents in search for food, even if no food was left inside.) After Río Nodales, the terrain gets more adventurous. Lots of climbing over (or under) fallen trees on the beach, or on slippery rocks and minor cliffs. But perfectly doable. There is only one time where you have to go into the woods and use some fixed ropes to climb over some steep terrain, otherwise I reccomend sticking to the beach. Even if it can be slow going, it is better than bushwhacking through the thick rainforest. There is a great campsite at the base of the climb to the Cruz de los Mares. The trail up to the cross is well-marked and has some metal steps going up the steepest parts. All in all, it was a wonderful hike, I saw lots of marine life and birds, and it was a fun challenge to walk according to the rhythm of the tides.
The first day I started around 12:30 p.m. and camped on the south side of the second river, right after crossing it at low tide around 7:30 p.m. The second day was long — I got up early to get to the third river for low tide at 8:45 a.m. I crossed it and hiked to the Cape and the cross. Then I walked back and camped on the north side of the third river after crossing it at low tide (around 8 p.m.) The third day I got up early again to cross the second river at low tide (9 a.m.). I could have walked all the way back to the trailhead that day, but the weather was so beautiful that I wanted to spend one last night on the trail, so I camped at Bahía El Águila, just a few km south of the lighthouse.
- SoBo/ February 23/ Participants: Tobias Schorcht, Toni, Laura/ 8 Days/ 166 Kilometer/ Method: Packrafting (Option Río San Juan)
Walked from Punta Arenas to Capo Froward and back to the beginning of the trail. There is a bus going twice a day to San Juan and back, but hitchhiking was faster. The water level of Rio San Juan is not suitable for packrafting by now. The upper part needs at least 4 times more water. Might be possible in winter/spring. After the confluence with Río Sur packrafting is possible. I had to made my way through the bushes. You find information about capo froward trail online, but I would like to point out 3 things: 1. We had to light fire several times in very wet conditions to get warm again. 2. Río San Nicolas and Río Nodales can only be crossed with low tide. We used the packraf twice to cross with high tide. 3. Some parts of the rocky beaches can also only be crossed with low tide. The trail is adventurous and remote. We saw dolfins, sea lions, whales and many different kind of birds. Trail and camps are free of charge. It might change when it gets a National Park. A clear recommendation.
Resupply and Accommodation
Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns
Resupply and Accommodation along the Route
Transport to and from Route
Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
Links to other Resources
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