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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
Frank 4.5 days RR NOBO
1. I got the bus to the edge of Ushuaia (see transport section) & walked back to the centre along the coast road in a little over an hour.
2. I again got the bus & continued to the end of the road then along an easy trail to Estancia Tunel. 3KM later I forded the river easily (knee deep) & continued about 6KM to the next puesto. Another easy ford before the puesto. From the puesto an old jeep track runs out all the way to the road. I went to see the shipwreck at Puerto Remolino then returned to the road & crossed the river on a footbridge. At the river are several huts, occasionally used by the military. Good camping outside. Next day I continued along the road. Two restaurants & 2 cafes in Puerto Pirata, all closed when I went through. In Puerto Almanca there are 7 restaurants, all open. There should be camping & rooms available also. I continued to the puesto at the start of Sendero Lucas Bridges (SLB)You can camp near the bridge about 2KM before the puesto. From the puesto I hitched back to Ushuaia.
3. From Tolhuin I got a taxi on Ruta 27 to Aguas Blancas where there is a sign for SLB. I walked back 19KM to Tolhuin easily in 4 hours.
4. I got the Tolhuin-Ushuaia bus to the junction with Ruta J then hitched to the Puesto at the start of SLB. Not much traffic, possibly because it was Christmas Eve. At the puesto go in on the jeep track for 1KM then leave it as it turns left & continue along a fence. Forded Rio Varela, it was a little over knee deep & fast. There is a camp just after the ford. The trail is marked with blue & red dots & occasional small metal flags. Continued to Rio Lata & crossed it easily. There are a few more crossings. Most I was able to cross on logs & rocks. There is a narrow trail section along a gravel bank which is eroded & undercut. I walked it but it would be safer to ford the river below the bank. There is an intermediate camp then the trail fades out with no markers until Camp Lata. Summer days are long so I continued from Camp Lata to the pass easily on slabs up a streambed. Good views of the Dientes on the way up. At the pass (650M) don't lose altitude but contour following metal posts to the second pass which is at about the same altitude. Then you drop steeply on a clear trail. Once at the treeline it's very muddy for 1KM but you are soon at Camp Bruzo, 3KM from the pass, where I camped. I marked the locations of all the camps so they should be available with the 2024 track file update.
Camp Bruzo is at the point where the route divides with a 'track' along each side of the river. However the trail & markers disappear & its CC on either side until the point where the routes reunite. I found the best option to be going out on the left route & when I reached the river I started walking along the gravel banks, crossing it many times, often just walking in the river. If you stay on land you are in rough trackless scrub with beaver dams, logjams & mud. At the point where the tracks reunite the trail & markers start again. After a short confusing section through a maze of fallen trees it led out more easily although navigation was still required. Forded the river easily at the puesto & went out on a good track to the road. After a few KM I hitched into Tolhuin.
- 2023-04-28 to 2023-05-12 / Hiking / all directions / RR + various OH / Jakub & Veronika
We stayed in Ushuaia for quite a long time. We visited NP Tiera del Fuego, walked to Mirador Glaciar Martial, Cerro Medio and Laguna Esmeralda, hitchhiked to Puerto Almanza and finally walked Sendero Lucas Bridges from Estancia Haberton to Tolhuin. All was nice, all is recomendable Ushuaia's museums included, the last is the hardest:
Sendero Lucas Bridges was build by famous settlerer and former missionary Lucas Bridges between 1900 and 1902 using traditional mountain path of Selk'nam people and curiously with their man power. We don't know whether it was an employment or a modern form of slavery, there are arguments for both. Bridges's descendants still run nearby Estancia Haberton, which can be visited during summer season (estancia, museum of marine mammals, restaurant). The sendero itself begins alongside a new puesto of vaqueros (ranch with cows built in 2019 based on a rented land of Estancia Haberton). The guys who work there are really nice and welcoming. You can ask there about the paths, if you need it.
We crossed the pasture (unlocked wooden gates) and from there on it was easy to follow the way threw the gassing land. It is necessary to cross the fences a few times untill you get closer to the forest, there you need to follow the track files for a while, because the trail itself is misleading. After we crossed the river Varela (all crossings are recorded accurately at the original locations), and spent the first night in the camp on its shore. The camp looks quite new (first photo). From there the path was well marked with metal Fuegian flags and red and blue spots and leads next to Varela River and after along one of its left sources at the bottom of the valley. We followed that untill we approached another new camp (second photo). Then the trail leads to peatbog where the path disappears with the first beaver lagoon and from that moment on it is just cross-country through the peat. Sometimes we could see more marks but it doesn't help at all (the solution would be to record all the marks on the GPS but we didn't have time for that - if you can, do it!). We wanted to spent our second night at Rancho Lata, but we couldn't find it because of a dark (search around the track in the forest at km 37.2). We slept close to this point between the the trees that provided good shelter from the wind. The next day we turned right to the Paso Bridges. Here the path follows a stream that runs from the pass. When in the mountains, we found yellow and wooden pole marks that led us across the pass. The wind here was strongest we've met in Patagonia so take care! We spent night in the camp Bruzo with another beaver lagoon next to it (and sadly some rubbish as well). In the morning we lost marks again, so we needed to cross the peatbog again, thanks to frost it was harder then a day ago. It is better to go around the lagoon on its right side. We crossed river again over fallen trees, after in the forest we found marks again for a monet. Then some more cross-country untill we reached Rio Valdez. From there on the trail is recorded accurately and well visible with some recent maintainance. Last night we spent close to the river where are many good camping spots. Next day we crossed the river Valdez next to the puesto and soon we were on the mud road leading to Tolhuin. We spent on the path 4 nights. We walked slowly, but also it wasn't easy. Lot's of humidity, peatbogs, fallen trees and half of the path not well marked. But nature really amazing with interesting history (Selk'nam) and present (beaver introduction related demage and recent forest exploitation close to slowly expanding Tolhuin). It seems that not many people visit this sendero these days. Hopefully the protection status will change and more people will come!
- 2023/04/21 - 2023/04/26 / 5 days / Hiking / SOBO / RR and Option 6 / Christopher and Anna
Tolhuin - Estancia Haberton - Laguna Esmeralda - Laguna Submarina - Ushuaia
We arrived in Tolhuin in the evening and started walking for a couple of kilometers until we got a ride to km 7,6. We camped next to the dirtroad.
At km 17,6 a sign indicates the beginning of the official hiking route "Sendero the Lucas Bridges". This gave us hope for a good trail and this was the case until the puesto at km 18,5 which could provide a good shelter. Soon afterwards the good trail stopped and it seemed as if the trail hadn't been used for ages. The first couple of kilometers the old path was relatively easy to follow though. After around km 20 until the end of Valle Río Valdez the path disappeared multiple times and we walked a lot of CC stretches. From km 26,2 on you have either the option to follow the main route in the forest which includes climbing over and under LOTS of fallen trees. Or there's the option to walk along the river bed with LOTS of river crossings. We ended up doing a combination of both. We cannot say which one is faster. Both ways were equally slow for us. Generally, it's an extremely wet and muddy terrain, so wet feet are guaranteed. What contributes to this greatly are tons of beaver dams. Never have we seen so many of them and of such a size. The landscape of the whole valley is changed by the beavers. We camped at km 29 in the forest. In the forest along the valley are lots of camping possibilities.
The next day we kept following the GPS and walked on a trail most of the time. There is still a sign from the official sendero there. Then one of the hardest CC parts started. We tried to follow the GPS since it worked well before that day, but there was pretty much no trail anymore. This peeked by being blocked by a huge beaver dam where we could still see an old mark of the sendero in the middle of the dams lake! We made a big detour around it, and the water of this wetland was painfully cold. Behind the dam is still a shelter of the official campsite "Campamento Bruzo". There we found the trail again which had in a small muddy stream, but it got better the higher we got. From the pass on the trail is marked by poles. Up there walking was easy despite some snowfields.
On the way down the trail got harder to follow again and the wetlands started. What probably used to be the "Rancho Lata camp" is still an ok shelter and afterwards the way is blocked by another huge beaver dam.
We continued by mostly sticking to the river zick-zacking from side to side. At some point we found some animal trails that we followed. There is another shelter at km 47,7. Once the muddy wetland stopped walking became easier, but we still made lots of river crossings. Again there are lots of possible campsites along the river. We camped somewhere around km 45,5. The next day continued similarly until we saw the first fence at around km 50. There we climbed two fences and soon reached a dirtdoad that leads to the road RP33. It started to rain and we tried to hitchhike in either direction to get a connection and to check the weather. The exit of the sendero leads through the property of a company called "Sintigas". A car from the company soon arrived and we asked them if there would be someone going the other direction and luckily there was. They invited us in for lunch, mate and medialunas until the driver was ready to go to Ushuaia. We were additionally lucky because "Estancia Haberton" is closed now due to the season being over and therefore almost no cars passed by. We got off the car at the parking lot of Laguna Esmeralda. We walked in the forest and soon pitched our tent once we found water. There are no camping forbidden signs there.
The next day we left our backpacks in the forest and went to see Laguna Esmeralda. The trail was super muddy and slippery, even though they built some woodbridges in between. The Laguna was nice and the view from there was great. Walking down lots of people came our direction. Seems to be popular spot, despite the mud.
The sky cleared and we continued to option 6. The trail up to Laguna Submarino is an official trail and finally we could walk on a good trail with just a few muddy sections. The option is really nice and passes two great waterfalls. At some point there was still snow, but nothing too bad. After we reached the Laguna we crosscountried up to the pass. The views up there were truly amazing. Down the other side of the pass was all CC. First some technical parts across rocks and gravel. It's probably better to stick to the downward left side. The we stuck to the river which worked out pretty well. Reaching the valley walking is quite easy, because it's all a marshy and mossy terrain but one doesn't sink in badly, so it's almost like walking in pillows. The wet floor just limits the potential campsites. We camped at km 8,6 between the trees left of the river.
The last day was tough. The forest kept getting denser. We continued staying close to the river. At km 6,3 we deviated a bit more to the left of it because there is a forest free area indicated on the map. That was a short good part. Then it got really steep. The forest close to the river is partially really dense, directly at the riverbed are tons of fallen trees and the hillsides a super steep. We kept switching between these areas wherever it seemed best. We continued to walk in the direction of option 6b, because the forest was less dense around there. At km 0,56 of option 6b a pretty old overgrown dirtroad appeared out of nowhere. We were so happy to finally see some kind of path and followed it, although it was not visible from time to time. From aprrox. km 1,6 of option 6 there was an actual trail and once we reached the final hill we were rewarded by an amazing view of the beagle canal and its surroundings and our struggles of the day were forgotten.
At km 110,8 we reached the RR of section 69 and followed the really good path. There are lots of visitors there and we hitchhiked from the parking lot at km 114 to Ushuaia.
Resupply and Accommodation
You can get camping gas in Ushuaia and at one shop in Tolhuin. Anonima supermarkets in both towns.
Resupply and Accommodation in nearby Towns
Resupply and Accommodation along the Route
7 restaurants in Puerto Almanza. There may be rooms & camping available there also.
Several camps along Sendero Lucas Bridges. They all have lean tos which are more suitable for cooking than sleeping. Rancho Lata is a collapsed hut. Plenty of water along the route & at all the camps.
Transport to and from Route
Minibuses run by Lider & Montiel go several times a day Ushuaia-Tolhuin
Tours go to Estancia Harberton by bus & boat from Ushuaia but they are expensive, around 150 euro. They don´t give any discount if you just want transport without the tour. Hitching is possible with a bit of patience.
Local buses A & B run from Ushuaia centre along the coast road to about 6.5KM from the centre along the RR. No need to walk this part unless you like shipping containers. You need a SUBE card to use the bus but if you ask a local & offer them 200 pesos they will normally tap you on.
Permits, Entry Fees and Right-of-Way Issues
Links to other Resources
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