Hiking Argentina – Laguna de Los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier

One of the hikes I wanted to do around Ushuaia this time, was to the Laguna de Los Témpanos and the Vinciguerra Glacier.   I’d already hiked the first part of this trail with Autumn, JB, Marjorie and Cyril when we went to Laguna Encantada, but really wanted to get to the Glacier – the only one in the region that actually has a glacier tongue.

I let it be known around the hostel that this was my plan, and that other people were more than welcome to join me.   I was super-keen for others to join so that a) I wasn’t hiking alone, and b) the cost of the taxi to get there was shared.  In the end, there were 6 of us – me, Shane (Aussie), Matan (Israel), Steffi and Hanspeter (Switzerland), and Matthias (Belgium).

It was an absolutely gorgeous day as we hiked along the flat Andorra valley with its mystery wooden structures.  My new theory on these things is that they are actually drying racks for peat – given I saw another large stash of them the other day in the peat bog on the way out to Laguna Esmeralda.

Start of the hike to Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

The Andorra Valley is really beautiful, if a bit wet and spongy underfoot

Since I was the one that organised the excursion and I had actually done the first part of the hike before, I was the unofficial guide for our group.  I steered everyone to the bridge across the river and up through the Lenga forest until we reached the signpost where the track forked to Laguna Encantada and the Vinciguerra Glacier.

Signpost identifying the different tracks to Vinciguerra Glacier and Laguna Encantada - Ushuaia - Argentina

Signpost at the crossroad for Vinciguerra Glacier and Laguna Encantada

This time I took the left-hand fork, which turned out to be much, much easier than the route to Laguna Encantada initially.  It was even flat for a long time, if more than a little slippery!

Trail through the forest to Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

The trail through the forest was nice and flat, but quite slippery because of all the logs. The sign on the tree wasn’t the first or last we saw advising us to take care

Eventually we did start climbing, and there was a moment where we really couldn’t figure out where the trail went.  Up until that point it had been very obvious but, judging by the state of the ground, we weren’t the only ones to wonder which way to go!

Trail to Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

The trail is mostly obvious and does get quite steep

We did eventually find the markers (stay low when you think you should go high) and continued on until the forest eventually spilled us out into a clearing with a stream and a waterfall.

Green clearing, stream and waterfall on the way to Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

Beautiful place for a rest stop!

We had a short break here soaking in the sun, and then hiked along the stream towards the scree-slope we could see in the distance.

Final part of the trail to Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

Another flat bit before the final uphill

This last part was probably the steepest section of the hike, as we climbed the moraine towards the glacier and its lake.

Final scree slope on the way to Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

Final approach to the Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier

The view was absolutely worth the effort!

Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

Impressive view of the Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier

We stopped here for lunch and to admire the view, and ran into some more people we knew from the hostel!  Small world 🙂   

We hiked around to the right hand side along the river and past some small pools

Small pools near Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

Small pools on the way to the glacier tongue

to reach the glacier tongue itself.

Vinciguerra Glacier tongue - Ushuaia - Argentina

Standing at the edge of the Vinciguerra Glacier

As always, I’m fascinated by patterns in the ice.

Patterns in the ice of the Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

The patterns in the ice are one of the many reasons why I love hiking out to see glaciers

Unfortunately, and before we knew it, it was time to turn around and head back to meet our taxi that we’d arranged to pick us up at the start of the trail at a specific time.  In hindsight – we should have made this at least an hour later … but it’s hard to judge these things when you haven’t done them before. 

So with one last look at the Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier we headed back to catch our ride.

Me at the Laguna de los Témpanos and Vinciguerra Glacier - Ushuaia - Argentina

Taking a final look across the Laguna de los Témpanos to the Vinciguerra Glacier

Million thanks to Shane, Matan, Steffi, Hanspeter, and Matthias for sharing this excursion with me!  I had a great day with you guys 🙂

Recommendation

This is an awesome hike out of Ushuaia.  There are many tour operators in town who offer this excursion, but it is actually very easy to do it yourself with little risk of getting lost (well, except for that one small part – we missed the trail coming back down as well).

Time: 9:30am – 4pm

Cost: 300ARS for the taxi from La Posta Hostel to the trailhead, and another 300ARS back (shared amongst us)

Maximum elevation gain: 550m

Like what you have read? Please follow and like me:

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*