Piedras Blancas Glacier
An easy trek through the forest to a viewpoint facing the Piedras Blancas glacier, one of the low glaciers in the area that descends from Mount Fitz Roy.
The trail begins at the bridge over the Blanco River, on Provincial Route 41, where the El Pilar mountain lodge is located. To get here take a tranfer in El Chaltén. You should remember that the first section of the trail is located on private property. Their owners allow free access with the condition of following the same rules as in the National Park: do not walk off the footpath, do not leave rubbish behind, do not make annoying noises and keep in mind that there are no public toilets. After passing behind the Inn, you will walk along on a gentle path until you reach the hillside forest. This trail skirts the Polo hill going upstream up to the viewpoint.
Once in the forest the trail begins to ascend slightly. At times it moves away to return and follow the course of the river as it gains height, always in a North-South direction. In less than an hour you will arrive at the gate where the protected area of Los Glaciares National Park begins.
Among the trees you can see to the west the peaks of the mountains where Mount Chaltén and the great wall of its North face stand out.
After approximately two hours of trekking, you will reach the viewpoint that will allow you to appreciate in all its splendor the beautiful Piedras Blancas glacier, some 2000 m away, with its characteristic seracs and icefalls that descend through the glacial cirque of the North Fitz Roy massif flanked by Cerro Madsen and Cerro Eléctrico. With luck, it is possible to witness some of the small icefalls during the summer.
In this forest it is easy to find white orchids covering the foot of the Lengas, and several birds such as Magellanic woodpeckers, House Wren, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, etc.
Although the time we indicate for this trek is a return trip from the Del Río Blanco Bridge, if you have an additional 3 to 4 hours you will be able to reach El Chaltén without returning by the same trail: you continue 2000 m to the base camp Poincenot and from there to El Chaltén with the possibility of seeing other landscapes and viewpoints.
Recommendations: if you plan to stay or spend the night in Poincenot free camp, we suggest that you read carefully the recommendations during your stay.