Hiking in El Chalten and Torres del Paine

sgarlow

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Gaucho_ec

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Nice :) My childhood was spent back and forth between El Chalten and El Calafate. Got a nice camera for my next trip, after almost 30 years, including a recent trip to Yosemite, is still the most beautiful site in my mind.
 

splaying

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With the Israeli who dropped a match or cig or the like -- 13000 hectacres went up in smoke -- the best parts of the park are gone - it will take some 50 years until the character returns to that area. Tourism will drop off precipitously here for sure and quickly too. The town has a lake which is pretty to walk around but the fire had just happened just before we arrived early in this calendar year as we had celebrated New Year's in Ushuaia. The remaining parts of the park are not so dramatic. Check it out prior to going there.
 

beachesandbackpacks

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Both are great options but have pretty distinct differences in the type of hiking/ trekking. Here is a breakdown of each area that may help those interested to decide which one (or both!) to go to: Definitely do El Chalten if you want to do day hikes. To do Torres del Paine right you need at least 4 days in the park and there are virtually no day hiking options. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the two trekking areas and the advantages and drawbacks to both: http://beachesandbackpacks.com/2015/01/06/the-best-trekking-in-patagonia-el-chalten-vs-torres-del-paine/
 

ajoknoblauch

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With the Israeli who dropped a match or cig or the like -- 13000 hectacres went up in smoke -- the best parts of the park are gone - it will take some 50 years until the character returns to that area. Tourism will drop off precipitously here for sure and quickly too. The town has a lake which is pretty to walk around but the fire had just happened just before we arrived early in this calendar year as we had celebrated New Year's in Ushuaia. The remaining parts of the park are not so dramatic. Check it out prior to going there.

I've been to Paine several times since the fire, and much of the burnt area was grassland and scrub, which has regrown quickly. They have replanted the affected sections of Nothofagus forest, which will take a long time to regrow, but that's still a relatively small part of the park, which totals 2,400 sq km.
 

beachesandbackpacks

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I've been to Paine several times since the fire, and much of the burnt area was grassland and scrub, which has regrown quickly. They have replanted the affected sections of Nothofagus forest, which will take a long time to regrow, but that's still a relatively small part of the park, which totals 2,400 sq km.

The best parts of the park, IMO, are definitely outside the areas affected by the fire. The main highlights (Grey glacier, the high pass, french valley, and the towers) were not impacted at all by the fire. So don't let that deter you at all. We were there a month ago and it was awesome. The fire really only impacted the walk in to the park and the area between the towers and the french valley closer to the lake.
 
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