Lagunas Altas Trail, Patagonia Park, Chile

Conservación Patagónica is a conservation group whose mission is “to create national parks in Patagonia …

Founded in 2000 by Kristine Tompkins, former CEO of Patagonia, Inc, …

Patagonia Park

I was there near the beginning. Not much to see. A simple visitor centre. Great dreams. :-)

Patagonia Park is open for hiking now.

Backpacker magazineTomás Dinges Jan 2015 trip report:

My route on the 13.5-mile Lagunas Altas Trail (translation: high lagoons) would take me to the top of a 4,872-foot peak and along a chain of eight lakes high in the southeastern section of the 200,000-acre park. I was far from the dense rainforests of northern Patagonia, but not yet enveloped by the never-ending steppe common to Argentina and southern Chile. Marked with fluorescent ribbons and colored rebar, the trail, like much of the park, was a work in progress. …

“You are walking around a park that you have to yourself,” said McDivitt-Tompkins, founder and president of Conservación Patagonica, the nonprofit organization created to oversee the park’s development. “Just imagine what John Muir felt when he was in Yosemite before it was Yosemite. You are in a place before anybody goes.” …

After 4.5 hours and 3,780-feet of climbing along the Lagunas Altas Trail, I emerged above treeline and onto the bald peak of Cerro Tamanguito. To the north stood the glaciated peaks and snowfields of the Jeinimeni Mountains. Below me were the distinct yellow and coffee-brown landscapes of the Chacabuco Valley I had hiked through. …

Chacabuco Valley

Chacabuco Valley

Applying the U.S. national park model, Conservación Patagonica has developed two campgrounds (with 60 tent sites and eight cook shelters), a lodge, a restaurant, and a new visitor center that’s scheduled to open in early 2015. There are six trails in place, totaling some 77 miles, and crews are busy planning and cutting more every day.

By 2020, Conservación Patagonica hopes to hand the land to the Chilean government to connect the now-separate operations of icy Jeinimeni and forested Tamango and privately held Patagonia Park to create a 610,000-acre Patagonia National Park, a preserve larger than our Great Smoky Mountains National Park. …

First Tracks in Chile’s New Patagonia Park

We’ve added the Lagunas Altas Trail to our list of the best hikes in South America.

Krokodilberg Trail, South Africa

South Africa is a fantastic hiking destination.

MG & Eras have been exploring the hikes outside JoBurg.

Check a sample – the 11.3km Krokodilberg Trail:

Hennops River offers three trails just 45 minutes from Johannesburg. With no pre-booking necessary over weekends and an on-the-spot entrance fee, it really does put all our excuses to shame. The Krokodilberg route is just over 11 km, with the shorter Zebra and Dassie routes available for the moderate to less keen.

We arrive later than we would have liked and stand prepping in the parking lot with a group of friends, applying handfuls of sun cream to already sweaty skin. …

So Far …


Here are the other trails they’ve posted, so far.

Mt.Taranaki High-Level Circuit

I’ve been working my way through Cam Honan’s trip reports. He might just be the the world’s most traveled hiker. By the end of 2012 more than 50,000 miles (80,467 km) in some 55 countries.

Here’s a sample. From New Zealand.

Distance : 50km approx. (including side-trip up Mt. Taranaki)

Avg. Time : 3 days …

Sleeping : Outside of holiday times, the huts are rarely crowded. Leave the tent/shelter at home. …

In clear weather, the views on this trail are stunning. Definitely go for the High-level, rather than the Low-level route. …

The Hiking Life – Mt.Taranaki High-Level Circuit


Steve Fugate approaches 40,000 miles

Steve Fugate of Vero Beach, Florida, walked into the Cheraw town limits at 12:36 p.m. May 13, braving the 82-degree heat. The large sign on his back — which reads “love life” in red capital letters — made him easy to spot. …

Crossing the state line marked a milestone for Fugate as South Carolina is the final state in his trek through each of the lower 48, ending his cross-country walk two years, one month and 20 days after it began on March 23, 2013. …

Fugate said this is his eighth time making the journey, and that he has walked 39,000 miles he said he expects to walk his 40,000th mile somewhere in South Carolina. …

Fugate said he started these walks in 1999 after losing his son, 26-year-old Stevie, to suicide while walking the Appalachian Trail. Six years later tragedy struck again when Fugate’s daughter, 36-year-old Shelly, died from an accidental drug overdose.

Fugate said he carries the sign on his back to remind people to love and appreciate their lives. …

Man ends 2-year, 39,000-mile walk

top 10 coastal hikes worldwide?

by site editor Rick McCharles

I’ve got major coastal hikes coming up including the Shipwreck Coast Trail (Rialto Beach to Shi Shi Beach) on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State  and the Sunshine Coast Trail in British Colombia. :-)

But what are the best coastal hikes anywhere?

Top-10#1) West Coast Trail, BC Canada
#2) Otter Trail, South Africa
#3) Abel Tasman Track, New Zealand
#4) Lost Coast Trail, California
#5) Great Ocean Walk, Australia
#7) Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii
#8) Pembrokeshire Coast Path, U.K. 
#9) South Coast Track, Tasmania

Leave a comment if you have more to add to this list.

Canada’s West Coast Trail is so popular that many other alternatives have been developed nearby:

What about Canada’s east coast?

Hiking is so popular and so well developed in the U.K. that there are many alternatives to the Pembrokeshire:

  • South West Coast Path
  • Cleveland Way
  • Norfolk Coast Path
  • Fife Coastal Path
  • Arran Coastal Way
  • Ayrshire Coastal Path
  • Causeway Coast Way
  • Lecale Way

In Italy there are some classic short walks suggested by Andrea:

Other recommended in the past:

Australia must have more coastal hiking than any nation in the world. There are many good candidates including:

Personally, I liked the Queen Charlotte Track in New Zealand even better than the Abel Tasman.

And the Fisherman’s Trail, Rota Vicentina, Portugal is high on my personal life list.

Waterloo Bay Beach, Australia