trekking Dientes, Patagonia

Ace and Patricia hiked the most southerly established major trail in South America, part of the Circuito Dientes de Navarino.

I read their trip report with interest. I’d once traveled to Punta Arenas intending to do Dientes, but ran out of time to arrange the tricky transportation to the Puerto William, Chile, on Isla Navarino. That’s the jumping off point for Dientes.

Ace and Patricia ended up taking the Zenit’s 15 passenger boat from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Puerto Williams. And later found a flight back on a 3-seater plane.

Extreme weather in this most extreme part of the world makes all manner of transportation a gamble.

Was it worth it for Patricia?


… We reached the dip between the peaks and were rewarded with breathtaking views of the spiky Dientes and across Isla Navarino to sets of islands beyond. It was a clear day and we saw the islands of Cape Horn. It was definitely the highlight of the trip. …

Painted stones & cairns mark the trail. Unfortunately many of those were covered by snow.

Everyone has navigation challenges on Dientes, this adventure more than most. Their goal on day 2 was to cross Paso de los Dientes. The guidebook said to “stay high”. … They stayed too high, eventually having to backtrack when the risk of a mini-avalanche got too great.

If you’ve ever dreamed of hiking the teeth of south South America, download Patricia’s Trip Journal. (PDF)

Check our Dientes information page.

9 Replies to “trekking Dientes, Patagonia”

  1. I’m enjoying this blog! When we did el Circuito in 2005(?), no one I knew had ever heard of it, or could even figure out where it was when I tried to describe it. This blog revives fun memories that I never recorded. (And also reminds me what it was like to be young).

    I met my friend Peter in Mendoza, where we zipped up Aconcagua in a day; with that annoying project out of the way, the fun could begin. We met his wife and my girlfriend in BA and flew to Ushuaia, a fun frontier town. After we figured out how to get across to Puerto Williams – which is a different country, with very hazy logistics – we had time that afternoon to run a really cool loop right out of town (3 days according to LP). There are plenty of really good trails down there, and to see another person would be surprising.

    Next morning we took a little skiff across the fabled Beagle Channel; exciting in itself. Following morning we started right from our hospedaje and did the Circuito – outstanding. Big views, totally different ecosystem, remarkable wilderness. Navigation, as reported above, was tricky, but we were back in time for dinner, and a few glasses of Gato Negro, the red wine they sell in litre tetrapaks.

    The really cool way to exit is on the Navimag, a boat that goes all the way up the Channel, but we were on our way to Torres del Paine and Fitzroy, were on an 18 day holiday, so didn’t want to wait the extra day.

  2. Nope; didn’t start posting anything until fairly recently, when I got too old and slowed down. Maybe someday I’ll go thru the files and retroactively organize something. Doubtful though.

  3. The Dientes sounds like a beautiful trek. I was over in Patagonia for 4 months a few years ago. Did some fantastic hiking on Tierra del Fuego around Ushuaia. Tried to get across to Dientes but it was hard to find a boat and my wife wasn’t totally sold on the idea if I’m honest.

    After three weeks in Ushuaia bad weather pushed us north for a 5 day hike around Fitzroy and the Torres circuit. The Fitzroy area is particularly wild and inspiring. Love to walk amongst these peaks that are so full of mountaineering history.

    Again snows came in and we continued north to Bariloche and the Chilean Lake District. Different from the south but again very beautiful. We were lucky enough to be in Bariloche in the Autumn and the colours of the trees in the valleys were incredible. You can use the uplift at the ski station to get high quickly and do a really good high level day hike. One word of advice though – don’t do as we did and go on a Sunday – the ski lift doesn’t work and that added about 500m of ascent to the day!

    I love Patagonia and it must be one of the best trekking regions in the world.


  4. Hey we actually took a left from this photo all the way down to the end of the lake. At least you went the right way!!
    But I agree the real trail was a bit treacherous with less snow so can’t imagine it higher up.
    Incredible place though especially after you experience the crowded, restrictive parks to the north in Patagonia.
    The kind of place where you pack for a week, go out, take your time and enjoy it!
    I did none of the above…..
    One day I’ll return!!
    I’m just finally finishing posting my pics from here and that blur is all coming back to me 🙂

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