trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles
Stage 1 – Port Alberni to China Creek
- 15 kms one way (I stopped at 13 kms)
- 6 hours (I took 4 hrs)
- elevation gain 3937 ft
- Ship Creek Road trailhead to China Creek trailhead
- panorama of the city of Port Alberni
- route options: Follinsbee Creek (easier) or Lookout and the old Copper Mountain Trail (harder)
- moderate difficulty
- plenty of ups and downs
- some fallen logs to scramble
My Dad dropped me at the Port Alberni visitor centre. This was the start of my Pacific N.W. BikePacking tour.
For my first hike, I used the paid version of the AllTrails app. And I needed AllTrails as parts of the trail close to China Creek are overgrown and difficult to find.
Even better is the Relive app. Click PLAY or relive my hike on YouTube.
It was tougher than I expected with non-stop up and downs.
There are many bears in the area. This was the only sign I saw.
In fact, the only animal life of interest was the first Garter Snake I’ve seen this season.
Wild flowers lovely.
This trail is maintained. But the section closer to Port Alberni is in far better shape.
At times you have to rely on flagging tape to find the trail.
One highlight is a vista of Port Alberni from on high.
The coastal section is cool. Boom.
All in all, I’d recommend the Alberni Inlet trail.
trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles
- 6.6km return to observation platform
- rough and muddy trail
Queulat National Park is a very popular destination for tourists. Here’s how the park’s centerpiece, the Queulat Hanging Glacier, looks in perfect weather.
Ventisquero Colgante Falls in summer / cavertingo, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
There’s a visitor centre explaining the various short hikes.
You start on a long suspension bridge.
I was there on a rainy day. Most days are rainy.
This is dense Valdivian temperate rain forest. Parts of the park receive up to 4,000 mm (157 in) of precipitation annually.
There is some boardwalk, but expect to get muddy. (I wore neoprene booties rather than socks.)
Here’s the viewpoint as I saw it.
On descending I’d definitely recommend adding a short spur trail to Laguna Tempanos.
It’s a different perspective from the lake.
Everyone is happy to visit Quelat. A weird and wonderful microclimate.
I wore neoprene booties instead of socks. Inside my feet were warm, wet and smelly.
Queulat National Park is is 23-kilometers away from pretty Puyuhuapi town, the normal jumping off point for travelers.
related – Ventisquero Colgante: The Hanging Glacier of Queulat
trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
Distance: 2,5 km. loop
Darwin’s frog is native to the forest streams of Chile and Argentina.
The most striking feature of this frog is the tadpoles’ development inside the vocal sac of the male.
Sadly it’s endangered in 2019 due to habitat loss and amphibian disease.
It’s tiny. You’d never be able to find one in this park. Or anywhere.
Darwin’s Frog relies on camaflague and tricks.
Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.
This hike is an interpretive trail showing the damage done to the temperate rain forest by farming. AND how Pumalín is allowing nature to return it to rain forest.
At the information kiosk at the park gates you can sign out waterproof cards explaining each species, guiding you through the circuit.
If you get anywhere near El Amarillo, Patagonia, be sure to do this short walk. There are other longer hikes nearby in Pumalín, as well.
trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles
Hike to a spectacular waterfall.
Duration: 3 hours round trip.
Distance: 5,6 km round trip.
Return: Same route.
This hike is very challenging. Calling it Low-Medium is insanity. 🙄
There are many sections where you need to use your hands. Scrambles.
The river crossing could be dangerous / impossible at high water. I slipped in with both feet while boulder hopping.
You can quickly see why this temperate rain forest was so inaccessible before superb trail builders got here.
There was a ton of work done to put in this trail. Plenty of boardwalk, most made from local wood onsite.
Check this natural park bench.
The crux of the hike are these two ladders.
Made it. This is what I expected at Pumalín.
For me it was 3 hours round trip. Finishing at 8pm I had only about 2 hours of daylight left to get set-up at the nearby campground and to cook up a BIG dinner.
Cascada was my first hike in this sector of Parque Pumalín.
Sendero Transversal is by far the best hike in remote Chiloe.
I cycled in to the Lake Chaiguata trailhead staying only 1 night and did some day hiking.
It’s a unique and impressive Park. Very well organized.
Tantauco Park (Spanish: Parque Tantauco) is a 1,180 km2 (456 sq mi) private natural reserve on the south end of Chiloé Island in Chile.
The park was created by Chilean business magnate and President of Chile Sebastián Piñera in 2005 …
The park is open to the public with two campgrounds and a 150 km (93 mi) network of hiking trails. …
Tantauco Park is an attractive ecotourist destination due to the remarkable biodiversity of its nearly untouched Valdivian temperate rainforest and the rather easy public access. Precipitations in the area average about 2,500 mm (98 in) annually. …
Details on the Sendero Transversal.
- 4 – 8 days
- hike only 1 direction (counterclockwise)
- download the map
- start Lake Chaiguata, finish Inío
- hut to hut
- maximum 8 hikers / day
- exit by floatplane or boat
- peat bogs, Tepu forests, Cypress trees
- plenty of boardwalk
- trails well maintained, but you’ll be getting wet
- only about 7000 people / year visit this Park
- there are a couple of other multi-night options
Click PLAY or watch on trip on YouTube.
Home page – parquetantauco.cl (Spanish)
WikiTravel – Parque Tantauco
Wikipedia – Tantauco Park
My Feet Hurt:
I hiked the North Coast Trail from August 27 to September 1 in 2014. I spent 5 nights and 6 days on the trail.
The North Coast Trail might be very, very tough.
We recommend easier alternatives to the standard route. There are other similar hikes on Vancouver Island of course, all easier than the NCT.
Similar to Santuario El Cañi, the Lakes Circuit is another of the best hikes out of adventure capital Pucón, Chile.
Huerquehue NP is a hidden gem of Chilean Patagonia: in spite of its proximity to Pucón, it has frequently been overlooked in favour of the perhaps more dramatic Villarrica NP to the south. This is beginning to change, as more people recognize the spectacular walking to be had in this tiny park. …
Read a trip report by meservereserve.