Chile Now Has a 1,700-Mile Trail Snaking Through Its National Parks

Clear out some room on your calendar, bucket list

October 4, 2018 9:00 am

Like hiking trails? You’re having a good week.

A few days ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed off on a bill to convert the state’s decrepit 300-mile railroad line into the epically monikered “Great Redwood Trail.”

And now there’s good news from the bottom of the Earth, where the Chilean government has cleared the way for a stunning, national parks-spanning trail nearly six times that size called the Ruta de los Parques de la Patagonia.

patagonia (2 images)

Last year the Tompkins Conservation (the foundation of late North Face founder Doug Tompkins) donated over a million acres of land to Chile, a gift the Chilean government matched and then some, providing protection for more than nine million acres. The 11-million-acre end product is absurd, a Denmark-sized mass of rugged steppe, ice-blue lakes and peaks straight out of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It includes portions of all of Chile’s 17 national parks, and now has a trail that should be added to your adventure docket, stat.

Helpfully, the route already has a website that suggests various multiday routes, from trudging through “Southern snowfields” to navigating through the “fjords of northern Patagonia.” And bonus tip: if you want to win a nine-day trip for two along a portion of the trail, the Route of the Parks teamed with the Tompkins Conservation and Patagonia to stage an old-fashioned writing contest.

Brush up on your Spanish and read  the contest rules here, and you can find more information on the park and plan a trip here

Images via Wikimedia Commons


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