So There’s a Secret 1,300-Mile Patagonian Trail No One Knows About

Well, it was a secret. Oops.

October 12, 2016 9:00 am

Patagonia, that massive, untarnished stretch of wilderness that encompasses more than a million square miles of southern Chile and Argentina, is home to rugged terrain, pristine rivers and more eye-popping flora and fauna than just about any place on earth.

It doesn’t have many people, though. And yet, it’s the kind of place where an intrepid filmmaker will happen upon two adventurers quite literally in the middle of nowhere. The two hikers, Jan Dudeck and Meylin Ubilla, were in the process of charting a trail similar to the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails in North America when they met videographer Garrett Martin.

Martin learned that these amigos had been walking the woods since 2013 with a GPS tracker, charting the terrain for other hikers and placing their findings and maps on Wikiexplora. So far, they’ve logged 1,300 miles that piece together a single, 27-stage trail that winds up, down and over the Southern Andes.

This patchwork of horse trails, minor dirt roads and rivers is unmarked, so any would-be hiker will need a GPS and a packraft to retrace their journey. But it can be legally hiked without unauthorized border crossings, and there are places to stop along the way for supplies, as it winds from the Maule Region in central Chile on down to the Chubut Province in Southern Chile.

Dudeck and Ubilla aim to extend the trail to Tierra del Fuego, which will push it over 2,000 miles once completed. For a little perspective, the Appalachian Trail is about 2,190 miles long, the Pacific Crest Trail is 2,650 miles and Canada’s Great Trail is a whopping 14,913 miles.

Meanwhile, Martin is raising money for his documentary about them — Unbounded — on Kickstarter. The proceeds will go to Conservación Patagónica.

Let’s help ’em keep it wild.


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