In August 2018 I visited Patagonia, a bucket list location for me. I was in Buenos Aires for work with a few extra days. I researched the most beautiful and accessible places in Argentina & Chile. Bariloche is the largest ski area in South America with multiple direct flights from Buenos Aires & Sao Paolo. Bariloche is in the Lake District in the Northern Section of Patagonia. Next to Bariloche is Parque Nacional Nahuael Huapi, Argentina’s first national park. The park protects expansive lakes, trophy filled trout rivers, & glaciated mountains over 11,000 feet. One the other side of the largest mountain, Mount Tronodor is Chile. Enjoy the photo essay.
I took a bus tour of Parque Nacional Nahuael Huapi. At most stops, the bus travelers had a smole or took a few pictures. I took the opportunity to trailrun & see as much of the park as possible.
Bariloche is a town of 120,000+ people on the shores of Nuhuel Huapi Lake. I was fortunate with the clear weather and outstanding sunrises. This view looks East toward the National Park. Bariloche is the largest city in the Patagonia region and has many influences. A German style clocktower square, numerous chocolate shops, gear shops from Patagonia & The North Face made the town center feel like the Alps. The city has a strong German influence from WWII immigrants.
Here’s an outlet from one lake to another. I could see trophy sized trout swimming in the water.
They call the area the Lake District for a region.
The road ends at a refugio, camping area, and small settlement inside the park. It felt like the Last Homely House from the Fellowship of the Rings.
Mount Tronador at 11,453 feet is the tallest peak in the region. It is named Tronodor or thunder for the frequent booms caused by calving glaciers. This black glacier extends into a frozen lake. I brought microspike, so I was able to hike into the backcountry.
Alpinists climb Mount Tronador during the summer months. I was there in winter – August – with heavy snow cover.
Close up of the black glacier.
Hiking down a fireroad.
This refugio, closed in winter, felt like the domain of the White Walkers from Game of Thrones. When the sun fell below the ridge, everything felt chilled.
With COVID-19 I am not sure the next time I’ll be able to visit the Andes & Patagonia. I cannot wait though. In the meantime, enjoy pictures from my short trip to the most accessible & beautiful spot in Patagonia.