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Cerro Arco Iris

caminata de 5 horas al cumbre

categorización:      ?
dificultad:   Moderado al primera punto de vista (el balcón), avansado al cumbre.
largo:   5 horas al cumbre, 3 horas al primer cumbre falso
lo mejor:   Gigantes alerces, espectaculares vistas


The valley's most beautiful and demanding hikes rewards its hikers efforts with excellent views of La Junta and Cochamó Valley. The trail takes you along alerce forests, granite balconies up a demanding trail recently opened in January 2007.

paso por paso



the forest


From the old house in the camping, walk north towards the mountains where the Junta trail starts. At the junction turn sharp left following the sign and later, along most of the trail, orange plastic markers.



the granite slabs


Work your way up steep Alerce forest to a granite slab and traverse up, left just below it. The trail leads to the top and then traverses right along a balcony which becomes narrower until you come all the way around to the side of La Junta river valley. This balcony offers excellent views and only moderate difficulties getting this far.

From here go up a narrow muddy ramp and roots with a fixed rope. Then head up steep bushy ledges until you get to more slabs and another fixed rope. One more fixed rope heads up slabs to the next stage: more forest.



the forest part II


Again continue up through more beautiful Alerce forest. The trail meets the ridge line and continues up it until it get to treeline.



above treeline


Once you get above treeline, you'll arrive to the first false peak. From here, the trail is not marked. Continue up the granite ridge to the 2nd false peak then traverse far to the west (left) to get to the southwest ridge of Arco Iris. Then continue to the 3rd false peak and to Cerro Arco Iris.


Arrieros, or local cowboys, built and used the first section of this trail for leaving their cattle high in the rain forest to feed on bamboo and other plants during the winter. They also used it to extract timber, mostly Alerce. You can still see marking on Alerces next to the trail where they axed the tree to see if the tree was solid all the way through and not hollow.

In January 2007, Argentine Ezequiel Manoni and Daniel Seeliger spent four days macheting to tree line to establish the valley's first valley-to-peak hiking trail, a form of accessing the fabulous peaks and their views by means other than rock climbing. Later Cody Hood added bolts and some fixed lines, and Chilean Rodrigo Condeza also added more fixed lines. The trail overall has been improved by the help of many others whom which we all appreciate greatly.


This is not a hike to be taken lightly. To get to the peaks and back takes most or all day and a state of fitness. Many others go to the first peak or vista balcony and still find it well worth getting only to these points. © 2008 - 2018