From Paso Samoré we cycled north to Riñinahue. We wanted to do the Volcán Puyehue traverse (section 13 of the GPT). As we were told it would take us five days of pushing and carrying, and water was extremely scars, we decided to bail on this one.
After sunbathing in Lago Ranco for a couple of days, we crossed paths with Skyler. He convinced us to join him on a trail he had done a few years back, a ride through the Huilo-Huilo reserve. It felt rather weird to be going north. After a day of tough riding to get to the trailhead, I got extremely bad chafing and decided to leave the boys to themselves.
Here is what they did: they went through private land to get onto the trail. They cycled along many blackberry bushes, eating blackberries and getting their shorts ripped from the thorns. They crossed a couple of fast flowing rivers, bike on their backs and stick in their hands. They spent hours talking about gear, bikes and photography. They camped under Skyler’s small tarp together (I had the tent) and were lucky it wasn’t raining. They split sometime the next day, Dan trying to get to Neltume fast to then hitch back to me, and Skyler trying to find another park exit. Dan spent four hours trying to get a hitch to Panguipulli. With no luck he ended up riding there and he cowboy camped at some beach. The next day he managed to take buses down to Entre Lagos.
The weather didn’t look promising when we left Entre Lagos for our trail (Paso Desolacion) around Volcán Osorno. The ride up was beautiful, a dirt road turned to trail. The downhill to Petrohue proved more challenging due to the thick ash of a recent eruption. Dan cycled it all (and wiped it into the sand at one point), I chickened out the first couple of kilometers until it got a bit smoother. Unfortunately the weather was miserable throughout. The peak, despite being but a few short kilometers away, was nowhere to be seen through the thick fog. Ironically the following day was beautiful and clear.
From Riñinahue you can either stick to the asphalt via Llifen or take a dirt road to the south (part of section 13 of the GPT). To test it for future cyclists we did the latter (roughly 60k). After some smooth climbing it gets steeper. Eventually it turns into a trail for some of the uphill and then most of the downhill (the boys cycled it, I found it too steep and the surface wasn’t great) to Rupumeica (locals can point you to a shop with basics). There you’re back on a dirt road which will bring you to the trail head (passing a few stores).
For more information on the trail itself keep an eye on Skyler’s blog! He tried to find a northern access point that isnt a guarded park entrance so that southbound people won’t have problems getting on the trail (park entrances in the north are guarded and they will only let you through with a guide who costs about 20.000pp; exciting the park in the north they will let you through though).
Volcán Osorno (sendero de desolacion)
From Entre Lagos you can get to Puerto Varas in two days via this trail.
0: Entre Lagos
52: turn off onto a dirt road at Puerto Klocker. The dirt road is pretty gradual and in a very good condition.
61k: a park officer lives here and there are a couple of other houses you could get water from. After merging off the river we didn’t see any other water sources on the trail. There is no fee to enter the park. the park officer was really nice and helpful.
63k: the official park office, might be empty.
70.5k: a “cafeteria”. Camping possible/allowed.The owner apparently pops by the occasional Saturday and would allow you to camp if he was around.
Here the trail starts (access behind the cafeteria on the left side, otherwise you’ll stand in front of a gate). Steeper and sandier but still possible to ride if you choose the winding track rather than the steep hiking trail.
73.5k: depending on your trail choice, here’s your top. For the next couple of km it’s a gradual nice single track downhill before it gets very sandy and steep for a couple of km. Then it flattens out again.
84k: end of trail, another park office.
100k: Ensenada. Carabineros, shops, hospedajes, camping (~3000pp)
142k: Puerto Varas
The things you can do with a stove… homemade empanadas!
Church on the way to the Huilo-Huilo trailhead.
Section 13 of the GPT leading to the Huilo-Huilo trailhead – at times not so rideable, Skyler manages anyhow.
Skyler and Dan tired after a long day, enjoying the beautiful camp spot.
Interesting plants in Huilo-Huilo.
Deep river crossing.
And where to now?
Just in front of Osorno, but no views…
In Puerto Varas… stunning volcano Osorno.