There are 13 refuges in El Bolson and the main trekking routes connect them. There are options from just a single day upwards. Make sure you bring a sleeping bag to stay in the refuges. Camping is permitted but only at the designated camp grounds next to each refuge. Camping costs vary but includes use of the toilet facilities.
The trekking season in El Bolson is November to March, during this time all the refuges should be open. The following refuges are usuall open year round: Piltriquitron, Cajon Azul, Troncanada, Retamal, Cerro Lindo (access to refuge no warden). Please check at the tourist info center before heading out as these details may change.
Note: I haven't been to El Bolson for a fair few years, so although the site was updated in 2018, the information contained within the site may be outdated. Please double check the infomation before travelling/trekking!
|Trekking Time||5 - 7 hours / 1200m ascent (from the trail head at camping Doña Rosa)|
|Access:||Camping Doña Rosa|
|Nearest Refugios||Refugio Natacion (1 Hour)|
|Notes||Excellent toilet facilities! Hot showers available at addition cost|
|Side Trips||From the refugio to the lake at the base of the glacier (grade - hard)|
A beautiful refuge with excellent facilites including hot showers (additional charge) and flushing toilets.
For the adventeuous the trip to the lake and glacier is a must (steep, loose trail). It is a 3 hour round trip from the refuge. Refuge warden will give more info and a small map.
|Trekking Time||1000m ascent / 4 - 6 hours (from the trail head at Wharton)|
|Nearest Refugios||Refugio Hielo Azul (1 Hour), Cajon Azul (3 hours)|
|Notes||They have kayaks available for use on the lake|
|Side Trips||From the refugio to the summit of Cerro Hielo Azul 2245m - Full day (grade - probably hard)|
On the edge of the Lake Natacion the starting point for ascents of the nearby Cerro Hielo Azul (2245m).
|Trekking Time||4 - 5 hours / 300m ascent (From the trail head at Wharton)|
|Nearest Refugios||El Retamal (40 mins), La Playita (90mins), Refugio Natacion (4 Hours)|
|Side Trips||From the refugio to some caves (apparently not that worthwhile!)|
A family run refuge, open year round.
|Trekking Time||5 - 7 hours / 450m ascent (from the trail head at Wharton)|
|Nearest Refugios||Refugio Cajon Azul (40 mins), Refugio Playita (1.5 hours), Refugio Dedo Gordo (3 ½ Hours), Refugio Laguitos (5 hours)|
|Notes||Open year round. Side trip to view point up the valley|
|Side Trips||From the refugio ½ trip to a col for a great view up the valley|
An beautiful owner operated refuge, open year round.
|Trekking Time||6 - 8 hours / 550m ascent (from Cajon Azul)|
|Nearest Refugios||El Retamal (5 -7 hours), Refugio Cajon Azul (6 -8 hours mins), Encanto Blanco (7 - 9 hours)|
|Notes||The remotest of all the refugios, with a new large extension finished December 2011.
Check Cerro Año Nuevo conditions with hut warden, many not be accessible until
January due to snow.
|Side Trips||Side trip to view point up the valley to Lago Soberania / Lago Escondido & Cerro Año Nuevo (1997m) (late in the season when the snow had melted)|
|Trekking Time||2½ - 3½ hours / 300m ascent (from the trail head Famillia Tilleria)|
|Access:||Familliar Tilleria (AR$50 in taxi from El Bolson) Orange colored wood gate saying Encanto Blanco|
|Nearest Refugios||Perito Moreno (3 -4 hours), Refugio los Laguitos (7 -9 hours), Refugio El Retamal (7 -9 hours)|
|Notes||A less frequently visited refuge but very welcoming and just 100m from the river|
|Side Trips||From the refugio ¼ trip to small waterfall and viewpoint up the valley|
A quiet refuge with grassy lawn and close to the river.
|Trekking Time||5 - 7 hours / 1200m ascent (From the trail head at Camping Rio Azul)|
|Access:||Rio Azul Campsite|
|Notes||Trek in and out the same route|
|Side Trips||From the refugio to the summit of Cerro Lindo 2112 (grade - easy)|
A 5 - 7 hours ascent to the refuge just below the tree line. There is an option to hike to the summit of Cerro Lindo (2112m).
|Trekking Time||3 hours / 250m ascent (from the trail head at Wharton)|
|Nearest Refugios||Refugio Cajon Azul (40 mins)|
There refugios are both a short distance apart and close to Cajon Azul.
The information contained within this site is no substitute for a qualified Mountain Guide and the site author accepts no responsibility for inaccurate or outdated information (nor omission of information), nor any accident or injury sustained while carrying out the treks described on the site. This website has no affiliation with any of the refuges nor business mentioned within it and does not receive commission not operate in any way for commercial gain.