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Easy Day Hikes in Torres Del Paine National Park

picture of the mountains in torres del paine mirrored in the water

Traveling to Torres del Paine National Park? Looking for easy day hikes? Yes, it is possible to visit Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and not do the W trek. If you are looking for some great views and shorter hikes, these are the spots for you! I took a trip to Patagonia with my retired parents – both in their 70s. I was looking for hikes with easy to moderate difficulty and epic viewpoints. Each day, we enjoyed a short hike and some scenic drives throughout Torres del Paine, making sure not to wear out! Here are my favorite four hikes in Torres del Paine for beginning hikers or those just looking for something less than the W trek! :)

 

Laguna Azul

 


If you are looking for a slow ascent with a wider trail for children, this is the spot for you! Located in the eastern part of Torres del Paine, this spot is off the beaten track of large tourist buses.  The 3 km trek to Sierra Masle starts at the parking lot of the camping site (look for the sign in the grass to the left of the bathrooms) at Laguna Azul. It winds gradually up the mountain until you almost summit with spectacular views of the lagoon and the beautiful mountain peaks. Estimate about 1.5 hours for the trail. There are two large rocks at the flat viewing point for a break and photographs. Be on the lookout for wildlife – especially condors, butterflies and even guanacos!



Salto Grande & Mirador Los Cuernos



This hike is one of the best day hikes in Torres del Paine National Park and almost anyone can do it! Getting to Salto Grande waterfall is about a 10-minute walk from the upper parking lot, but you can face some pretty severe winds. Make sure you are steady on your feet and bring a coat to block the strong winds. We experienced some winds up to 30 mph. If you only want the waterfall viewpoint, you can turn around here.

 

However, if you want some epic mountain views and some other lagoon/lake scenic spots, then continue to the Mirador Los Cuernos. This 6 km out and back trail takes about 2 hours roundtrip. There are times of low-grade elevation change and the last several hundred yards has a couple of steeper ascends (no more than 100 feet in elevation change). This makes it a perfect day hike in the park! Bring a picnic or snacks to reward yourself at the final viewpoint – the Cuernos del Paine and Lake Pehoe.

 

Mirador Condor

 


This is a steep, but beautiful climb. The sign says it’s a 1.5 hour hike and that’s pretty accurate. It’s moderately difficult and I think the steepest climb we did in our time at Torres; we only did short day hikes. There is a viewpoint about halfway up if you decide you’ve had enough, with a few rocks to stop and sit for a sandwich or snack break. Walking polls are encouraged as there are some gravel sections that are a little slippery, especially when descending. But the views at the top are amazing! You can see 7 lakes with 360-degree panoramic views.

 

Lago Grey and Glacier Views

 


If you drive past the Lago Grey hotel entrance, the road will dead end at the ranger station with a small cafeteria/food market, bathrooms and the start of a trail down to the beach at Lago Grey. Park your car, grab a snack, and walk past the restaurant to the start of the trail. You will cross the Pingo River on a suspension bridge and continue through the forest until you descend onto the sandy beach. You may even spot a deer! You can walk along the long peninsula of the beach until you see wonderful Glacier views! If you want to see the glacier up close, be sure to book a 3-hour boat tour! It leaves from this same spot several times a day.


Pro Tip: After a long day of hiking, reward yourself with dinner at Hotel Lago Grey in Torres del Paine National Park! Dishes are CLP15,000-25,000 and wines as low as CLP5,000/glass. Service is wonderful and the food superb!



These are great day hikes in Torres del Paine National Park for even the young and old(er)! Be sure to enjoy the epic views and always be on the lookout for the wonderful wildlife.

 

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Guest
Jan 17
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Good review and accurate description of terrain and challenge for older healthy travelers. The views are breathtaking and worth the effort to reach the summits, even if a few rest breaks are needed. The writer is a very good guide and encourager. Take the first step.

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