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Trekking: Path to Lake EscondidoSports and Adventure

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Path to Lake Escondido

It is a hidden corner in Patagonia, and you will have the possibility to go hiking, visiting Mapuche communities, streams and cascades, until you reach a small lake.

Duration: One day

Distance: 26 kms

Recommendations: Means of transport, on foot or by 4x4 vehicle.
Difficulty, medium
Season, Summer.
Time in hours, nine in total walking. Two hours by car.

Description tour: Path to Lake Escondido

The trail to Escondido Lake (which in this case is not the one located  by the "Road of the Seven Lakes") is actually for vehicles, it starts from the road that leads to Villa Quila Quina and it is 14 kilometres far from the city.

The starting point of the path hasn't got road signs. You will see on the left a vehicle way that deviates going into the forest, and a black and white sign saying "Private property. Curruhuinca Rural Promotion Association", which restricts the access to the lands but not to the lake, which is public.

You will start to walk on the lands of the Mapuche community, where their precarious homes can be seen. They use these houses mainly in summer, when they lead the animals to the top of the mountains to feed them with the good grasses of the season. The thawing streams, the forest of Oak trees, the small cascades and the flowered meadows, make it worth walking five hours to reach the place, and four to return.

Eventhough there is enough water in the area, it is recommended to take a bottle of water, a cap, sunglasses, good hiking shoes and a warm jacket for the return. We also suggest to take a snack or some food and a pair of sandals to cross the ford of the Arroyo Grande (Big Stream).

Escondido Lake

After one kilometre you will find a junction, you must go on to the right until reaching a huge log bridge over a stream.

Then there is a new short ascent, you will see a fence and on the left a rural population. A new fence will be seen and then a quick descent will lead to the Big Stream's ford.

Change your shoes before crossing it because you will then have a five kilometre climb, and you won't find it comfortable to go on with wet shoes. Then the road turns left. You will find two small fords, one of them with a broken bridge made of logs. One kilometre further you will see the sign that indicates the detour on the right to Ruca Nire / Pucará. This is one
of the most spectacular trekking trails in the region, visited mainly by foreigners. These places are joined together with the Hua Hum River and Lake Queñi Natural thermal springs, demanding between three and five days of trekking.

You should continue along the vehicle track. After one kilometre going up you will see the slope down to Escondido Lake, a small mirror of water with a beautiful beach and reed coming up from the surface.

As the camping area is free, if you decide to spend the night there it is essential not to throw rubbish and to extinguish fire properly with water.

Content manager: Secretaría de Turismo
Office: Secretaría de Turismo - Av. San Martín y Juan Manuel de Rosas
Opening hours: 7:00hs a 14:00hs
Phone: 02972-425500
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Municipality of San Martín de los Andes

Teléfono +54 (2972) 427 315 | +54 (2972) 428 795

Gral. Roca y Juan Manuel de Rosas

Ministry of Tourism

Telephone +54 (2972) 427347 | Fax +54 (2972) 427695

Av. San Martín y Juan Manuel de Rosas

(8370) - San Martín de los Andes - Provincia del Neuquén - Patagonia - Argentina