Extreme Hiking / Hiking in The W Circuit Trail, Torres del Paine, Magallanes Chile

Trail length:
46.5 mi/75 km
Hiking time:
28 hours
Torres del Paine is located in Southern Patagonia and is one of the numerous spectacular national parks in Chile. It was created in 1959 and UNESCO has listed the location as a Biosphere Reserve since 1978. This place is a wonder land for hikers from all over the world.

Waterfalls and rivers, Magellanic subpolar forests, pampas, mountains overed with permanent ice, granite peaks, meadows and glacier fed lakes await the outdoor adventurers to discover the wild and unique nature of Patagonia.

The W circuit trail is one of the world’s most beautiful hikes. It is 46.5 mi/75 km long, about 28 hours, in total, of hiking and it takes between three and five days to complete it. To get to the trail head, from east to west, there are minibuses at the parks entrance that will take you to Laguna Amarga, where you can start your hike. The trail takes you to the three most famous sites of the park. The world wide known Towers or else called Torres, the French Valley and the Gray Mirador. The towers consist of three incredible granite spikes, which the highest of all stands at 9514 ft/2900 m high, part of the Cordillera del Paine.

The French Valley is an impressive glacier, hidden in the sides of Paine Massif and the Grey Mirador, is like an endless highway of ice leading to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. The nature around you is overwhelming with outstanding ecosystems, different landscapes and rare flora and fauna, found nowhere else on the planet. In every step you take, the views of this dramatic land take your breath away.

You can hike this trail all year round, but the best time to visit Torres del Paine is between November and February. There are many campgrounds and refugios along the W trail, where you can spend the night. Be very well prepared in regards with gear, food and clothing because the weather is unpredictable with high winds, rain showers, long hot days during summer, snow and everything else you may think of. Wind proof layers are the key.