CAJON DEL AZUL CIRCUIT
This circuit joins up the Hielo Azul, Lago Natación, Cajón del Azul refuge huts and others further away without the need to go back to El Bolsón town.
The track is marked in the same way as the one used to get to the Hielo Azul refuge hut, red and yellow marks painted on round small sheets.
To begin the circuit you have to go back ten minutes on the same track you took to get to the refuge until you see the ¨Lago Natación¨ sign and an arrow indicating a turn to your left.
Immediately you will reach the Teno stream which you cross over using a fallen tree. There is a red rope used as a rail.
Afterwards you will find a steep climb that lasts about fourty-five minutes.
As soon as you reach the top of the small hill you will be able to see a lagoon which you should walk round on the left side. The track turns to the west (left). Five minutes later you reach a fork. The track to your right takes you to Wharton, a farm from where you can go straight back to El Bolsón town.
The one to the left will take you to the Lago Natación refuge hut after about 10 minutes more walking.
In order to continue to El Cajón del Azul Refugio you should border the Natación lake on the right following the red and yellow marks. Cross some flat land surrounded by trees and then start an abrupt descent through a lenga forest.
After about twenty minutes you will cross over a stream that comes from the Natación Lake and in twenty minutes more you will reach a viewpoint from which you can see the Azul River Valley.
From now onwards the descent is really steep and you will walk through different kinds of forest. Forty-five minutes later, when the steep descent comes to an end, you will come to a wide track, the main access to El Cajón del Azul refuge . Turn to your left.
In about fifteen minutes the track joins the Azul River where it turns to the left and gets narrower. There is a steep climb for about twenty minutes. Then you cross over the river by a wooden bridge and walk through some fields and fruit plantations till you reach the refuge.
Height: 1400 meters
Walk rating: Difficult
It is recommended to register and obtain the appropriate information before trekking.