Malalcahuello's Top 3 Backcountry Routes

Discover 3 routes on the most stunning volcanoes near Malalcahuello, a backcountry hub in the southern Andes



The Lonquimay volcano offers endless possibilities for backcountry adventures. Vehicle access in winter is relatively good. Its conical shape facilitates access to different aspects as you descend. Another interesting feature of this volcano is its sealed crater, covered with a small glacier (it's even possible to ski). Its elevation is 2865m, which is equivalent to 1400m of vertical skiing back to the parking lot.
Highlight: Long descent and a wild landscape where it's possible to see up to 8 volcanoes in the Araucania and neighbouring regions.

Sierra Nevada is another volcano that goes unnoticed by many winter visitors. A longer approach through a native forest rewards you with legendary alpine terrain and unique landscapes of the wild Araucania region. The Sierra Nevada route begins in the Malalcahuello National Reserve and crosses to the Conguillio National Park, from its summit at 2554m you can see volcanoes of the region from a new perspective, the Conguillio Lake and Galletue Lagoon.
Highlights: The Araucaria (Monkey puzzle tree) forest is breathtaking, even locals are lost in the moment when observing these ancient trees.

Llaima's summit sits at 3125m, it's vertical skiing along the Captrén route is approximately 1600m. This route is more direct than going up through Las Araucarias ski center. This face is very wide, it is not exposed to hazardous terrain traps but the conditions of the area must be considered. Be prepared especially when it's windy and/or icy.
Highlight: Descending the first 600 vertical metres.

Lonquimay Volcano Normal Route (ESE Face-Ridge)

Lonquimay Volcano Normal Route (ESE Face-Ridge)

6 - 7 hrs
11.3 km
1,337 m
1,336 m
34 °
This is Malalcahuello's classic route to descend the 1500+ vertical meters of the 3rd tallest volcano of this region.
Sierra Nevada Ascension From Malalcahuello

Sierra Nevada Ascension From Malalcahuello

1 day +
29.6 km
1,803 m
1,813 m
25 °
Great backcountry, beautiful Monkey Puzzle tree forest and a magnificent descend.
Llaima Ascension Route via Captren

Llaima Ascension Route via Captren

7 - 8 hrs
13.1 km
1,795 m
1,796 m
40 °
A very direct ascension to one of the most iconic peaks of the Araucania Andina.