López bay - López Hut (Palotinos)


High Difficulty

November - April
Very High (May - October)


11 km.
Starting at Lopez Bay and ending down at the Lopez creek (Circuito Chico).

Elevation gain

1.300 m.


8 - 9 hs.

How to get there


From downtown Bariloche:

Bus: Line 10. Get off at the entrance to the López bay, follow the trail to the Brazo Tristeza lookout which starts along the beach.

SUBE card needed to pay bus fare. Check timetable.

By car: Take the “Circuito Chico” all the way round to López bay. Free parking. Best to arrange car pick up as the trail end is 3 km. away from the start.


López Hut – Open all year round

  • This trail is to be done only in this direction. Do not attempt the other way around.
  • Hire a mountain guide is highly recommended.
  • There are many sections of scrambling with high exposure where you cannot slip or fall.
  • Not easy to find and follow the trail at times.
  • After the first 2 hours it is not possible to descend back, need to continue on to the López Hut.
  • Be very careful after rainstorms as there can be ice on the south aspects on the rock.
  • Take plenty of water, there is no shade.


The start of the trail is the same as the “Mirador del Brazo Tristeza”, at the López bay. Once at the lookout, search to your left for the trail in between the Coihue forest, the trail is next to the rock wall. There is a sign which says “only for experts and with a Mountain Guide”. Please be extremely cautious as any injury on this trail would involve a long and complex evacuation.

The first part is pretty close to the cliffs, and scrambling a lot. There are a few cairns and red markings though not always easy to find. The trail is on rock so no visible trail. Soon there is a steep climb, roughly 8 meters, and another similar climb half an hour further up.

Continue up the ridge until you reach a big steep scree slope descending towards the Tristeza branch of the Nahuel Huapi Lake. Traverse across the scree trying to maintain your elevation, you will get to the ridge. Through the col or pass you cross round to the adjacent slope and up to the summit ridge with a view of the whole bowl. From here you should be able to see the López Hut at all times as you slowly descend. There is no marked trail again so choose the easiest line towards the hut without descending too rapidly.

From the Hut down take the traditional trail used to hike up from the “Circuito Chico” road and the López creek.

To improve the trekking experience, it is recommended to contact a Mountain Guide authorized by the AAGM (Argentine Association of Mountain Guides)