Queulat National Park is located in the southern part of Chile north of Laguna San Rafael National Park. The park encompasses an area of 595 square miles(1,541 sq km).
The park is renowned for the evergreen forests that blanket the glacier-capped mountain terrain. The park displays a region of the Puyuhuapi Volcanic Group as well as the Patagonian Andes. Collectively, the mountainous region features ice fields and snow-capped mountains.
The mountains are surrounded by Valdivian temperate rain forests. The common trees of the forest include the coigue, tepu, tepa, and nalcas with higher elevations featuring the lenga and Magellan's beech.
There are several glaciers with the longest reaching across 7 miles (12 km). Queulat Hanging Glacier provides the namesake of the park and is the largest glacier covering 31 square miles (80 sq km). The ice cap sits at 6,198 feet (1,889 m).
The snow-capped mountains melting runoff create waterfalls in various places in the park. Cascada de Ventisquero Colgante is one of the more remarkable large waterfalls that feed into the Tempanos River.
The park is not known for its wildlife, however, it is present. The ocelot-like kodkod is a coveted sighting. Other mammalian species include the pudu, coypu, and the river otter. Bird lovers will find a greater variety of species, including the Magellanic woodpecker, Chiloe wigeon, flying streamer, red-gartered coot, and the ringed kingfisher.
The astounding snow-capped mountains, ice fields and glaciers, temperate forests, and the waterfalls feeding into the river serve as the highlight of the national park.
Queulat Hanging Glacier
The receding glacier was once only 328 feet (100 m) from the shoreline, however, it has recended to 25,584 feet (7,800 m) away. The massive glaicer and surrounding terrain offer visitors striking picturesque views. Without question, this is the heart of the park and a highlight for most visitors.
This hanging glacier extends from the Tempanos Lagoon and along the Padre Garcia waterfalls, up to the Alto Nevado peak. The glacier is engulfed amongst the temperate rainforest.
Road - Hike Trip
The Carretera Austral traverses through the heart of Queulat National Park covering a distance of 43.5 miles (70 km). This drive provides spectacular views of the exquisite landscapes of the park. The road also provides access to several short day hikes allowing the journey to become more adventureous.
Queulat National Park Trails
HIking and trekking are the primary activities of the park. There are three trails that traverse about the park with each featuring the opportunity to experience the temperate rainforest.
Moraine of the Glacier Trail
This is one of the most desired trails because of the astounding panoramic views of the hanging glacier.
Enchanted Forest Trail
This trail is more challenging as it crosses streams without leveraging any constructed bridges. Hikers must jump on rocks to cross.
Mirador Ventisquero Colgante Trail
This difficult rated trail features an elevation gain of 997 feet (303.9 m) as you ascend the 3.5 mile (5.6 km) trek. You will travel through the forest with views of the lake. One of the highlights is cross the Ventisquero River on the suspension bridge with views of the river and surrounding landscape. You will also have stunning views of the Ventisquero Colgante Glacier.
Queulat National Park was created to protect the pristine Valdivian temperate rain forests, the incredible ice fields, and the captivating landscapes for future generations. The park habitat also protects the environment for some of the endangered species like the Darwin's frog.
- Cisnes River
- Stunning snow-capped landscapes
- Queulat Hanging Glacier
- Ventisquero Colgante Glacier
- All Trails, Best Trails in Queulat National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/chile/aysen/parque-nacional-queulat, retrieved January 2022.
- Go Chile, Queulat National Park, https://www.gochile.cl/en/queulat-national-park/, retrieved January 2022.
- LAC Geo, Queulat National Park Chile, https://lacgeo.com/queulat-national-park-chile, retrieved January 2022.
- Swoop Patagonia, Queulat National Park, https://www.swoop-patagonia.com/chile/aysen/queulat, retrieved January 2022.
- Wikipedia, Queulat National Park, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queulat_National_Park, retrieved January 2022.