Best Winter Adventures: Aysen Glacier Trail

Patagonia, Chile

Salton San Carlos     Photo: courtesy of Patagonia Adventure Expeditions

If you ever said you'd go to the end of the earth for someone, you might have meant Patagonia. Chilean Patagonia is like California 150 years ago, its rugged green mountains, silica-blue rivers, and icefields populated with mostly sheep, guanaco, and gauchos. Patagonia Adventure Expeditions operates its own trail on the east side of the Northern Ice Fields, taking you through old-growth lenga forests, past ice-strewn glacial lakes, and over the glaciers themselves. Their 14-day Ice-to-Ocean Adventure begins with the rugged ten-day trek around the Aysen Glacier Trail, camping on pre-stocked tent platforms, followed by a four-day float to the Pacific down the Río Baker, Chile's most voluminous river and the center of a hard-fought battle over a series of proposed dams ($3,800; adventurepatagonia.com).

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