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O Circuit: Campsite Serón - Dickson Refuge

Intermediate
 4.3 (3)

A long and windy day with lakes, rivers and beautiful views on the second section of the Macizo Circuit ("O" Circuit).


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.7

KM

Point to Point

1,155' 352 m

High

525' 160 m

Low

1,149' 350 m

Up

1,031' 314 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

40%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Geological Significance · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Trail access closes at 3pm in the summer and 10am in the winter. Trail is one way only. There is a CONAF outpost (Guardería Coirón) halfway into the trail where you'll have to register and they will ask to see your reservations for the rest of the circuit. If you do not present your reservations you'll be forced to turn back. One Way Only: This is designated as a directional trail.

Need to Know

(1) Hiking on this section is only allowed if done in the Serón - Dickson direction. (2) IMPORTANT: it is mandatory to present the reservations for the following campsites of the Macizo Circuit to the park rangers at the Guarderia Coirón (a CONAF outpost). Bring a printed copy of your reservations or a pdf file on your phone (make sure it will be charged by then). (3) You are not allowed to smoke, light fires or use any type of stove anywhere along the trail, only at designated places in official campsites. (4) The Dickson campsite has a small market, a restaurant, nice bathrooms with hot showers and you are only allowed to cook in the kitchen (sinks and tables, bring your own stove and pots). The trees to the north block the wind from the lake nicely, so there's less risk of tents been blown away here. You can make reservations on this link: parquetorresdelpaine.cl/es/…

Description

Start the day at the Campsite Serón heading north on flat open areas following the west banks of the Paine River. After 2.5km the trail will change its course due west and you'll reach a small lake. Right after going through the lake, the trail will take you up (up to 30% grade) through a saddle between the tall mountains to the south and a small hill to the north. As soon as you reach the top you'll be presented with a view of the Paine Lake and also very strong winds that blow from the Patagonian Southern Ice Field to the west. From here, the trail goes downhill following west along the northern side of the foothills of the Macizo, south of the Paine Lake, losing most of the elevation gained during this day. Halfway through the trail you'll reach the Guardería Coirón, a CONAF outpost where the park rangers will ask you to register and verify your reservations for the following campsites. Although you can't really camp here, there are bathrooms and picnic tables where you can enjoy a quick snack or lunch. After this, the trail keeps heading west through muddy but more even terrain. If the day is not cloudy, this section gives you a nice view of the mountains to the west and also a few glaciers. Close to the end you'll start going uphill again, but smoothly. You'll hike up the northern range of a small ridge to the south of Lake Dickson, from which the Paine River flows. From the top you'll be able to see the lake in its full extent, as well as the Dickson Glacier to the north and the Dickson Refuge at the lakes margins. Hike down from this ridge on a wet, slippery rocky trail and reach the gates to the campsite after a long hiking day. Don't forget to register at the CONAF office before checking in.

Flora & Fauna

In the more open areas, you'll find a scrub composed mainly by Nirre, Calafate, Escalonia and Discaria shrubs. During summer, yellow or white orchids from the Chlorea and Gavilea genus are commonly seen, as well as dandelions, llallantes and arvejillas.The forests are mostly comprised by Lenga and Coigue trees. Commonly seen birds are the Southern House Wrens, Thorn-tailed Rayaditos, Black-chinned Siskins, Patagonian Sierra Finches, Rufous-Collared Sparrow, Long-tailed Meadowlarks, Fire-eyed Diucons, Chimango Caracaras, Austral Thrushes and Austral Blackbirds. Pay attention to the sky to spot Andean Condors or Black-chested Buzzard Eagles flying high up or American Kestrels or Cinereous Harriers closer to the ground. Around the campsite it is very common to see the Southern Crested Caracaras and more rarely the Culpeo Foxes looking for food left unattended.

Contacts

Shared By:

Gabriel Kayano

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#8135

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#25

in Chile

#8,135

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Photos

Dickson Refuge
Jan 8, 2020 near Puerto…, CL
Typical weather on the O.
Jul 9, 2020 near Puerto…, CL
View of Lago Paine between Serón and Coirón sectors.
Jan 8, 2020 near Puerto…, CL

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Dec 15, 2018
MtnDanAz
Beautiful day.