Las Torres Towers, © Can Stock Photo / muha04
Visit Torres del Paine – W Circuit Trek
The W Circuit Trek is the route most hikers take when they visit Torres del Paine. Hikers spend 3 – 5 days on the”the W Circuit Trek”. Check out the Torres del Paine W Circuit Trek map. The “W” refers to the pattern of the trail. The W Circuit Trek includes the las Torres (Towers) Valley, the French Valley and the trail to the Grey Glacier. Trekkers can hike separate sections of the W Circuit by starting at either Paine Grande or at Hotel Las Torres Patagonia. The W Circuit Trek in Torres del Paine can be also be expanded into a full 60 mile circle for advanced climbers.
Visit Torres del Paine – The Towers
Las Torres (the Towers) – This is the most difficult climb of Torres del Paine W Circuit Trek, but it’s still not that difficult. The W Circuit hiking trail starts by the Hotel Las Torres Patagonia and Ecocamp Patagonia. The trail climbs the base of Almirante Nieto mountain and then levels out in a glacial valley. Next the trek turns steeply upward over a glacial moraine. Then the trail arrives at the small lake at the foot of the towers, called Mirador Las Torres. Plan at least a 7 hour day on this 12 mile return hike. You can also camp an hour below the viewpoint and wait for the best views.
Lake at Las Torres Towers
Visit Torres del Paine – French Valley
The French Valley – This forms the mid section of the Torres del Paine W Circuit Trek with the Cuernos del Paine mountain on the right as you ascend and Paine Grande mountain on the left. The trail from Lodge Paine Grande starts along the lake shore and then climbs to the Italian camp near the Frances glacier. This section takes about 2.5 hours. It’s another 3.5 hours from there through the French Valley to the British Camp. You can also reach the French Valley from the Las Torres Valley by hiking southwest along Lake Nordenskjold to the Cuernos Camp for 4.5 hours. Then from the Cuernos Camp to the Italian Camp is about 2.5 hours. Many tours skip this large section of the W Circuit Trek by using the Lake Pehoe Ferry to reposition from the Torres Valley to Lodge Paine Grande.
Torres del Paine Massif
Visit Torres del Paine – Grey Glacier
Lake Grey and Grey Glacier – This forms the left side of the W Circuit Trek. The trail starts at the Lodge Paine Grande and travels to the shore line of Lake Grey. There is a lookout at the halfway point and a hostel at the glacier. You can also take a ferry back out instead of hiking a full day to return.
Visit Torres del Paine – Hiking Gear
Puerto Natales is the best place to outfit your Torres del Paine W Circuit trek with hiking gear. Rent sleeping bags, tents, walking sticks, water proof jackets & pants and waterproof duffel bags. Leave your suitcase at a hotel in storage and retrieve your non-trekking belongings after your excursion to the Towers. You can also rent tents and sleeping bags at Lodge Paine Grande. The lodge has public washrooms, a small store, a cafeteria and a bar.
Hotel las Torres Patagonia, Start of Las Torres Trail
Visit Torres del Paine – Hotels
- Hotel Las Torres Patagonia – a large hotel complex located at the start of the trail to the Towers. This is the closest hotel to Mirador Las Torres.
- Hotel Lago Grey – located at the base of Lago Grey with views of the lake, the glacier and Paine Grande. Hotel Lago Grey is accessible by vehicle but is not near the hiking trails. Take their ferry to the Grey Glacier and begin hiking your W Circuit Trek.
- Explora Patagonia – 5 star hotel located beside Chico Falls with lovely views of Pehoe Lake and the mountains.
- Hosteria Tercera Barranca – set back 12 miles from the Las Torres trail head, with excellent views of the Towers.