journey into the past
of the town Temuco, surrounding the Nevados de Sollipulli volcano,
lies one of the wildest and most awe-inspiring landscapes of Araucanía.
Here we can admire the traces of one of the most violent volcanic
eruptions in geological history. Geological studies have shown
that during this eruption some rocks were hurled as high as 40
km/130,000 ft. up into the sky, creating a crater measuring 7
km/4,3 miles across. Today, this crater is occupied by a glacier
600 m/0.4 miles wide. When you hike across this glacier looking
at the effects of this geological catastrophe with ancient araucaria
trees towering above you like silent witnesses, it feels like
exploring a primeval era. This surprising landscape, studded by
numerous emerald-green mountain lakes, displays the Master’s
enormous talent in the creation of magnificent beauty and solitude.
to get there
Temuco we follow the paved road towards the Icalma pass via Cunco
until arriving at the village Melipeuco (91 km/57 miles). Six
kilometers (3.7 miles) past this town we reach an intersection,
where we turn right. The small road leads south to a place called
Alpehue. After 13 km (8 miles) the road ends at a little farmhouse.
The dirt road starting here requires a four-wheel drive beyond
this point, and takes us to the beginning of the trail after another
6 km (3.7 miles). Once we spot the first araucaria and lenga trees,
we have to keep our eyes open. The trail bends first to the right
and then to the left: this is where the trail starts and it is
easy to miss.
Temuco there is a bus service to Melipeuco. The bus company Nar-Bus
(ph. 45-407 740) leaves four times every day at 8:00 AM, 9:00
AM, 10:30 AM and 12:00 AM. There is no public transport beyond
1 (4-6 h)
route for the ascent is not easy to find, but you can ask the
local people at Alpehue for directions. The tour requires special
gear only if you intend to cross the glacier (2 extra hours).
trail leads us over a mountain. It is important to keep to the
right until reaching a lookout point opposite the Nevados de Sollipulli
volcano. From here, we carry on uphill over volcanic rock formations
until arriving at a little glacier. Keeping to its left, we finally
reach a little peak offering a great view of the impressive glacier
of Nevados de Sollipulli in its entirety.
The climb of the Sollipulli as a one day excursion is only possible by four-wheel drive - we would like to introduce an alternative here. On the north side you'll also find the "Eco Campament". The hiker will not only find accommodations in tents but also transfer by four-wheel drive vehicles, food and mountain guides. Information is available at the Hotel Bayern in Temuco.
Day 1 (6 - 7 hours)
Ascent 1.050 m, walking time 3 - 4 h
Descent 1.050 m, walking time 3 - 4 h
From the Ecocamp at 1.170 m we'll walk about 200 m back to the path. Shortly after the watertank, a small path starts from the left. We'll follow the path and reach in a short time a 30 m high waterfall. The path can't be missed as the people from the Ecocamp keep it clean and even put up signs. Above the waterfall we reach a glade. Soon we walk across a wood of the strange and beautiful Auraucaria tree. Behind us the volcanoes Llaima, Lonquimay and the ice-filled Sierrra Nevada can be seen. At about 1.700 m we cross the timberline. Now the tour continues on volcano ash. The ascent is not so steep, though. At 2.020 m we get an amazing view on the two lakes underneath us. Now it's only a short walk up to the crater. The view of the 26 km² glaciar below us is breathtakingly beautiful. In the south we see the highest volcano of the lake area, the 3.700 m Lanin. The descent takes place by the same route.
Eco Campamente 1.173 m
S 38° 55.292' W 071° 29.098'
Glade 1.325 m
S 38 ° 55.741´ W071°29.351´
Ash 1.718 m
S 38° 56.738´ W 071°29.516´
2 lakeview 2.022 m
S 38 ° 57.188´ W071°29.718´
Crater 2.160 m