Cerro Quinchol and San Sebastian
Key information: Cerro Quinchol and San Sebastian
- Hike through the Huerquehue NP's forests of distinctively shaped Araucania trees up to the summits of Quinchol and San Sebastian for stunning views reaching out across Chile's ancient Araucanian landscape.
- Broad, sweeping vistas of highland slopes coated in antediluvian forests, their green vegetation flowing to the shores of abundant lakes; in the distance snow-capped mountain ranges and the distinctive cone of nearby Volcan Villarica.
- ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!
- Walkopedia rating84
- Natural interest17
- Human interest0
- Negative points0
- Total rating84
- Length: Up to 14.6km
- 3-7 hours
- Maximum Altitude: 1,920m
- Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Although only 1,457m, and therefore one of the park's minor summits, Cerro Quinchol provides one of the best viewpoints in Huerquehue National Park. It can be hiked on its own in a fairly straightforward walk from the beautiful shores of Lago Tinquilco: a steep climb from the lake will take you on to the Pampas de Quinchol, from which you can follow the ridge in a southwesterly direction to the summit.
If you want a more interesting walk then continuing from here along the trail to the peak of San Sebastian, or simply walking the San Sebastian trail instead, is a great option. This heads back from the Pampas de Quinchol along the crest of the Nevados de Caburgua, to a long ridge with steep drops either side. Aim towards the summit; as you reach each high point one you will see yet another ahead, but eventually you will reach the outstanding lookout at the top of San Sebastian.
This hike will take you through some of Araucania's most atmospheric, primeval landscape, with vast monkey puzzle trunks rising vertically to their distinctive umbrella-shaped canopies. The sense of walking through a Jurassic world is heightened as the trail rises, opening up views across Andean foothills and of the many volcanoes encircling this area.
San Sebastian's summit itself provides stunning panoramic views: of the Araucanian landscape to the north and of the great bodies of water characterising Chile's Lake District to the south. The horizon is dominated by the distant, immense, mass of Volcan Villarrica, a snow capped pyramidal volcano reaching 2,847m into the vast Patagonian skies. At the top, keep an eye out for the mighty South American condors that can occasionally be seen up here.
The trails are fairly straightforward to follow; they are well way-marked and there are currently no major obstacles on the path. Although the view from Quinchol is fantastic, it is really the only reason for climbing to this summit. Therefore, if the clouds are low it might be worth considering whether this section is worth it. The ascent to Sebastian is steep and reasonably rapid; there are also some sections of high cliffs, and when windy it can be dangerous. Be prepared.
For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Huerquehue NP walk page.
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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