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El Cajón del Azul is one of the many mountain shelters that are located on the Andes Mountains near El Bolsón , in Rio Negro. But it's not just any refuge: it's world-famous. This is an oasis in the middle of the mountains. It is surrounded by forest and from there you can see the boxing that the Blue River, which gives the name to the place.
1) It is necessary to register at the Mountain Information offices.
Before embarking on any mountain excursion, it is mandatory to register at Information de Montaña , in the city of El Bolsón . There is a control of who is doing trekking , for how many days you will stay and in which shelter you will plan to spend the night. It's to find out if, you haven't returned or passed through the places you mentioned to set up a rescue patrol to look for you. In addition, it suits you very well, because there they tell you everything about the trail to travel.
2) You can only access on foot or on horseback
As the road to El Cajón is in a reserve area, it can only be accessed by horse or on foot. If you prefer the latter option, the stretch, of almost nine kilometers, lasts from three to four hours, with an average degree of difficulty. That is why it is not a recommended path for older people or young children. Take at least two litres of water , and remember that you can recharge them in the streams.
This is one of those walks that are enjoyed throughout the journey. The road starts at a place called La Chacra de Wharton, 17km from the central radius of El Bolson. And three or four hours later, that final landscape is worth it. It's as they say, the best views are uphill.
To reach the destination you cross cypress forests , streams, and even two hanging bridges that allow you to cross the Blue River. Towards the end you reach a fork that points, on one side the shelter and on the other the view of the Cajón. To get there you have to go through a barandada cornice and after crossing a bridge you will have a stunning and powerful postcard, the emerald green water on the banks and deep blue in the center, contrasting with the gray stone of the mountain. The place is ideal to rest a while after the effort.
3) You can go back in the day, stay to sleep, or continue exploring
You can go and return in the day, but it is also possible to camp in the shelter. There, Atilio el refuero, offers you craft beer, homemade bread, chocolate and meals. And if you're adventurous, you don't even have to go back the next day. From El Cajón you can head to other shelters in the area such as the Blue Ice (which is close to a glacier) passing through the Natación refuge. What is, the hike to this is more complicated and requires a better fitness. It is a tour of just over six kilometers that will require another four hours of walking. But on the other hand the refuge offers a closer descent to the city. You're warned!
If you never did trekking, I asked the tourist service office for a list of items necessary to make the trip .
To take into account, during the summer trails and shelters are filled with tourists, and places like Cajón del Azul reach between 100 and 200 people per day camping.
Throughout the route there is no cell signal.
Get all the garbage down since no one will do it for you.
To minimize the risk of forest fires avoid making campfires outside the established places in shelters. Free camping is forbidden.
Walk along the marked tracks (red and yellow marks).
If you get lost, go back to the last mark seen and look for the others in the trees.
Departing from San Carlos de Bariloche you can take the RN 258 passing by Villa Mascardi and the Fogel, arriving at El Bolsón after 120 km of a beautiful road, all paved.
From the South you will reach El Bolsón, from Esquel on the RN 40 and then 258 after 180 km of route.
We suggest you continue reading the following notes:
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Publication Date: 15/06/2020
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