Santa Cruz to Ulta Valley Trek
Our Santa Cruz to Ulta Valley Trek is an extension to the popular and famous Santa Cruz Classic Trek. This trek ascends the Santa Cruz Valley and crosses the Punta Union Pass at 4750m and Paso Yanayacu 4850m, below spectacular peaks of the Cordillera Blanca and skirting turquoise glacial lakes.
The valleys are great places to observe native Andean alpine flora, especially the many wildflowers that bloom during the trekking season, including buttercups, ranunculus, lupines and several species of orchids. Many encrustations of deep-red bromeliads can be seen along the track, sprouting from boulders and on rock faces.
Fauna includes few llamas, mountain caracaras, falcons, Andean geese and ducks, hawks, hummingbirds, American kestrels, puna ibis, Andean swifts, Andean foxes and mountain vizcachas.
Length: 6 Days Walk
Maximum Altitude: 4850m
Season: April – October
Day By Day Itinerary
Day 1: Huaraz – Cashapampa – Llamacorral
You are picked up at your accommodation and begin the journey with a spectacular scenic drive along the Callejon de Huaylas Valley to the village of Cashapampa 2900m which is the starting point of the trek (3 hour drive). There are opportunities for photo stops along the way. From Cashapampa we start to ascend steeply for about 2 hours and then the track levels out, we climb steadily along the Quebrada Santa Cruz to camp at Llamacorral 3750m. 5 hours walk.
Day 2: Llamacorral – Taullipampa
An easier hike up the Santa Cruz valley to our camp at Taullipampa 4250m. 5 hours walk. It is generally flat and we ascend just the last hour towards the camp. We walk past the beautiful Jatuncocha Lake. Our camp is situated near at the base of the beautiful nevado Taulliraju Mountain and we are also surrounded by other peaks such as Paria, Artseonraju, Rinrijirca, Quitaraju and Alpamayo.
Day 3: Taullipampa – Punta Union Pass – Paria
We ascend steadily for about 3 hours on a good trail to the Punta Union Pass 4750m. We can feel the effects of the altitude as we reach the pass. From the pass we have very close views of the big mountains of the Cordillera Blanca. From the pass, we have a long descent passing two small lakes and then coming down into the Huaripampa Valley to camp at Paria 3890m. 7 hours walk
Day 4: Paria – Colcabamba – Molinopampa
An easy walk down the Quebrada Huaripampa Valley where we pass by many farm houses and see a lot of local people, children, sheep, caws, goats and donkeys on the path and then we walk along the road to our camp at Molinopampa 3600m. 6 hours walk.
Day 5: Molinopampa – Campo Avalancha
We ascend steadily, passing through a Quenual forest, small lakes and then we climb up a zigzag trail to our last campsite at Avalanche 4600m. From our campsite we have views of Nevado Contrahierbas Mountain. 5 hours walk.
Day 6: Campo Avalancha – Paso Yanayacu Pass – Ulta Valley – Huaraz
We ascend to our last pass Paso Yanayacu 4850m from where we have spectacular close-up views of Nevado Chopicallqui and Huascaran mountains. We then descend to Ulta valley passing small lakes and enjoying views of the big mountains. At Quebrada Ulta our private vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Huaraz. 5 hour walk and 2½ hours drive.
We highly recommend that you arrive in Huaraz at least 2 days before the trek departs and spend time doing day hikes to higher altitude, this will help with acclimatization to the new altitude. We can help organise day hikes for you.
Grading & Fitness
In order to get the most out of this trek you should be in good physical condition. It is not easy to grade the fitness level required for the treks, since it is a subjective matter. However, we have classified this trek as moderate. We trek approximately six to eight hours per day with two long ascents and two long descents.
We encourage everyone to walk at their own pace, it is not a race and we want you to enjoy it. There is no pressure to keep up with the fastest walkers and there is always a guide at the rear of the group. On the trek all personal belongings other than a day-pack are carried for you.
It was an excellent organized trek. The service and the personalized attention have been first class. Rodolfo is a mountain guide with excellent knowledge. The atmosphere during the whole trek was really great. Summer Family, Austria.
For more information and prices contact us.