Santa Cruz to Ulta Valley Trek, Cordillera Blanca
Enjoy a Santa Cruz to Ulta Valley guided trek. This popular 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. Beautiful Andean wildflowers are prolific during the trekking season.
Length: 6 Days Walk
Distance: 67 Km
Maximum Altitude: 4850m
Season: April – September
Day 1: We 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. 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: We continue our hike along the wide Santa Cruz Valley, passing Lagunas Ichiccocha and Jatuncocha lakes below towering peaks of the Cordillera Blanca that sit in commanding positions above the valley. We camp at Taullipampa 4250m. 5 hours walk.
Day 3: We ascend towards Paso Punta Union 4750m Pass. From the pass there are amazing views down the Santa Cruz Valley and the surrounding mountains. We descend to Huaripampa Valley passing two small lakes to camp at Paria 3890m. 7 hours walk.
Day 4: We continue down the main valley passing through the village of Huaripampa, Colcabamba and Challhua and then we walk along the road to our camp at Molinopampa 3600m. 6 hours walk.
Day 5: 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. 4 hours walk.
Day 6: 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.