Guided Backpacking Trips in Cordillera Blanca – Huascaran National Park
>2 Day Four Lakes Guided Backpacking Trip
This unique backpacking trip gives us the opportunity to visit four lovely mountain lakes in only two days. It is a dramatic and little-walked trail located very close to Huaraz in Peru’s Cordillera Blanca Mountain range. There are superb mountain views throughout.
Everyone lends a hand: whether it’s cooking, washing or pitching a tent together. No multi-day hiking experience is needed but you need to be a good walker and able to carry a backpack. You can rent all camping gear here in Huaraz. Everything is organized by you and your guide and you can use public transport to get to the trailhead and it will cost much less and will however reward you with spectacular views and a real sense of achievement.
We highly recommend that you arrive in Huaraz at least three 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 organize day hikes for you.
Length: 1 night and 2 days trek
Grade: Challenging / Up to 6-8 hours physical activity each day
Maximum Altitude: 4980m
Season: All year round
Day 1: Huaraz – Recrish – Lake Radian – Lake Mullaca
We walk together to the public collectivo station and begin the journey with a spectacular scenic drive, passing small Andean villages having the opportunity to see local shepherds and farmers working on the fields using traditional methods until we reach Recrish 3300m (40 minutes drive). From Recrish, we start our hike along the road, before going up on a good trail up to Lake Radian 3990m which hides in the middle of Quenual trees, it is a natural mirror of the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca Mountain Range offering unique views of mounts Huandoy, Huascaran the highest mountain in Peru and among others.
After a little break, we continue towards our campsite by Laguna Mullaca Lake at 4580m. the trail winds on the hillside before getting to a saddle and follows an ancient water channel through quenual trees and climbs up to the campsite. 6 – 8 hours walk.
Day 2: Lake Mullaca – Paso El Zorro Pass – Ahuac Lake – Wilcahuain – Huaraz
We pack up all our stuff and start our ascent on a steep trail towards Paso el Zorro Pass at 4980m. We have unique mountain views as well as the two glacial lakes (Mullaca and Carhuac) as we climb up to the pass.
We reach the pass in two hours. After enjoying a well-earned break, we start our traverse through large rocks to get to Ahuac Lake, as we come down, we have lovely views of Huaraz and the Callejon de Huaylas Valley. We come all the way down to the village of Wilcahuain from where we catch the colectivo back to Huaraz. 6 to 7 hours walk.
What to Bring
All you need is an appropriate clothing, a good pair of walking shoes or hiking boots (and a spirit of adventure with a good dose of endurance for this trip!!).
BACKPACKING EQUIPMENT LIST
*Backpack: Internal frame, 50 liters
*Sleeping bag: Down bag rated 15 degrees with compression stuff sack
*Pocket knife: Simple, light
*Small thermos: Optional, but nice to have
*Water bottles: 2 liters combined capacity; bottles or bladder
CLOTHING AND PERSONAL EQUIPMENT
*Hiking boots: Sturdy, waterproof, comfortable boots
*Socks: 2 pair of medium weight wool or synthetic blend socks
*Base layers: Synthetic long sleeve shirt and synthetic underwear
*Soft shell pants: warm enough for cool mornings and nights, yet light enough for warm days
*Soft shell jacket: light weight
*Insulated vest: down
*Hard shell jacket: waterproof and breathable, no insulation
*Hats: one with brim, one for warmth
*Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
*Headlamp: with extra batteries
*Toiletries: Toilet paper, toothbrush/paste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.
*Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs; guide will have one as well
*Stuff sacks: for convenient packing
*Food & Camping and Cooking gear will be organized by you and your guide.
This has been by far the best guided trip we have done in South America. The day length was sometimes short but the side trips made up for this & were a good challenge. We will be back! Jessica Bourne, England