Ushuaia, Argentina

Hike to Laguna Esmeralda

6 Miles Total - 700 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by John Maurizi

A straight forward trail to a lake created by a glacier. The trail passes huge beaver dams and follows a fast moving stream to the laguna.

Laguna Esmeralda is one of the easier lagunas to hike to if you have a car because the trail head and parking are right on Route 3 just outside Ushuaia.  Fortunately we had a car.  Without the car you have to rely on hitchhiking or taxi.  From the trail head, you descend into a Lenga Forest.  The trail is narrow and a bit creepy and eerie.  The trail meanders through the forest until it exits into an open basin along a stream.

A little further upstream, we cam across some of the largest beaver dams I have ever seen.  It is quite a complex and intricate structure.  The result is a wonderful slate blue pond that is impressive.  Keep an eye out for the beaver mounds and the many different types of birds that enjoy the result of the dam.

The trail begins to climb up away from the dam complex.  The trail is steep in some sections as it travels along the stream flowing from Laguna Emeralda.  It is very scenic and be sure to turn around occasionally to view the valley below.

After about three miles you reach the laguna.  It is the same slate blue color as the beaver pond as a result of the silt form the glacier that created the laguna.  There is a small sandy beach with plenty of places to sit and enjoy the view. 

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