Backpack the Laguna 69 - Pisco Base Camp Loop


Route Type


Added by Kyle Frost

Escape the Laguna 69 crowds by turning your trip into an overnight, and get even more spectacular views

Most people opt for a day trip to Laguna 69. You'll get picked up by your tour in Huaraz early in the morning, drive 3 hours to the trailhead, hike to the laguna (which is spectacular), take pictures with dozens of other people, and then head back down to return to Huaraz. Here's a more adventurous alternative!

Instead of returning with the tour, arrange beforehand to be picked up the next day. This will give you a couple options. You can either camp at the lake itself, which is quite beautiful (although it may get boring after a few hours), OR continue on to Pisco Base Camp. This trail continues up the mountainside just to the west of the Laguna. It'll be apparent where it goes, as it cuts an obvious path just to the right of where you arrive at the laguna.

This trail winds up even higher on the mountainside, and eventually traverses down the valley to another wide vista. If the day is clear, you'll have incredible views of Huascaran, Nevado Pisco, Chacraju, and Huandoy (Este and Sur). The trail crosses a large boulder field before descending towards another small lake of similar color to Laguna 69. 

Set up camp near the Pisco Refugio, with a sweeping view of the surrounding mountains, or depending on the season, snag a spot in the refugio itself. It's super comfy.

The next day, continue down the trail back towards the bottom of the valley. It will eventually connect with the primary trail to Laguna 69, and you'll be able to meet up with the tour to catch your ride back! 

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One of my favorite adventures of my life! The water is definitely cold I am glad I'm not the only one who jumped in there ;)

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