Discover the hanging glacier of the French Valley on this W Trek day hike in Torres del Paine National Park


The hanging glaciers of the French Valley are a popular part of the W Trek and can be enjoyed as a day hike while visiting Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. The Valle Frances or ‘French Valley’ hike begins with a crossing of Lake Pehoe and a narrow stony path on the Paine Grande Mountain. You’ll pass two beautiful lakes with views of the Cuernos or ‘Horns’ as you navigate small footbridges to avoid the mud and tree routes on the mountainside. After 7 kilometers you will cross the French River and climb through a forest emerging to a view of the hanging French Glacier that spills into the Paine Grande. If fitness and conditions allow, continue climbing for another hour passing through lenga and coihue forests and by waterfalls until you reach the Plató lookout. This is a great lunch spot with its unique views of the imposing Paine Grande and the beautiful granite rocks opposite. Return along the same trail to another access point to Lake Pehoe for your cataman crossing back to the vehicle.

This moderately challenging day hike is available as a shared or private guided experience from select lodges in Torres del Paine National Park and Puerto Natales (though it is a long day from the latter due to travel distances). You can also enjoy the French Valley hike as part of a multi-day luxury W Trek circuit.

French Valley Hike
French Valley Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park Tierra
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October to April

All excursions are subject to weather and safety considerations. Modified routes and timing may be required due to Catamaran operational changes.

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