The highlight of our trip to Bariloche was this hike to one of the most beautiful spots on our planet. We took the bus to Cerra Catedral ($10.00 peso per person per leg...cash only) and with a bit of looking found the trail head. (Head left at the parking lot until you find a wood carved hiker / trail head)
The trail gradually heads up hill for about 2 hours until it basically turns right and heads up a large drainage/valley for your next 2 hours. All along the trail there are incredible views first down slope toward the lake and then uphill to the majestic mountains. About 2/3 of the way up there is monument that offers one a chance to leave a small stone to remember a loved one with a prayer and bell to send your prayer to heaven.
Refugio Frey is a picturesque stone building at the base of a small lake and an amphitheater of volcanic peaks. There are a few reclined wooden chairs to lay in while you watch the rock climbers ascend one of the multitude of nearby climbs. We did not spend the night but it seemed like it offered accommodations one would expect. They even have cerveza and pizza if you were so inclined. Numerous Rock Climbers had set up their small base camps in tents close by as well.
If you are taking the bus back to Bariloche it leaves once an hour. If you are early or late then you have the option to enjoy a meaningful refreshment at one of the establishments at the base of the ski area.
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