Savor the Beauty of Patagonia With the Newly Unveiled 1,700-mile Route of the Parks Trail

View of Cuernos del Paine Mountains from Grey Lake (Lago Grey) in Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Want to hit the road less traveled? How about the Route of the Parks—a brand-new trail coursing through Chile’s Patagonia mountain range?

USA, Arizona, Grand Canyon, National Park, UNESCO, World Heritage, sunset along the South rim. (Photo by: Prisma by Dukas/UIG via Getty Images)

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The 1,700-mile long route extends from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn and connects 17 national parks throughout Chile, according to the BBC.

In 2017, Douglas Tompkins, the late co-founder of The North Face, and his wife Kristine donated the land to the government of Chile via Tompkins Conservation—their organization, which creates national parks, helps endangered wildlife, and reinstates local ecology through activism efforts.

 

 

“We want Chile to be internationally recognised for having the most spectacular scenic route in the world, and thus become a benchmark for economic development based on conservation,” Carolina Morgado, the executive director at Tompkins Conservation, told BBC.

View of Cuernos del Paine Mountains from Salto Grande trail with hikers in Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

At the time, the new land donation created five new national parks and expanded other national parks in Chile. Now, their efforts have helped “expand Chile’s national park lands by nearly 40 percent and provides protection for pumas, condors, flamingos and endangered deer species native to the region,” according to The New York Times.

The website for the new trail has a detailed map of where the exact route will go, including areas of interest along the trail.

Heading to Chile? Here are some essentials guides, must-have gear, and can’t-miss attractions:

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