Jun 22

Martial Glacier – Ushuaia, Argentina

Hiking towards Martial Glacier - Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

If you’re in Ushuaia, Argentina and looking for a great day hike with awesome views, a trip to the Martial Glacier is a good way to spend a few hours. The Martial Glacier trail starts at the bottom of the ski lift located just above the city. We started the morning by meeting back up with Juilan and Shauna, two Canadian bicycling friends we initially met in Rio Grande. Both are Canadian Park Rangers who spend their summers working, and their winters doing something interesting in a different part of the world. This year they bicycled from Lima, Peru, to Ushuaia, Argentina. The four of us met in the morning at their hostel. The weather was perfect, and Julian and Shauna were busy petting an affable husky who was waddling his way up and down the streets. We walked a few blocks together to Empanaderia Dieguito (corner of Magallanes and Don Bosco), and ate some of the best Empanadas ever. Across the street was the Ushuaia fire department, and one of the bomberos (firefighters) was grooming the station dog who seemed to think he was in charge.

Meeting back up with Julian, Shauna, and a furry friend Really tasy empanadas - Dieguitos Emanaderia Morning grooming at the Ushuaia Fire Station

With bellies full of empanadas, we jumped in Mango, stopping at the hostel to pick up a backpacker whose name I’ve forgotten, but whose face and beanie cap bear a striking resemblance to “Where’s Waldo?” From there, we drove uphill a few miles to the base of the ski area. You can access the ski road from Calle Leandro N. Alem, turning onto Calle Aldo Motter which winds its way up the mountain. The road curves around some upscale hotels with great views, and at some point turns into Calle Luis Fernando Martial. At the large, dead-end parking lot, there is a small ski lodge serving snacks. The trail for Martial Glacier starts here.

Map of Ushuaia, Argentina and start of Martial Glacier Trail.

View Larger Map

From the ski refugio parking lot, you essentially walk up the ski slope trail until you get to the top of the lift. Next, the trail follows a burbling brook through the woods, and a few minutes later you’re above treeline. What really makes the trail special however, is the awesome views. Behind us was the city of Ushuaia, and expansive views looking across the Beagle Channel towards Chilean Patagonia. In front of and around us were many trees, and we were lucky to be there during the perfect climax of fall when all the leaves were really putting on a show. I don’t think I’ve ever seen leaves so brightly colored – that’s probably why I took so many pictures. We never actually saw the Martial Glacier that day. If you look at a satellite view, it doesn’t even seem to exist anymore. I think it’s probably shrunk down to a few snow piles on the side of the mountain. However, even though there’s little snow to throw at your hiking companions once you reach the top, you won’t mind. You’ll be too busy taking in the 50 mile view across the Beagle Channel, staring in giddy amazement as you contemplate how beautiful it is at “the end of the world.”

Hiking towards the Martial Glacier - Ushuaia, Argentina Looking back towards Ushuaia and Beagle Channel - Martial Glacier - Argentina Hiking towards the Martial Glacier - Ushuaia, Argentina Panoramic photo of Glacier Martial above Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

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The full gallery of our hike to the Martial Glacier is located below.

Author: chad


Jeff & Misti
June 27, 2011

Wow, the pics are beautiful, Just seeing the world thru your eye’s is just amazing! We can’t thank you enough for keeping us all posted with such beauty!

June 27, 2011

Hi Misti and Jeff, thanks for your kind words. We never would have made it to the Martial Glacier, Ushuaia, or anywhere for that matter without your help. As the previous owners of Mango, you did a great job keeping her tuned-up and running smoothly. We ended up with a terrific Volkswagen! Since Mango is now 34 years old, we sometimes wonder if maybe she’s driven down some of these same roads years ago. Who knows? In any case, thanks for everything. We’re looking forward to meeting back up with you guys the next time we’re in Colorado.

Best regards, Chad and Ana

July 2, 2012

Hi guys some how I found your website researching for our own dream trip to Latin America. You guys are living the dream!!!!!!!!! I have so many questions but first let me just say thank you for taking the time to keep this diary. #1 What camera do you use? Thanks!

Chad says: Hi Wilson, glad to hear you are planning your own dream trip to Latin America. It’s definitely worth the time and expense to go. You are also going to have some great memories, adventures, (and maybe a few hardships!) that will last a lifetime. Ushuaia and the changing leaves on the hike to the Martial Glacier were absolutely amazing. I’m glad Ana had the patience to let me take a lot of pictures while we were there. To answer your question, our main camera is a Canon EOS 40D digital SLR with two lens: Canon 18-55 mm f3.5-5.6 IS II kit lens, and Canon 70-300 mm f4-5.6 IS USM. We also have a Panasonic DMC-TZ4 point and shoot camera. Most of the photos in this post were taken with the big camera. Good luck living your dream, sometimes the hardest part is just making the commitment to go. It sounds like you are well on your way! Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Frank Tamborello
July 24, 2012

Chad & Ana! I’m so glad y’all made it down to the southern tip of the Americas! How cool, and how beautiful a place! Certainly a long journey from Belize, where Lynsey and I met y’all. Congratulations.

Jay Berman
February 21, 2013

Those are great photos. My wife and I were in Ushuaia this month but, sadly, only for one day. Traveling on cruise ships is easy, but never as satisfying as the way you do it. I think we have to get back there.

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