Salto Grande

Patagonia / Torres del Paine National Park, Magallanes, Chile

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 1.5
Salto Grande

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Salto Grande was definitely the prime waterfall attraction in Torres del Paine National Park as far as we were concerned. What made this waterfall stand out to us was the force by which the outflow of the lake Lago Nordenskjöld funneled into a narrow chute in much the same powerful waterfalls like Huka Falls did. Also, the powder blue color of its waters from all the sediment embedded in the glacier-fed waters added to its scenic allure. The watercourse would eventually feed the gorgeous Lago Pehoe, which was one of the prettier lakes that we saw in the Chilean side of Torres del Paine National Park.

Even though we didn't think the waterfall's height was overwhelming (it was probably about 15m tall or so), its tremendous power more than made up for it. We definitely felt the butterflies in our stomachs as we walked up to its thunderous brink, and it even felt as if the ground was trembling with all that power flowing by us.

Speaking of getting up to its brink, we were able to do so after partaking in a pretty easy hike. The walk was pretty straight-forward as we left the well-defined car park and headed right towards the thunderous torrent along a well-established trail.

We were also able to view the falls from afar along the main road through the park. However, I didn't recall there being a pullout to get this view. We basically slowed down to get a hasty roadside shot while no other car was around.

Had the weather been good and we had extra time (which we didn't), we could have extended the 30-minute return hike into a 2-hour return hike by walking north towards the Mirador de Los Cuernos at the shores of Lago Nordenskjöld. The reason why this would've been a good idea was that we could've gotten dramatic views of the horns of Paine rising sharply above the lake.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Contextual look at Salto GrandeContextual look at Salto Grande
Gorgeous panorama of Lago Pehoe backed by Los Cuernos del PaineGorgeous panorama of Lago Pehoe backed by Los Cuernos del Paine, which was not far from Salto Grande
I believe these were the lakes that fed Salto GrandeI believe these were the lakes that fed Salto Grande
The scenic drive we took to get to Salto Grande from Hosteria TyndallThe scenic drive we took to get to Salto Grande from Hosteria Tyndall

Direct view of Salto Grande from across Lago PehoeDirect view of the falls from across Lago Pehoe

The car park for Salto GrandeThe car park for the falls

Starting the walk to Salto GrandeStarting the walk to the falls. Note the "E" stands for "estacionamiento" or parking lot

Looking towards Lago Pehoe from the Salto Grande TrailLooking towards Lago Pehoe from the trail

Still on the short trail to Salto GrandeStill on the short trail to the falls

Long exposure look over the brink of Salto GrandeLong exposure look over the brink of the falls

Full profile view of Salto GrandeFull profile view of the raging waterfall


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Right to left sweep starting from Los Cuernos del Paine and ending downstream of the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

It was about 26km from Hosteria Tyndall (where we were staying) to the car park for Salto Grande. That took us about 35 minutes to drive this distance. I recalled the driving route was pretty straightforward given the signage at the major junctions.

For context, Hosteria Pehoe within Lago Pehoe was the nearest accommodation to Salto Grande. This spot was 286km (or 4 hours drive not counting possible border crossing delays) from El Calafate, Argentina.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Salto Grande Torres del Paine Chilean Patagonia 
I spent a week on the far and much harder to reach side of the bank. It was worth it, I got two shots.

Upper Salto Grande (Waterfall) Torres del Paine N.P. Chilean Patagonia 
I spent a week camped out on the side of this river bank in the hope of getting a photograph. It was a tough place to get to and despite being a National …

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