Technically within the boundaries of Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, but within walking distance of Ushuaia, the Glaciar Martial is the area’s best single hike for its expansive views of the Beagle Channel and the jagged peaks of Chile’s Isla Navarino.
Reached not by Ruta Nacional 3 but rather by the zigzag Camino al Glaciar (also known as Luis Martial) that climbs northwest out of town, the trailhead begins at the Aerosilla del Glaciar, the ski area’s chairlift, which operates 9 a.m.–7 p.m. daily. The 1.2-kilometer chairlift (US$5 pp) reduces the two-hour climb to the glacier by half. In summer there are frequent buses to the lift (US$2.50–3 round-trip) with Pasarela, Eben Ezer, and Bellavista from the corner of Avenida Maipú and 25 de Mayo, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Though easy to follow, the trail—especially the middle segment—is steep, and the descent requires caution because of loose rocks and soil. There is no admission charge to this sector.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition