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Circuit O - Stage 2. Serón Camp at the Dickson Refuge

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The Dickson Refuge, our objective in the second stage of the Torres del Paine Circuit O. We knew that a long route of about 19km was waiting for us, and with something more uphill than the previous stage, but we could not imagine how the landscape would change drastically a few steps from the camp. The best, came the great lakes, the glaciers, and the imposing landscapes we had seen in many photographs.

From Camp Serón to Dickson Shelter

after one very flat last stage by the Paine river as soon as dawn we gathered our things to leave the Serón Camp. It was the first day we were going to tread in the National Park. So far we walked on private land, almost in the limits of the park, but we already had that desire to walk once and for all the true National Park.

We leave at nine in the morning from Camp Serón in the direction of the Dickson Shelter. At the beginning of the stage we travel through a meadow with the very tall herbs and somewhat dry in the summer, but with a bright color and brightness thanks to the rain of the previous night. The light of dawn is spectacular on this side of the southern hemisphere.

He Paine river, like the day before, we always had it on the right, with that blue-gray color thanks to the thaw of the south ice field glacier. This glacier has the honor of being the largest glacier on the planet with the permission of the north pole and the south pole.


Towards the Dickson Shelter
From Camp Serón to Dickson Shelter

The part of the previous day was rainy, but we were told by the guard who looked to change, and so it was, the good weather accompanied us in much of the stage. It should be noted that in Torres del Paine the weather changes in a matter of minutes, from sun to drizzle or torrential rains, everything can happen here.


After the river, we reach the most complicated point of the stage, a small ascension with a unevenness of about 400m. According to the guard, this causes havoc for non-mountaineers of pure strain, since this climb is not expected so close to the Serón Camp. Once this ascent passed, we were welcomed by the lake paine, something spectacular if you have the morning light as it goes in your favor. Tell that the ascent is about 2km, until kilometer 6 approximately.


From Camp Serón to Dickson Shelter
From Camp Serón to Dickson Shelter

After the highest point begins a long path by the lake, which transits to your left with spectacular views towards the mouth of streams or torrents from Lake Dickson, the lake that houses the refuge of the same name, the Dickson Refuge.

Virtually the entire path from Lake Paine is down until you reach the National Park entrance where is it Coirón, where a super friendly guardian welcomes you. There you have to register and show the pass to the National Park. Coiron is a good place to rest. As a curiosity in the guard house there are beds for those who cannot continue from exhaustion, something that seems to have increased in recent years due to the tourism boom in the area.


From Camp Serón to Dickson Shelter
Towards the Dickson Shelter

After the access to the Torres del Paine National Park and to the entrance to the Dickson Refuge the trail runs through a huge forest where on more than one occasion you have to go through some wooden walkways to avoid mud or water, although if or if you end up getting a little wet. It is the only part of the route where there is shade, since there are practically no trees until the entrance.


Dickson Shelter
Dickson lake

A kilometer from the Dickson Refuge is a small climb, where at the highest point there are already several houses, many tents and Lake Dickson. The view is magnificent, since you can see large blocks of ice coming from the glacier.


Dickson lake
Dickson lake

At the end of the descent there is a fence and the entrance to the Dickson Shelter. In this refuge there is an area to camp and a small shop where they sell even beers. We recommend you go to see the lake, where in addition to seeing small icebergs there are lots of birds. Each day is exceeded in Torres del Paine, one pass.

More information in our article Map, route and tips. The O and W circuit in Torres del Paine

Recommendations to consider

Dickson Shelter

Dickson Shelter is located by the lake of the same name. This in a spectacular enclave and has a large camping area. We recommend camping next to the trees, since it usually rains at night. As an anecdote we must say that the guardians of the refuge were of the “beings” more unfriendly that we have found in the park, come on, that "lovely".

  • The price for camping amounts to 6,000 pesos
  • The shelter with beds comes out for 19,000 pesos
  • Tents / tents are rented at 9,000 pesos
  • There is no electric current to charge mobiles except in the shelter
  • If you have breakfast at the shelter, calculate 7,000 pesos
  • A bottle of wine costs 10,000 pesos, a beer 2,500 pesos and a hot dinner about 15,000 pesos
  • There are cold water showers outside and if you sleep in the shelter there is hot water
  • There is no internet or coverage

Dickson Shelter
Dickson Shelter

Travel insurance

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