When To Hike Torres Del Paine (And Why Some Months Are A No-Go)

When to hike Torres Del Paine

The best time to hike in Torres Del Paine depends on what you want to experience and the level of adventure you are looking for. Strictly speaking, you can enter the park all year round. Still, some months are definitely better than others for hiking.

In this article, I’ve broken down conditions in Torres Del Paine by season. These insights are based on my own experience and personal opinion. Remember,  even in mid-season, weather patterns in the park can be unpredictable. Use this as a guideline but be prepared for everything when trekking in Patagonia!

When Is The Best Time To Hike Torres Del Paine?

In terms of climate, summer (Dec- Feb) is the driest and warmest  season to hike Torres Del Paine. With such good weather, the park gets very crowded. This is not ideal if you want to enjoy the undisturbed wilderness.

Below are some seasonal insights to determine for yourself which month is best for trekking.

When Is Torres Del Paine Trekking Season?

The trekking season falls between October and April. Although Torres Del Paine National Park is open all year round, some trails are closed over winter.

Torres Del Paine’s refugios and campsites are closed to independent hikers between May- September. You can only hike multi-day routes with a tour operator over these months.

To put that simply: If you plan to hike without a guide, then you will only be able to do the W Trek and Full Circuit Trek between October and April.

laguna torres del paine

When Is The Most Popular Time To Visit Torres Del Paine?

The peak season for Torres Del Paine is from December to February. This is summertime in the southern hemisphere. You get a lot more hours of daylight during these months. This means you can explore the park until late in the afternoon.

Something I really don’t like about Torres del Paine in summer is that it gets extremely busy. If you don’t like sharing the trail with a stream of other visitors, consider planning your Patagonia backpacking trip for the shoulder season.

Hiking In The Shoulder Season- Miss the Crowds and Still Enjoy Good Weather

When given the choice, I will always opt to be on the trails in Torres Del Paine just off-season. The shoulder months fall between September to November and March to May.

The main benefits of hiking Torres del Paine during these months are;

  • There are much fewer tourists in the park
  • Prices of accommodation drop and you can find discounts on tours.
  • Fewer visitors mean that animals are more active.

The only real downside to hiking during the shoulder season is occasional days of unpredictable/ rainy weather. However, I found that there are also plenty of warm and clear days. In my opinion, it is worth the risk!

The Best Time To Trek Torres Del Paine - A Month To Month Guide

To help you decide when to plan your visit to Torres Del Paine, Let’s take a look at the average weather conditions in Torres Del Paine over each season.

Average Monthly Temperatures In Torres Del Paine

  • January: 8°C-20°C / 46°F-68°F
  • February: 7°C-19°C / 44°F-66°F
  • March: 6°C-17 °C / 42°F-62°F
  • April: 3°C-13°C / 37°F-55°F
  • May: 0°C-9°C / 32°F-48°F
  • June: -3°C-5°C / 26°F-41°F
  • July: -3°C-5°C / 26°F-41°F
  • August:  -1°C-8°C / 30°F-46°F
  • September: 0°C-10°C / 32°F-50°F
  • October: 3°C-14°C / 37°F-57°F
  • November: 4°C-17°C / 41°F-63°F
  • December: 7°C-18°C / 37°F-55°F

Seasonal Weather In Torres Del Paine

December - February (Summer)

These are the warmest months in the park. The days are long. with up to 17 hours of daylight. In terms of weather, this is the perfect ideal season for hiking, camping, or sightseeing around the park.

valley torres del paine

Sunny summer weather in Torres Del Paine

Summer months are the peak tourist season. It's a good opportunity to meet fellow travelers on the trail. If you prefer a quieter trekking experience, stick to the less popular routes. Alternatively, consider some of the other great hikes in Chile.

March - May (Autumn)

Fall in Torres Del Paine is a stunning time to visit. There are a lot fewer visitors at this time of year. A huge highlight of Autumn months is seeing the leaves change to shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. The days are shorter with around 10 hours of daylight.

I like March for hiking in Patagonia. It’s quieter in the park yet you usually get good weather for spending long days outdoors. The temperatures are a lot cooler as winter approaches. Be prepared by packing many warm layers.

April and May are, according to historical weather statistics, the wettest months in Torres Del Paine. You need to have a good weatherproof jacket. Note that the W Trek and O Trek are closed from the 30th March.

June to August - (Winter)

Winter in Torres Del Paine brings cold temperatures, snow, and ice. Winter is not a good time to hike in Torres Del Paine.

The park's landscapes are transformed by blankets of snow. This makes hiking difficult and dangerous without a guide. Winter days are also much shorter. There are only around 8 hrs of daylight before the sun sets.

If you do end up visiting Torres Del Paine in winter, it’s not all bad. The park becomes a winter wonderland. Some of the day hikes in Patagonia and Torres Del Paine are still accessible over winter. Plus, you will almost have the park to yourself as there are very few visitors in these months. With fewer people around, wild animals usually become more visible.

September - November (Spring)

Spring is my personal favorite time to hike in Torres Del Paine. Temperatures start to warm up and days get longer and longer. By November, you have almost as many hiking hours as mid-summer (up to 14 hours).

Spring flowers make the park particularly beautiful. This is also the breeding season for animals and wildlife sightings peak over this time. The vegetation is lush, and the waterfalls are at their most impressive after the rainy season.

Note that November is a windy season. Be prepared for strong gusts, particularly on the mountain slopes.

Best Time Of Year To Hike Torres Del Paine- FAQs

Can I Hike Torres Del Paine At The End Of March?

You can hike in Torres Del Paine in March. Most day trails are open year- round however, campsites and refugios close on the 30th March.

What time of year to see Pumas in Torres Del Paine?

It is possible to see pumas and other wildlife all year in Torres Del Paine. However, you have a better chance of seeing them is Spring and Autumn (October - November and March - May). When there are less visitors, animals are more active near the trails.

Do I Need a Permit To Hike In Torres Del Paine National Park?

Yes, you need to book a permit online before you enter the park. Buy your permits through the official CONAF website.

About the author 

Alison Macallister

With a degree in Nature Conservation and experience working with wildlife including the Big 5, Alison used to work as a guide for a 5-star safari reserve in South Africa. Today she is a full time traveller and editor for Mountain IQ. She has travelled and hiked extensively in South America, including many solo hikes in Patagonia, the Cusco region of Peru, Ecuador and Chile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

We work with local guides to offer great value adventures at unbeatable prices.