hiking, nature, travel, trekking

Santa cruz – Ulta trek


Timing: 6 or 7 days

Grade: Medium / hard

An extension and more demanding alternative to the traditional Llanganuco Santa Cruz Trek. From the Quebrada Huaripampa where the Classic Santa Cruz Trek finishes we continue on for two more days to a high mountain plateau campsite at Avalanche Place , then cross a second spectacular pass” Paso Punta Yanayacu” (4850m) and finish our trek in the beautiful Quebrada Ulta hiking close to Huascaran the highest mountain in the Cordillera Blanca.

A tremendous shorter trek with great variety, and an excellent warm up for a climbing trip

Day 1: Drive Huaraz to Cashapampa & Trek to Llamacorral

Drive to Cashapampa 2800m 3 hours. Hike continuously upwards through the Santa Cruz river canyon to camp at Llamacorral 3750m 5 hours.

Day 2: Llamacorral to Taullipampa

An easier day hiking in a wide, open valley to Taullipampa 4250m. Today we have our first views of the famous Alpamayo mountain.4 hours.

(Extra Day Optional) You can stay at beautiful Taullipampa Campsite an extra day. Hike up to Alpamayo Base Camp for close views of Alpamayo, or to the small Artesonraju Lake or climb up Centillo Peak (5000m)

Day 3(or 4): Cross Punta Union Pass to Paria

Climb steadily up for 2 to 3 hours to the pass Punta Union 4750m then descend to camp in a secluded valley away from the main trail at Paria 3850m. 7 hours.

Day 4 (or 5) : Paria to Molino Pampa

At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements and villages to Colcabamba. We then climb gently to camp by a stream at Molino Pampa in the Quebrada Keshu 3600m. 6 to 7 hours.

Day 5 (or 6): Molino Pampa to Avalanche Camp

A short day where we climb steadily upwards to a high campsite on a plateau perched on the mountainside called Avalanche Campsite at 4650m. 4 hours. Spend the afternoon watching avalanches crash down from the glacier on the opposite side of the valley.

Day 6 (or 7): Cross Paso Yanayacu Pass to Quebrada Ulta / Return to Huaraz

A climb of around 2 hours to the high and narrow pass of Punta Yanayacu (4850m) where we have close views of the glaciers on Nevado Contrahierbas and the massive peaks of Chopicalqui and Huascarán. Then descend to Quebrada Ulta where our van will be waiting to return us to Huaraz.