Refugio Grey to the Torres Base

The W Trek is Patagonia’s most famous trek, where you can traverse the three valleys that the trail enters, which, in turn creates a W form and when viewed from above tis W shape is what gives the trek its name.

Torres Del Paine General Map

The W Trek West to East Start and End

The trek can start at either the Western end, therefore at Refugio Grey, or even at Refugio Paine Grande and end at the Eastern sector meaning Refugio Chileno, Hotel Las Torres, Refugios Central or Norte or even ECO Camp.

Main W Trek From West To East

On the other hand, it can be walked in reverse, starting at the Eastern end at any of the accommodation establishments mentioned above and then end at the Western sector at Paine Grande or Grey.

Here, we will describe the trek starting from Refugio Grey and walking EAST towards the Torres Base.

ALSO, for those who are coming from the full circuit trek, you will join the W Trek at Refugio Grey.

The Three Main Sectors of the Torres del Paine W Trek

Western End (is the Grey Sector)

The first section of the trek runs parallel to Lago Grey (the Grey lake). This a world-famous geological phenomenon dominated by Glacier Grey (the Grey Glacier).


You can begin this trek from Refugio Grey if you are on the full-circuit trek from Los Perros.

Or if you have come over on the Navigation Grey boat from Hotel Grey.

Or, in the case that you have travelled from Refugio Paine Grande to Refugio Grey the previous day.

Central Part (is the Cuernos Sector)

In the central part is the French Valley. Consequently, this is the middle, or central section of the hike and prominently features the stunning Glacier Francés, which you’ll be able to see up-close.

Eastern End (is The Estancia Sector, or the Las Torres End)

The Ascencio Valley – will take you right up to the base of the towers that you’ll see in every photo of the W Trek. To get to the base of the towers you’ll begin from Refugio Chileno followed by a demanding 800m ascent until you arrive to the Torres Base. The return trip will involve trekking down to Hosteria Las Torres, Refugio Torre Norte, Refugio Torre of Central, Eco Camp and the welcome centre.

Torres del Paine W Trek Trail Description

Trek from Refugio Grey to Refugio Paine Grande

Operated: Between September to the end of April

  • Start: Refugio Grey
  • End: Refugio Paine Grande
  • Trek Time: 4 hours
  • Distance: 11km
  • Difficulty: Medium.
  • Experience Required: None.
  • Altitude Gain at Highest Point: 388m

From Paine Grande to Refugio Cuernos (via the French Valley)

Operated: Between September to the end of April

  • Start: Refugio Paine Grande
  • End: Refugio Cuernos, Cabañas Cuernos, or Domos Frances
  • Trek Time: 5hrs (direct to Refugio Cuernos and Cabañas Cuernos) or 10hrs (through the French Valley). You can take an hour off both of these times if you’re staying at Domos Frances.
  • Distance: 22.6km (if going via the French Valley) or 11.6km (if going direct to Refugio and Cabañas Cuernos).
  • Difficulty: Medium to high.
  • Experience Required: None.
  • Altitude at Highest Point: 762m (at Camp Britanico)

From Camping Frances / Refugio or Cabañas Cuernos to Refugio Chileno

Operated: Between September to end of April

  • Start: You’ll begin from Camping Frances, Refugio Cuernos or Cabañas Cuernos
  • End: Refugio Chileno
  • Trek Time: 5.5 hours one way from Cuernos, 7 hrs from Frances
  • Distance: 11km (to Refugio Chileno) or 14.5km (if travelling from Domos Frances)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Experience Required: None
  • Altitude at Highest Point: 550m (at Refugio Chileno)

From Refugio Chileno to the Torres Base

Operated: Between September to end of April

  • Start: Refugio Chileno
  • End: The welcome centre, Hotel Las Torres, Refugio Torre Central, Refugio Torre Norte, the welcome centre or the Eco Camp.
  • Trek Time: 2 hours up from Chileno, 2 hours back to Chileno and 2 hours down to Hotel Las Torres. Add an extra half an hour to your trip if you’re travelling back to down to Refugio Torre Central, Refugio Torre Norte, the welcome Centre, and add an hour if you’re heading to back to the Eco Camp.
  • Distance: 6 km from Refugio Chileno to Torres Base and back
  • Difficulty: Medium to high
  • Experience Required: None
  • Altitude Gain: 870m
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