Management of hiking & climbing in Huascaran National Park is surprisingly poor. INRENA, the government agency responsible, is proposing improvements but many fear they will go too far. We would hate to see Santa Cruz as degraded & over-regulated as the Inca Trail. Peru should look to successful management models such as the West Coast Trail in Canada & the Milford Track in New Zealand. We will keep you posted of developments on this website.
Update. This site is no longer being updated. Instead, check our NEW page: besthike.com Santa Cruz Trek
At a glance:
this site helps independent hikers organize
3 nights, 4 days recommended including a side trip
Jesus in old Yungay at the finish of the Santa Cruz Trek insisting the mountains be tranquil. A 1979 earthquake killed 70,000 here.
With 33 summits rising over 6000m, the 180 kilometre-long Cordillera Blanca is the world's highest mountain range outside of Asia.
The Santa Cruz trek is by far the most popular multi-day hike in the range. And for good reason!
Pristine meadows, plentiful wild flowers, red quenua trees, turquoise lakes, white glaciers. It is gorgeous.
You get a good long look at Punta Union pass as you ascend the pretty Quebrada Santa Cruz.
Many try to hike it too soon after arriving in Huaraz! It is important you be acclimatized before attempting Santa Cruz. On the other hand, if you are hit with altitude sickness it is easy to descend.
Already decided to hike Santa Cruz? Check the FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions).