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Santa Cruz Ulta Trek

Timing: 6 or 7 days
Grade: Medium / Hard


An extension and more challenging 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.

Louise from the UK/ Santa Cruz Ulta Trek said: Thanks very much for making our time in Peru very special. I will have some very special memories to take back with me. Peru is amazing! – I will DEFINITELY be recommending you to my friends. PS- extra thanks for the pizza and the cake!

Thanks to Berne & Karen from New Zealand for some photos of this trek

Day 1: Drive from Huaraz to Cashapampa 2800m 3 hours. We meet our donkey drivers, load all equipment onto donkeys and start trekking. We hike continuously upwards following the Santa Cruz river, first we are in a narrow canyon and then after lunch the country opens up into a wider valley and we start to see the snow covered peaks. We camp in an open field near the river at Llamacorral 3750m 5 hours.

Day 2: An easier day hiking in a wide open valley. We pass by two small lakes and then we have our first glimpse of the famous Alpamayo peak. We camp at Taullipampa 4250m, a beautiful campsite surrounded by towering peaks and nestled near the bottom of Punta Union Pass. 4 hours.

Optional extra day. Stay another night at beautiful Taullipampa campsite. Options to visit Alpamayo Base Camp, Lake Arhuaycocha, climb Centillo Peak 5000m or have a rest day.

Day 3 (or 4): Climb steadily up for 2 to 3 hours to the pass Punta Union 4750m then descend past a small alpine lake where we often stop for picnic lunch. Continue the descent towards the Huaripampa Valley before leaving the main trail and traversing through low bush to our camp in a secluded valley away from the main trail at Paria 3850m. 7 hours


Descending from Punta Union

Day 4 (or 5): At first we walk easily down the Huaripampa Valley passing through farming settlements and villages to Colcabamba where we meet a lot of local people and especially children who come running to greet us. . 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): 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


Avalanche Lake

Day 6 (or 7): 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 private van will be waiting to return us to Huaraz.


Yanayacu Pass 4800m

Map – trek route
Download PDF for climb description & notes
Adobe Acrobat Reader

Contact us for more information and prices.

If you know, tell us the approximate dates that you would like to be trekking and the number of people in your group, as well as if you prefer a private trek or would be happy to join with other people.


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