Hornopirén National Park (Chile)

Hornopirén National Park (Chile)

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 14:42
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Hornopirén National Park is located in the Palena Province of Chile's Los Lagos Region. As part of the Andes mountain chain, the park contains rugged mountains and unspoiled Valdivian temperate rain forests. The park is dominated by glacier-carved mountains and active volcanoes.

Hornopirén National Park

Hornopirén National Park is located in the Palena Province of Chile's Los Lagos Region, also known as Region X. As part of the Andes mountain chain, the park contains 482 sq km (186 sq mi) of rugged mountains and unspoiled Valdivian temperate rain forests.

Its name comes from Mapundungún and means "Snow Oven," a reference to the imposing Hornopirén Volcano that, although not within park limits, crowns this landscape. Hornopirén National Park forms part of the Bosques Templados Lluviosos de los Andes Australes Biosphere Reserve.

The park is dominated by glacier-carved mountains and active volcanoes. It includes glaciers comprising an area of 30 sq km (12 sq mi). The Yate volcano stands 2,187 m (7,175 ft) above sea level and the Hornopirén volcano stands 1,572 m (5,157 ft) above sea level.

The three main bodies of water in the park are Pinto Concha Lake 4.75 sq km (2 sq mi), the most visited attraction in the park; Inexplorado Lake 1.5 sq km (1 sq mi), one of a series of lakes that forms the Blanco River basin; and Cabrera Lake 1.55 sq km (1 sq mi). These lakes are characterized by distinctive blue and green hues due to glacial till suspended in their waters.

There are six main rivers in the park and Negro River is a major river system within the park. The rivers are surrounded totally or partially by millennial Alerce, also known as larch forests.

The Alerce tree is the second oldest tree species on the planet. The pristine Alerce forests cover an area of about 97.41 sq km (38 sq mi), which comprises approximately 35 percent of the vegetation cover of the park.

In addition to the Alerce, the park features many other tree species, including Coigüe, Mañío, Luma, Tepu, and Tineo, as well as Lenga trees at its higher altitudes.

The park has about 25 mammal species, including native as well as exotic species. Among them are the cougar, kodkod, lesser grison, chilla fox, American mink, coypu, pudú and Chilean huemul. The park is home to 18 threatened species.

There have been 123 species of birds registered in the park, including the Chucao, the Hued Hued, the Black Woodpecker, the Kingfisher, and the Quetru Volador, among others.