Louis Martial Protected Natural Area

Louis Martial Protected Natural Area

Just 5 minutes from the city, the surroundings of the Louis Martial Protected Natural Area, works in winter as a ski slope and learning winter sports, including not only snowboarding and alpine skiing, but also cross-country skiing - also known as cross country or Nordic Ski. In summer it is an active center for trekking and hiking.

How to get here

Se accede en vehículo o en bicicleta, siguiendo un camino pavimentado zigzagueante llamado ”Luis Fernando Martial” a unos 7 km de la ciudad. El camino termina donde comienza una aerosilla, que en la actualidad está en desuso. También se puede acceder a pie por un sendero de interpretación.

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Location: located on the vegetation line of the Martial chain, surrounding the city of Ushuaia.

Conservation value:

It protects part of the basin of the Esperanza stream, which is the most important source of drinking water in the city, and essential ecological, genetic diversity and natural resources. This area has a high landscape and scenic value.

What services does it offer?

There is a chairlift that is currently not in operation, from this a series of paths for hiking of different intensity are opened. Other paths of the Martial chain are the Cerro del Medio and Cerro Dos Banderas. At the base of the glacier, you can see the city of Ushuaia, the Beagle Channel and the neighboring islands, such as Hoste and Navarino.

Where the route ends there is a tea house and a mountain refuge, which in winter works as a ski school and in the summer zip-lines are available. A few meters away, before reaching the base of the chairlift, the "Francisco Jerman" cross-country skiing track, internationally approved for this sport, is opened, this track is managed by the Club Andino Ushuaia. Along the way, there are hotels, cabins and restaurants.


The mountains of the Martial chain, have peaks that vary between 900 and 1000 masl, standing out for their height of O-E Seguí Hill, Bridges, Godoy, Martial, Roy and Dos Banderas. The substrate is rocky and you can observe the erosive effects of the last glaciation such as the Martial Glacier cirque and its corresponding moraine. The slopes are covered by forest of lenga (Nothofagus pumilio), cherry (N. betuloides) in the height 200-300, with some scattered specimens of ñire (N. antarctica). Lenga forests were harvested between 1880 and 1940, and suffered fires in repeated situations (1917, 1989, 1993, 1994). On the slope of Mount Martial flows Esperanza stream, source of water supply of the city of Ushuaia, whose springs go back to the glacier. Avalanches are frequent, leaving their trail on the slopes, by removing sections of forest. In the protected area, the Martial Glacier stands out, which is between 1040 and 1200 meters above sea level.

Creation story:

The glacier is named after the captain of La Romanche, Louis Ferdinand Martial, commander of the French scientific expedition of 1882-1883 ("Mission scientifique du Cap Horn"), whose purpose was to observe the transit of the planet Venus. To do this, a settlement was built in Orange Bay, where almost a dozen researchers stayed for a year. The protected area was created by Territorial Law N 434 in 1990, one year before provincialization. Today, it is under provincial administration.