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Moderator Note: Please do not add any other Warnings for this stretch of the Rute 40 to iOverlander!
Avoid this road on or shortly after rain fall! Very muddy and slipper!
Coming from south. End of tarred road. Here is an official road sign warning not to pass the next 92 km during rain (Spanish).
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Since I found most of the entries given here very confusing (and some are really shit - like „did it in 1h, was nice“ - not all travelers do own a super fancy car with bulletproof tires and have massive experience with gravel roads, this does not help at all!), and since we drove both rutas, RN40 via Gobernador Gregores and RN288, I just wanted to write down our experiences:
If directly traveling from north to south or vice versa, you HAVE to drive on a gravel road. There is no way to avoid this (except, maybe, by driving eastbound and going down along the coast, but not sure about this). The unpaved part of RN40 (make sure your route leads through Gobernador Gregores) is about 75 km long, RN288 has about 130 km of unpaved road. Both roads have sections that are pretty good to drive on, but also lots of sections with very big rocks and earth on the road. RN40 has more sections covered with earth than RN288. Also, the northern part of RN40 is mostly okaish whereas the southern part is more hard. RN288 is pretty much the same all the time. This is why we would recommend driving RN40 if the weather is good, and if there is light rain RN288 is better with 2WD. With enough experience and a good 4WD car, you can do both in the rain if they are open. In any case, check with a nearby police station what they recommend. Conditions can change at any time, it’s Patagonia. Otherwise, as already stated by others: Just make sure to deflate your tires, and drive slowly if you feel uncomfortable. No need to rush.
We did not drive the „old“ Ruta 40, which avoids Gobernador Gregores. No idea about this road part.Report Check-In
Read below that it mainly concerns the last 15km. That is paved now. Up and until the last 15km is still gravelReport Check-In
We passed in two moments here (we have a 4x4). At first there was snow and it was quiet and now. Apparently they had passed the machine. We were told that the biggest problem is when it rains. If in doubt, go to the information center or police in Tres Lagos or Gobernador Gregores to find out the situation.
Passamos em dois momentos aqui (temos um 4x4). Na primeira tinha neve e foi tranquilo e agora. Aparentemente haviam passado a máquina. Nos informaram que o maior problema é quando chove. Na dúvida, passar no centro de informações ou polícia de Tres Lagos ou Gobernador Gregores para saber a situação.Report Check-In
Coming from the north, first 10-15 km was pure mud, after that all good. Took us 2,5 h on a motorcycle.Report Check-In
We crossing on June 26th of Kombi for this section and the road was in good condition, only in the last 5km there was a little snow very easy to drive not necessary or put the chains.Report Check-In
Passamos hoje em um carro 2w, tudo certo.
Saímos de El Chaltén em sentindo a cidade de Perito Moreno e nos foi orientado perguntar ao pessoal que cuida a ruta (ao lado do centro de informações ao turista) e eles realmente avisaram que estava tudo ok.
Em Três Lagos também havia uma placa para pedir informações sobre a ruta.
I did it by motorcycle the 29/04. It was a sunny day but it snowed/rained a lot the days before, and the road was only opened to 4x4. It was really difficult, I managed to finish it without any problem but it took me more than 5 hours... Will not recomand it after several days of snow/rain unless you have a 4x4 or a dirt bike with really good enduro tires. The scenery is amazing though... !Report Check-In
We had quite terrible weather (rain and snow all the way) and there where many sloped sections with quite a lot of mud. With our 4x4 we powered through quite easily but sometimes the road steers you. Saw two 2wd’s being rescued and one motorcycle stuck. If you have a 4x4 you can probably do this but I do not know if it can get even worse. I must admit, it was quite “fun” also :).Report Check-In
When it is dry, this part is quite good drivable with a motorcycle. It is 70km ripio. Just take your time as the heavy wind can push you out of your preferred lane.
RP288 is all Ripio and not paved. In dry Ruta 40 is the way to go.
Cyclists : I have tried this gravel road today after 24h of small rain. Is was totaly impraticable by bike. I finaly find a 4x4 to get out that shit (parts with 10cm of mud, it was not possible to drive and not possible to push the bike !). Road was finaly close to 2wd at 10am, I have been lucky to find help before ! Have seen some cars abandonned on the road (because blocked by mud)Report Check-In
skip this road
take RP27 + RP288 from Gobernador Gregores to Tres Lagos to escape 75km of ripio. all paved!!!
we lost one tire and drove until El Calafate without step.
74 km of ripio. Sunny day, no big problem. 90% in good condition.Report Check-In
We came from north. The first part of 72 km is good gravel, but the second part is rocky (bigger stones), washboard and deep loose gravel.Report Check-In
no problems at all on a sunny day.
took us around 1 hour with 2wd.
We did it on a sunny day and it was really ok! The best gravel road we had until now. Only problematic by rainReport Check-In
Didn't see any sign, but road becomes really tricky in the unpaved sort of 70 km stretching north; not gravel, earth. We passed with sun, but affirmed/overheard was after 3 days of rain; that also produced fuel shortage between Bajo Caracoles and Tres Lagos, only Gobernador Gregores had and is on the new paved Route 40 some do not drive - best shape. Afterwards going north on the pavement be careful with not signalled (and also signalled) holes (and craters), a pity and really dangerous; parts of the pavement is in really good shape, so you may pick up speed.Report Check-In
Totally dry when we drove this just before summer. One of the best gravel roads we’ve ever driven on- took exactly 53min to go the 70kmReport Check-In
Ripio ends after about 70 km unpaved roadReport Check-In
One rainy day before and a beautiful day when we drove it. With a 2wd van we drove in between 20 and 50km/h. It's totally doable but just very longReport Check-In
Did the Stretch on two motorcycles without issues today. Road is completely doable if it’s not your first gravel road. But be careful with weather conditions. We underestimated the wind which blew us just from the track into the gravel. Better check beforehand on windy.com or whatever if its dry and calm.Report Check-In
We drove through this part today, it was a dry day, and it didn't rain the past days (said a local guy). The road is a nasty gravel road like any other, not pleasant drive, but we had worst on the Carretera Austral in Chile. We had a 4x4 but we drove on 2WD the whole road, but I can imagine that with a smaller 2WD car in wet days it can be challenging especially if one is not used to driving on gravel. Anyway 2WD or 4WD drive carefully and slowly, there are some though stretches, don't drive on the side of the road, stick to the center and on the slops.Report Check-In
We went in winter on a dry day. Yes, there was mud but it was all frozen, so easy to pass ;)Report Check-In
Drove this road today on my motorcycle. Dry and smooth. Avg speed about 85-90 kmph. There are sections that would definitely be a challenge after some rain.Report Check-In
we did this road during winter. si it's wet but with a little snow slush. with our 2wd Santa fe with no snow tires it was a little slidey and slippy. drive slower and straight in those areas. got thru no issues, we didn't take the Ex Ruta 40 later which was good I thinkReport Check-In
Made it through by the skin of our teeth. In a 2wd small camper van. Highly recommend avoiding until dried out.Report Check-In
The road is closed on rainy days. We tried to get through, but turned back despite a very powerful 4x4 truck with diff lock. Please see also the picture. Don't do it. It's really dangerous.
PS: 3 days later the roads 40 and 228 were still closed, but we couldn't wait any longer. So we decided to go and took the 40 despite the warning of the police. It was no fun, but we passed through these crazy unpaved 72 kilometers within about 2. 5 hours. About 20 per cent of that were really deep mud.
We were told (by other overlanders) the RN 40 is in very bad conditions here and we should take the 288 and then the 27 to Gob Gregores heading north. When being in Tres Lagos I’ve asked 3 independent people (police, bomberos and a biker), all recommended me to take the RN 40 as it has a shorter piece of ripio (72km vs. 150km) than the 288 (also ripio). So we changed plans and took the 40, which was in ok condition (some parts were only mud road but not too many stones). HOWEVER at rains the entire story will definitely change, so make sure to catch a sunny day and no days of rain before. We have a relatively large rig (2WD) and had zero issues, just deflate your tires slightly before hitting the road and you’ll be fine.Report Check-In
The road is still a gravel road but pretty good. One of the best gravel roads to far (Buenos Aires to Ushuaia & up again to Chalten). I can imagine after some rain it could be much worse.Report Check-In
Not sure about in rain but on a dry day it is easy enough to maintain a reasonable pace (60-80kph) probably in any kind of cars.Report Check-In
Just did this road, not too bad but need to be careful. It's actually 92km and not 70km as mentioned before. I created 'warning sign' on the map at the end of the bad road.Report Check-In
Without rain and dry road conditions it was no problem with a VW T5. average speed of 50km/h was possibleReport Check-In
Still 70km gravel road but better than ripio.Report Check-In
This road is hard with a motorcycle. Deep and loose gravel is manageable but add a strong sidewind..it's a recipe for disaster.Report Check-In
70 kms from this point heading nort it's mostly gravel road in decent shape. some sections which clearly get bad when it rains so use caution for us we could easily drive 80 km/hr in our van.Report Check-In
We drove it in rain. No problem even for 2wd. Saw quite a few normal sedans and even some motorbikes.Report Check-In
We checked at the local police station in el chalten if the road was well enough for a 2wd. They called to the police in Tres Lagos, they know the current state of this section of the road and can tell you whether it is doable.Report Check-In
Coming from south. End of tarred road. Compatible to other iOverlander entries (33 km further north) here is an official road sign warning not to pass the next 72 km during rain (Spanish).Report Check-In