Cerro Catedral is a major attraction in the Bariloche area. It’s 20 km southwest of the city, and is a 2388-meter (7,800-foot) high peak from which you can see the contours of the valley, and the snow-capped volcanoes in the distance, on both the Chilean and Argentine side. There are abundant wildflowers in summer, and you get a view over one of the area’s major winter sports centers as well.
Most visitors take the Cablecarril and Silla Lynch, (two different gondolas/lifts) which also have a great view, and stop at the Confitería (café) for a coffee or hot chocolate to enjoy the view.
From here you can continue hiking along the ridge, to Refugio Frey, for a day hike or to spend the night. The area is very popular with rock climbers, and the mountain takes its names from the rocky spires that look like those of a Gothic Cathedral.
Visitors can also hike up the mountain, starting from the ski camp base. It’s a ten-kilometer, relatively easy hike and is usually possible from December to April, weather permitting.
The mountain access is 20 km southwest of Bariloche, and the gondola and lift run up the mountain daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, though in extreme wind conditions, the service is cancelled, so it’s best to check before you head out of town. Bus service is available to the start of the chair lift. You can visit all year round, but hiking is generally limited to the warmer weather, from about December to April. In the winter, the area is given over to winter sports, and gets busy with a mainly South American ski crowd.