This walk is part of the trek The West Highland Way.
This fifth stage of the WHW brings us to yet more superb landscapes! The ascent of the small hill of Màm Carraigh offers a very beautiful point of view on Loch Tulla. Then, for about ten kilometres, we follow a very comfortable old military road and we climb gently and very regularly towards a pass in the middle of the moor. Ahead during the descent you will see the classic pyramid silhouette of the Buachaille summit.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, along the A82 road.
WHW official signposting: signposts with thistle flower + signposts with yellow arrow for changes of direction + written signposts.
(S) At the intersection at the corner of the hotel, take the small road on the left (heading west) which descends quietly towards the Orchy river. Take the bridge over the river.
(1) At the crossroads which comes after the bridge, leave the tarmac and take a gravel path opposite on the right. The path leads slightly uphill. Enter the forest and continue to climb.
(2) Turn left with the path and exit the forest. The path continues to climb pleasantly winding through the grass (ignore a shortcut that cuts a switchback). Come to Màm Carraigh hill (cairn).
(3) Go back down and enjoy a nice view of Loch Tulla below on the right. Arrive at a small road and follow it to the left. Immediately cross a river and reach '’Inveroran Hotel''.
(4) Continue west on the small road which soon turns right (north) after crossing a river. Cross a river again using the ‘’Victoria Bridge’’ and arrive at the ‘’Forest Lodge’’.
(5) Then continue straight, cross a fence and take a good stony path: it is an old military road, to be followed for 10km to a pass. Ascend steadily, over open ground, then along the edge of the woods on your right.
(6) After the woods, continue north across the moor. Go along a wood in the left hand then descend slightly to a small loch.
(7) Continue north on the path, at the foot of the peaks on your left. Take Bà Bridge to cross a river and climb gently.
(8) Cross another river and climb very steadily to the (unnamed) pass, dominated on the left by a hillock where a curious building in the shape of a small mill is erected.
(9) Continue north and start the descent. Note in the north the valley where the A82 road passes and, in the west, the pyramid-shaped summit of "Buachaille".
(10) Where the paths diverge (Glencoe ski resort on the left), take the right path.
(11) Arrive at a small road and follow it to the right.
(12) Cross the A82 road (take care, fast moving traffic) and continue on the path opposite (fence). Walk north-west and reach Kingshouse Hotel (F).
D : mi 0 - alt. 531ft
1 : mi 0.1 - alt. 509ft - Crossroads
2 : mi 0.82 - alt. 830ft - Left turn and exit the forest
3 : mi 1.46 - alt. 1037ft - Màm Carraigh
4 : mi 2.43 - alt. 587ft - Inveroran Hotel
5 : mi 3.27 - alt. 587ft - Forest Lodge
6 : mi 4.78 - alt. 942ft - Edge of a wood
7 : mi 6.71 - alt. 1010ft - Lochan Mhic Pheadair Ruaidh
8 : mi 8.22 - alt. 1152ft - Bridge over Allt Creagan nam Meann
9 : mi 9.33 - alt. 1457ft - Pass
10 : mi 10.63 - alt. 1119ft - Routes diverge
11 : mi 10.93 - alt. 1027ft - Byway
12 : mi 11.35 - alt. 955ft - Road A82
A : mi 12.11 - alt. 807ft
Waterproof hiking shoes. Rain protection: rain cape, backpack protection, etc. Protection against the cold, depending on one’s sensitivity. Midge repellent.
The route is relatively simple and the circuit is very well marked at intersections. A physical map is useful (at least the one that accompanies this description) or a route saved on smartphone (remember to save an offline map in advance).
Food and supplies:
Bring extra water reserves and a picnic when you start.
(4) Inveroran Hotel. Tel.: + 44 (0)1301 400 220. Hotel-restaurant-bar.
Accommodation on arrival (F):
Kingshouse Hotel. Tel.: + 44 (0)1855 851 259. Has a bar-restaurant and can provide packed lunches for the next day (order the day before; cost was £10.50 per person in August 2019). The only accommodation on site, but it's really the best! Visitors can camp nearby.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
- To point (3) (Màm Carraigh): a very beautiful point of view over Loch Tulla.
- Between (5) and (9): a very pleasant climb to a pass, very gentle, in the middle of the moor and at the foot of beautiful peaks.
- Between (9) and (F): beautiful views of the Buachaille.
4 Munros in the Tyndrum hills including Ben Lui & Ben Oss, starting and finishing at Lower Tyndrum station. Intended as a weekend trip but possible in one day for the very fit.
The sixth stage of the WHW takes us through the highest point of the entire hike, an unnamed pass at an altitude of 550m. After a pleasant walk at the foot of Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste, you reach the pass by climbing the Devil's Staircase, an easier climb than the name of this path suggests. We then descend on good paths or wide tracks on the former small industrial town of Kinochleven.
The fourth stage of the WHW takes us first up the Falloch river, then across a beautiful forested area and finally sneaks around the foot of high hills. There is much talk of bridges in this stage, two of them having been damaged during a recent flood, which leads to a detour and a ford that is... refreshing.
This very long stage can be shortened by taking public transport for the last section, from Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy.
The seventh and last stage of the WHW makes us evolve in a beautiful setting, at the foot of the Mamore hills. We then cross lightly wooded areas, from which we benefit from a prominent view of Ben Nevis, the highest point in Great Britain. Arrival in the city of Fort William marks the end of this long hike.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.