Walking & Climbing
Nowhere else in Scotland is the walking and climbing as dramatic as in Glencoe. Whether you are looking for an easy stroll straight from our doorstep, or looking for a challenging long day out scrambling or climbing in the Glen, then the opportunities are endless.
As keen outdoor enthusiasts, we have walked and climbed in the area extensively, so we always like to make our recommendations based on your experience, fitness and preference on what you would like to see. We have numerous maps and route guides that we have prepared ourselves, to help you get the most out of your stay. A few examples of popular walks are shown below.
A favorite walk for many visitors is to take a trip up into the Lost valley (Coire Gabhail). From the main road in the Glen, and in between the mighty Gear Aonach and Beinn Fhada is a large level valley that can’t be seen from the main road and is where the MacDonalds are said to have hidden their rustled cattle. Deer can regularly be seen up on the steep slopes of the valley, although you could be forgiven for expecting to see dinosaurs up there, such is the remote and lost worldly feeling of this dramatic location.
The lochan and woodland were created and planted by Lord Strathcona in the nineteenth century to make his native American wife feel more at home in the Scottish Highlands. An easy circular path follows the lochan edge and gives ever changing views as you follow it around with views towards Beinn a Bheithir, as well as up to the Pap of Glencoe. Additional paths off the main circular track can add extra time and distance to your walk. There are plenty of picnic benches to stop and take in the panoramic views.
Signal Rock and An Torr
Legend has it, that Signal Rock was the location where the signal to begin the Glencoe massacre was given early on the morning of 13th February 1692. This great little walk takes you through the local woodland where this all happened. Whilst forested now, it once would have had extensive views up and down the glen. After visiting Signal Rock, also take in An Torr on the way back. This gentle hill top also allows for glimpses of the glen through the trees.
Pap of Glencoe
The Pap of Glencoe as it is most commonly known (or Sgorr na Ciche in Gaelic) is that most recognisable of mountains that you see when looking towards Glencoe from the West. You can leave your car behind if you want to hike to the top of this peak as the trail starts right at our gate, and leads you straight up the mountainside following a rough but obvious path, rocky in sections, all the way to the summit, where you will be rewarded by fantastic views to the mountains and lochs all around.
If you fancy tackling Britain’s highest mountain, both Dan and Ann can give you loads of information about routes and the conditions you are likely to expect for a memorable day out. We can give you suitable information on safety on the mountain too, with advice on what clothing and equipment to take.
There are a large number of munros all within easy reach of the Strath Lodge, so the opportunities for the munro bagger are plentiful. Some you can walk to straight out of the door!!. Named after Sir Hugh Munro, the first person to record and document all the Scottish mountains over 3000ft in height, there are 282 munros across Scotland and attempting to climb them all has become a popular pastime for many of the UK’s walkers and climbers.
There’s so much on offer in the whole area. For the confident scrambler, there is the Aonach Eagach ridge – considered by some to be one of the finest ridge traverses on the UK mainland. Or if you fancy climbing the Buachaille Etive Mor, one of the most iconic of Scottish mountains, by a classic scramble, then there’s Curved Ridge.
Winter mountaineering and climbing
When winter conditions arrive in Glencoe and the Highlands, the mountains take on a whole new disguise and whilst stunningly beautiful, venturing out into the mountains in these conditions requires a new skill set, with the need for technical equipment and a thorough understanding of the mountain conditions. The days can be bitterly cold, with less daylight hours and the navigation more tricky, but the rewards are quite simply fantastic. Is there any wonder why Scottish winter mountaineers are so highly regarded !!!
Learn to Ice Climb on the Worlds Biggest Indoor Ice Climbing Wall… The indoor ice climbing wall at the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven simply has no rival anywhere in the world. 500 tonnes of real snow and ice to a height of 50ft, with grades from beginner to expert make the indoor ice climbing experience a must. If that’s not your cup of tea – then there’s also indoor rock climbing and bouldering walls, and aerial adventure course and a fine café to relax after all that strenuous activity. Excellent for when the weather outside may be a little miserable.
Need a guide?
Have you looked at the imposing peaks in the Glen and thought that you lack the experience to tackle them? Maybe you have your sights set on Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to explore lower level, lesser visited terrain. If you want an entertaining day out with someone with all the local knowledge of the area, then you could consider hiring a guide.
Just a short walk from Strath Lodge is Keith, who runs Go Glencoe. He offers guided trips catering for all levels of fitness and experience from low level rambles to full on mountain days! His trips are all tailored to you so the day is entirely yours and every walk is packed with information on the history, geology and wildlife of the area. He specialises in Glencoe and is fully qualified and insured to make sure you have a great day out.
Another guide based in Glencoe is Simon. He too offers guided trips throughout the Lochaber area to suit your needs. So if you want to get out in the hills, but feel you may not have the confidence to safely navigate in unfamiliar terrain, then why not check out his website High Ventures and get in touch with him to discuss your needs.
Another local guide is Richard Pyne. He has a vast wealth of experience in the area and was an ice climbing instructor at the indoor ice climbing wall in Kinlochleven. He runs Rich Mountain Experiences and offers a range of mountain experiences, summer or winter, individual one on one guiding or groups.