Walk: Suilven spectacular
|[View east along Suilven's summit ridge]|
The landscape of Assynt contains the most amazing landforms in Scotland: remarkable, spectacular hills standing proud and alone among a labyrinth of lochs and bogs. Suilven (Pillar Hill) has surely the most unlikely shape of them all: an abrupt dome when seen from the coast tapering to a stegosaurus-like ridge behind. The summit lies in the middle of a vast moorland miles from civilisation, but stalkers paths (excellent on the north side, boggy on the south side) make a superb circuit achievable in a long day, with stunning scenery throughout - there's also an open bothy to break the journey if daylight hours are limited.
|[View back to Suilven from the descent]|
Name: Walk: Suilven spectacular ★★★★☆
Length: 29 km / 18 miles
Ascent: 1430 metres
Main summits: Suilven (731 metres, Graham)
Points of interest: Culag Woods; Lochinver; Fionn Loch; Falls of Kirkaig; Inverkirkaig bay
Start / finish: Southern car park for Culag Woods, minor road a mile south of Lochinver, G.R.: NC 093214 ///tell.frightens.school. Several alternative start points on the route, depending on when you want to do the road walking - see map.
Route: Car park - Culag Woods - Lochinver - Glencanisp Lodge - Suileag Bothy - path junction at NC 168196 ///slower.dimension.renting - Bealach Mòr - Suilven summit - return to bealach - Fionn Loch by Allt an Fearna - Falls of Kirkaig (short detour to falls) - Inverkirkaig - car park
Terrain: No pathless sections. Good paths and tracks through Culag Woods and from Glencanisp Lodge to foot of Suilven. Ascent to and descent from ridge is steep with only one short boggy section, with a few very easy scrambles. Walk out from Suilven is boggy, though tends to improve over the miles. Quiet tarmac roads for remainder.
Wildlife today: A few red deer, lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs and hairy caterpillars. Sheep with lambs on the road section. Large fish trying to leap the Falls of Kirkaig!
Weather today: Mostly cloudy at start but becoming increasingly sunny. Light winds, temperature at base in mid teens.
>> see separate post for Culag Woods ★★★☆☆
>> see separate post for Lochinver ★★☆☆☆
|[Cùl Mòr (left) and Cùl Beag (right) across Fionn Loch on the return]|
Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track
|[Wigwam in Culag Woods (photo from a few days later)]|
|[Early views of Suilven on the track to Glencanisp Lodge]|
|[Excellent views of Canisp on the approach to Suilven]|
|[Suilven looming closer]|
|[Loch a' Choire Dubh with Suilven beyond]|
|[View from the summit ridge - amazingly with a wall constructed right across it]|
|[Summit views of a spectacular landscape]|
|[Descending from the ridge is steep and loose in places]|
|[Suilven from the end of the steep descent]|
|[The walk out is long and boggy, but extremely scenic]|
|[Red deer above Fionn Loch]|
|[Rounding the north-western finger of Fionn Loch]|
|[View across the moorland to Cùl Mòr (left), Cùl Beag (centre) & Stac Pollaidh (right)]|
|[Falls of Kirkaig - much taller than they appear here]|
|[Woodland paths for the lower parts of the River Kirkaig]|
|[Inverkirkaig bay on the road return]|
|[The circuit involves a fair amount of road walking, but with great views]|