Walk: Dark Lochnagar

Aberdeenshire | White Mounth | Full day walk | ★★★★★

[Corrie of Lochnagar - the true summit is on the far right]

Lochnagar (Little loch of the noisy sound) is one of the Cairngorms' great icons - Lord Byron even wrote a poem about it in 1807. This lofty summit's northern side is riven by a magnificent coire, cradling a teardrop-shaped lochan with a series of smaller ones leading away from the cliffs like a string of pearls. The cliffs are renowned for winter ice climbing, with extreme skiing in the intervening gullies. For walkers there's a surprisingly straightforward (in good conditions) path from nearby Glenmuick, with the classic view only revealed at the last minute. Returning along the Glas Allt takes in a majestic waterfall and the peaceful shoreline of Loch Muick; for sheer variety, this must be one of Scotland's very best day walks.

[Lochnagar's broad south face ends abruptly at the corrie cliffs]

📌 Walk: Dark Lochnagar ★★★★★
Start / finish at car park at Spittal of Glenmuick minor road end, 8 mi south of Ballater, G.R.: NO 310852 ///doing.hiked.barefoot

▶ 20 km / 12 mi | ▲ 990 m | ⌚ Full day | Tough
Summits: Meikle Pap (980 m); Lochnagar (1156 m, Munro) | Features: Corrie of Lochnagar; Falls of the Glasallt; Loch Muick
Terrain: Good tracks lower down and clear paths higher up; rougher and fainter sections across boulders near the summits.

Route & map

Car park - Allt-na-giubhsaich - Clais Rathadan - Meikle Pap - south rim of Lochnagar corrie - Lochnagar - Falls of the Glasallt - Glas-allt-Shiel - Loch Muick - start


Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track

On our visit

Wildlife: Deer near the start; lots of fungi down by Glas-allt-Shiel.
Weather: Sunny intervals after an initial rain shower; strong winds on the summit plateau.

[Return section along Loch Muick]

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