Walk: Suilven spectacular

Highland | Assynt | Full day walk | ★★★★

[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 overnight if daylight hours are limited.

[View back to Suilven from the descent]

📌 Walk: Suilven spectacular ★★★★
Southern car park for Culag Woods, minor road 1 mi 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.

▶ 29 km / 18 mi | ▲ 1430 m | ⌚ Full day | Very tough
Features: Culag Woods ★★★; Lochinver ★★; △ Suilven (731 m, Graham); Fionn Loch; Falls of Kirkaig; Inverkirkaig bay
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.

Route & map

Car park - Culag Woods - Lochinver - Glencanisp Lodge - Suileag Bothy - path junction at G.R.: 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

Route credit: Scotland Off the Beaten Track
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On our visit

Wildlife: 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: Mostly cloudy at start but becoming increasingly sunny. Light winds, temperature at base in mid teens.

Also on this walk

📌 Falls of Kirkaig ★★★★
On the River Kirkaig 2 mi east of Inverkirkaig, G.R.: NC 112178 ///danger.adapt.polite
Always open | Free

💬 If not doing the full walk, quickest access to the falls is from the car park on the minor road half a mile southeast of Inverkirkaig at G.R.: NC 085194 ///salt.cracking.freshest. From here it's a 2 mi (1+ hr) walk (each way) using the relevant part of the route above, but in reverse.

Chronological photo guide

[Wigwam in Culag Woods (13/7/17)]

[Early views of Suilven on the track to Glencanisp Lodge]

[Suileag Bothy]

[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]

[View east along Suilven's summit ridge]

[Summit views of a spectacular landscape]

[Descending from the ridge is steep and loose in places]

[Suilven from the end of the steep descent]

[View back to Suilven from the descent]

[Cùl Mòr (left) and Cùl Beag (right) across Fionn Loch on the return]

[The walk out is long and boggy, but extremely scenic]

[Red deer above Fionn Loch]

[Rounding the northwestern 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]

[River Kirkaig]

[Woodland paths for the lower parts of the River Kirkaig]

[River Kirkaig]

[Inverkirkaig bay on the road return]

[The circuit involves a fair amount of road walking, but with great views]


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