Lecht Pass (A939)

Aberdeenshire / Moray | Cock Bridge / Tomintoul | Road pass | ★★★

[Descending the Lecht Pass on the north side]

The Lecht Pass can probably lay claim to being the snowiest main road in Scotland. At 780 metres above sea level, the surrounding hills are low by Highland standards, but the 650 metre-high pass almost reaches the very top of them: an ambitious place to build a road, there's no doubting that. The tarmac rises as abruptly as a roller-coaster out of Cock Bridge on the southern, Aberdeenshire side with a 20% gradient and sharp bends (we're usually too terrified to take photos of this bit). The road then barrels across heather moorland at a high level with great views, before dropping slightly into the glen holding the Lecht 2090 ski centre. Pop into the day lodge here for some amazing pictures of the pass at its bleakest: walls of snow several metres high on the sides of the road. The descent into Moray on the north side of the pass is equally steep, but with an absence of sharp bends it doesn't feel so intimidating. Thinking about adding it to your itinerary? Consider it as a scenic alternative to the A96 if you're driving between Aberdeen and Inverness.

[Summit of the pass seen from the Lecht 2090 ski centre]

📌 Lecht Pass (A939) ★★★
Cairngorms between Cock Bridge and Tomintoul. Summit is at G.R.: NJ 252119 ///hoped.rivers.feathers. South end at Cock Bridge, G.R.: NJ 257091 ///taps.polar.twists. North end at Tomintoul, G.R.: NJ 169186 ///sofas.biked.degree.

▶ 15 km / 9 miles | ▲ 300 metres
Surfaced A-road, suitable for most vehicles
Almost always open: snow closes the pass several times each winter, occasionally for a few days at a time | Free

[Ascending from Well of the Lecht (southbound)]

[The road is used by thousands of skiers heading to Lecht 2090 each winter]

[Descending towards Tomintoul (northbound)]

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