Walk: The Great Wall of Rannoch

Argyll and Bute | Bridge of Orchy | Full day walk | ★★★★

[Beinn Achaladair]

Four Munros form the Great Wall of Rannoch - a natural topographic barrier between the ancient kingdoms of Dalriada in the west and Pictland to the east. Traversing the entire range in a day makes for an epic expedition, but finishes several miles from the start point. We've split the group into two more practical chunks: Beinn Dòrain and Beinn an Dothaidh (described separately), and Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair (described here). This latter pair are both endowed with spectacular northern coires forming the main part of the "wall" along vast Rannoch Moor's southern edge. The ridge between the peaks makes for a very enjoyable walk, as do the tumbling burns followed on ascent and descent - though there is a fair amount of pathless ground to negotiate elsewhere.

[The route has sensational views of Rannoch Moor and Loch Tulla]

Location & info

📌 Walk: The Great Wall of Rannoch ★★★★
Start / finish just off A82 on track to Achallader, 3 mi north of Bridge of Orchy, G.R.: NN 313438 ///breathing.songs.reserves
❌ Buses pass the start on the A82 but there is no official stop | 🚗 Car park

▶ 21 km / 13 mi | ▲ 1220 m | ⌚ Full day
Features: △ Beinn a' Chreachain (1081 m, Munro); △ Meall Buidhe (978 m); △ Beinn Achaladair (1038 m, Munro)
Tough | Track for approach along Water of Tulla. There is a path for much of the rest of the route, but it is not continuous; in particular, the ascent from Allt Coire an Lochain to bealach is completely pathless. Some boggy / rough / rocky areas, & a few fords which could be impassable in spate. Footbridge at Dùn Aigheannach is currently broken, so this must be forded too, though this is avoidable by staying on the south bank at the previous track bridge. All fords crossable on dry boulders on our visit, after a dry spell.

Route: Start - Achallader - follow track by Water of Tulla until footbridge near Dùn Aigheannach - railway underpass at G.R.: NN 359467 - cross Allt Coire an Lochain at G.R.: NN 368453 - bealach between Beinn a' Chreachain & 961m spot height - Beinn a' Chreachain - Meall Buidhe - Beinn Achaladair - head of Coire Daingean - follow Allt Coire Achaladair to railway bridge - start

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On our visit

Wildlife: Cows, sheep & lambs around Achallader. Crows, frogspawn.
Weather: Hazy sunshine with a fairly gentle breeze. Temperature in high teens by the finish, but much cooler on the summits with frozen lochans & a reasonable amount of remaining snow (all avoidable).

Chronological photo guide

[Track to Achallader]

[Fording the Allt Ur, with Beinn an Dothaidh beyond]

[A good track makes progress along the Water of Tulla quick]

[Water of Tulla backed by Beinn Achaladair]

[Crossing the Water of Tulla]

[Beinn Achaladair seen from the ascent]

[Beinn Achaladair]

[Looking back down the Allt Coire an Lochain]

[Lochan a' Chreachain backed by Meall Buidhe]

[Coire Dubh Beag, Beinn a' Chreachain]

[Looking southeast towards Loch Lyon]

[Coire an Lochain from near the summit of Beinn a' Chreachain]

[Looking ahead to Meall Buidhe (right) & Beinn Achaladair (left)]

[View south from Meall Buidhe]

[Beinn Achaladair]

[Looking back to Meall Buidhe]

[Rannoch Moor from Beinn Achaladair]

[Beinn Achaladair main cairn - though the true summit is a little further west]

[Loch Tulla backed by the Black Mount range]

[Beinn an Dothaidh (centre) & Beinn Dòrain (left)]

[Descent back towards Achallader]

[View back up the Allt Coire Achaladair]

[Beinn Achaladair from the descent]

[West Highland Line]


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