Ben Lomond hike
This walk up Ben Lomond goes up an extremely popular mountain, but it is well worth joining the masses for the superb views down to Loch Lomond and the surrounding hills. Opting for the Ptarmigan ridge on the descent makes for a quieter and more interesting return from the summit.
From Drymen take the B837 North to Balmaha. The road drives the east shores of Loch Lomond. After 16.9km arrive at the Rowardennan Hotel, where you can start the hike from if you are staying there, or a little over 200m later you’ll see the Ben Lomond car park. Parking costs £3.
|When to do|
April to October
Yes, at trailhead
Route Description for Ben Lomond
From the car park, head towards the toilets and the information centre, the path starts at the back of the building and is clearly marked. Follow the path as it climbs through the woods, crosses a wider track, and continues on up hill above the tree line. Once out of the woodland you will be able to look back and admire the views down to Loch Lomond.
The path crosses a small stream via a footbridge. Then, a little further up, you’ll pass through a gate and up onto the open farmland of the hillside. The path continues to steadily climb.
Eventually you’ll pass through a second gate, and from here Ben Lomond comes into view—weather permitting!
You’ll walk over a flat section before a final, steep switchback. The final section to the summit of Ben Lomond follows the wide ridge. After the final steep ascent, you’ll veer left and find the trig point at the summit.
The easiest option to descend is to retrace your steps. We prefer to follow the path that leads northwest from the summit, which is pretty much the opposite of your ascent route. This is a quieter, though steeper, route down.
The path descends steeply at first. It is an uneven and craggy path and you will need your hands to steady yourself in places.
After the initial descent the path crosses some stepping-stones, and then it climbs a short distance to the Ptarmigan ridge. You’ll follow the ridge for much of the descent. You will need to watch your footing during your descent.
You’ll drop off to the right of the ridge for the final leg. Pass through a couple of gates before entering the woods, you’ll bear left and follow the stream. This path emerges onto a minor road: turn left. You’re going to follow the road to return to the car park.
Check out more amazing walks in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, like the Ben A’an, Ben Venue, or Loch Venachar.
Don’t take the Ptarmigan ridge down in bad weather or with inexperienced hikers.
Rowardennan Hotel offers refreshments and bar meals (at the Clansman Bar) with super views across Loch Lomond.
The Rowardennan Lodge Youth Hostel offers a stunning location and pleasant accommodations for those on a budget.
You should stop off at one of the many shingle beaches on the road south and enjoy Loch Lomond from the shore.
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