Ben Vane Walk

Difficulty
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Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
4.5-6.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
930 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Ben Vane Walk

Although Ben Vane (930 m) only just makes the cut to be classified as a Scottish Munro, this rugged peak offers a spectacular route to reach the summit following a fairly brief but challenging ascent. The sleepy Hamlet of Inveruglas, where the walk begins, is the perfect place to savour a meal or a pint in a traditional pub following the walk, from where the views of Loch Lomond won’t disappoint.

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Route Description for Ben Vane Walk

Don't let the relatively diminutive height (compared to its neighbours) of Ben Vane fool you; this walk brings the heat with a steep ascent up the mountains' craggy slopes. Although the length of the walk is fairly short when compared to others in the area, the sustained climb makes it a challenge worth taking on, nonetheless. Sections of the trail may be boggy at times, and the rugged nature of the peak makes proper footwear a must when walking.

To begin the walk, set out from the Inveruglas Visitor Center car park, located on Loch Lomond's west side. You'll spot A'Chrois to the southwest as you pick up the trail by crossing the road and heading left on the far side, walking past the Inveruglas power station. Continue as the route makes way for a path that soon curves right to join a track. Walk 0.6 miles and then walk right to take the tarmac road, making your way through the gate as you walk beneath the railway.

You'll soon pass a sizable electric substation before reaching a fork in the track, continue straight, ignoring the paths that veer to the right and later to the left. As you make your way along the road, the steep lower slopes of Ben Vorlich are visible on your right, and fixing your gaze straight ahead will have you laying eyes on Ben Vane. Continue past Coiregrogain, maintaining the way on the tarmac road that guides you towards the Loch Sloy Dam.

Reach the signed junction and make a left turn onto the pebbled track, following the route as it crosses a bridge above the river. Walk 400m after the crossing and cross burn before picking up the stepped path that allows you to avoid some serious boggy ground. Your ascent begins as you climb the path, which leads to a lower shoulder found at the foot of the ridge leading to Ben Vane. Pause to enjoy the views of the sprawling hills set against the backdrop of Loch Lomond sparkling in the distance.

Well into the climb now, you'll continue on a grassy stretch, blazing a trail up the mountain. A zig-zag approach is recommended here to help counter the rocky, rugged terrain and soften the gradient. Don't get too excited as you spot certain areas that appear to top the slope, as this route features several false summits that can lead to disappointment for those unaware.

As you continue to climb, views of Loch Sloy open up on the right, providing the perfect motivation to press on and continue to the top. You'll note the ridge becomes more defined as you climb higher still, and you may opt to scramble in places along this section. Finally, you'll arrive at the flat summit area of Ben Vane, discovering the highest cairn on the summit's eastern end. Take in the splendour of the surrounding peaks and pat yourself on the back for reaching 930 m!

After revelling in the views and catching your breath, proceed with your descent, re-tracing the same route back down to the Inveruglas Visitors Center.

Trail Highlights

Ben Vane

Ben Vane (915 m), which translates in English to “Middle Mountain” is located in Scotland’s Southern Highlands and is classified as a Scottish Munro (peaks above 3,000 ft). The sensational views of Ben Vorlich and Loch Sloy, as well as the surrounding Arrochar Alps make it a popular destination for hillwalkers in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Loch Sloy Dam

The Loch Sloy Dam was constructed in 1945 and took over 2000 men to build, some of which were German prisoners. The Loch Sloy Dam towers 56 m high and stretches 357 m long, making it the largest hydroelectric power plant in all of the United Kingdom.

Insider Hints for Ben Vane Walk

  • For access to toilets, you can use the Inveruglas Visitors Center which is open until 4pm and also features a great cafe
  • Parking is available at the Inveruglas Visitors Center for a fee
  • The car park at the visitors center can fill up quickly, especially on nice days, so arrive early when possible
  • For an alternate mode of transportation, you can take a Citylink bus from Glasgow which runs along Loch Lomond’s shores and passes Inveruglas

Getting to the Ben Vane Walk Trailhead

To begin the Ben Vane Walk, from Arrochar, take the A83 south for 1.6 mi. Turn left onto A82 and drive another 4.0 mi before turning right for the Inveruglas Visitor Center where the walk starts.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Year-Round Access

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Wild Camping (permit required)

  • Pets allowed

    Yes

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Ben Vane Walk Elevation Graph

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