Ben Vorlich and Stùc a’ Chròin Walk

Difficulty
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Very 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.
5.5-8h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
14.5 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.
1,145 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Ben Vorlich and Stùc a Chròin Walk

Enjoy the popular hillwalk up Ben Vorlich from Loch Earn and press on to tackle a second Munro by combining Stùc a' Chròin on the Ben Vorlich and Stùc a' Chròin Walk. You may note that from afar, that the two peaks look almost identical, but the walk proves that the two mountains are quite different indeed. While Ben Vorlich is a fairly straightforward venture, Stùc a' Chròin brings the challenge, with an extremely steep ascent that requires some intermittent scrambling. This is a great walk for those looking to cross two Scottish Munros off their list in around 7 hours, making for a spectacular full-day adventure.

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Route Description for Ben Vorlich and Stùc a’ Chròin Walk

The Ben Vorlich and Stùc a' Chròin Walk makes for a brilliant day out in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The 14.5 km hike includes two unique ascents, combining the popular Ben Vorlich peak with its lesser-known neighbour, Stùc a' Chròin. The trail on Stùc a' Chròin is undoubtedly the more demanding of the two, with a rocky and in places eroded path, a willingness to scramble is a must. If tackling these two peaks during the winter months, ensure you’ve got crampons and an ice axe. Expert mountaineers should only take on the ascent of Stùc a’ Chròin in the winter.

This particular route up Ben Vorlich differs from our walk that features the peak as a solo climb, so this is an excellent opportunity to see the mountain from a different perspective, even if you’ve already climbed it. Tackling two challenging hills in one day isn’t for everyone, but for those that are up for an exhilarating full-day adventure, this is the walk for you!

To begin the walk of Ben Vorlich and Stùc a' Chròin, set out from the minor road on the south side of Loch Earn, joining the track that appears on the east side of the burn. You’ll continue through stone gateposts and then veer as you reach the fork, just below a set of rural cottages. Cross the bridge over to the west side of the burn, and it’s here that you’ll spot the Ardvorlich House, a gorgeous 16th-century baronial-style home that sits lochside. After crossing the bridge, turn left and pick up the track that leads over stiles alongside several gates. Continue 0.6 mi, reaching another fork where you’ll join the main route by veering right, which sets you up for your first ascent.

Further on, you’ll cross the Allt a’Choire Bhuidhe on a footbridge, and it's at this point, the track ends and the way forward unfolds on a path. Sprawling heather slopes pave the way as you continue to rise, heading towards the north side of Ben Vorlich. As you traverse the Sgiath nam Tarmachan ridge, the path is quite eroded in places, so remain vigilant as you continue to press on towards the summit ridge.

Reaching 985 m, you’ll spot a trig point and can then continue to the cairn located a small distance further east along the ridge. The views from the southern edge of the highlands atop Ben Vorlich are nothing short of spectacular. Admire the steep slopes snaking down from the summit as you prepare to continue to Stùc a' Chròin, which you can size up from atop Ben Vorlich. To continue the walk, take the ridge path west before wrapping around the ridge on the same path to proceed downhill to the bealach. The path leads down to the prow of Stùc a' Chròin before inviting you to navigate a boulder field briefly. Fix your eyes on the slabby rock up ahead as you continue the path that veers ever so slightly right. Follow the zig-zagging paths carved into the slope, sticking to the right of the main buttress.

Continue along the ridge 0.6 mi heading south towards the summit. The summit is marked by two cairns, and to reach the highest, you’ll want to continue to the northern one. From here, you’ll unlock some of the most coveted views over Scotland’s central belt, with Lochearnhead to the northwest and Loch Voil directly west. A rewarding sense of accomplishment should begin to set in here as you’ve completed the second ascent of today’s hillwalking adventure.

To descend, avoid the prow by picking up the path on the west side, soon reaching the ridge at 850 m. Join the zig-zagging path that proceeds down the grassy northeastern slope. Boggy sections are common along the descent, so take care of your footing on this final stretch. Veer right to reach the northwest ridge of Ben Vorlich, then continue on the eroded (and likely boggy!) path as it contours around the head of Coire Buidhe. Enjoy the final stretch as it soon leads back to rejoin the path of ascent as you make your way back down to Loch Earn, where the walk began.

Insider Hints for Ben Vorlich and Stùc a’ Chròin Walk

  • Boggy terrain, particularly on the descent from Stùc a' Chròin, make waterproof footwear a must for this walk.
  • You can reach Lochearnhead from the trailhead in around 10 minutes. This is the best place to access toilets, restaurants, and shops either before or after the walk.
  • Nearby (10-minute drive), Lochearnhead features a few great, small hotels and plenty of spots to stop in for a bite or a hot drink following the walk.

Getting to the Ben Vorlich and Stùc a’ Chròin Walk Trailhead

From Lochearnhead, head south on the A84 until you reach the minor road that runs along the south side of Loch Earn. Turn left onto the road, and continue until you are just west of the bridge suspended over the Ardvorlich Burn. Parking is informal here, so simply find a suitable spot on the fringes of the road to begin the walk.

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

    Lollipop

Ben Vorlich and Stùc a’ Chròin Walk Elevation Graph

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