Ben Vorlich 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.
5-7h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
13.5 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.
945 m
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Directions to Trailhead

In the most northerly area of the Arrochar Alps, a craggy, rugged mountain towers 985 m towards the sky, and the Ben Vorlich Walk invites hillwalkers to experience it for themselves. This challenging walk is best reserved for those looking for a formidable opponent to take on in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, and the broad rocky ridge is sure to put you to the test. Views of the surrounding Arrochar Alps make this an incredibly scenic hike, most notably, spectacular views of Ben Lui rising majestically in the north from the summit.

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Route Description

Although several routes exist to reach the summit of Ben Vorlich, the route via Loch Sloy offers the fastest climb and is the most popular route among hillwalkers. A good track unfolds up the slopes, making way for a steep climb along the broad ridge to reach the summit. If tackling this hill during the winter months, be sure to come prepared with crampons, an ice axe and a working knowledge of winter hillwalking.

As the most northerly of the Arrochar Alps, Ben Vorlich affords hikers sensational views of the surrounding peaks and is heigh of 985 m make it one of the most recognizable Scottish Munros. Beyond the spellbinding vistas, this route is also a top pick for its swift ascent, making for a total walking time of just 5 to 6 hours, leaving plenty of time for lunch and a pint after completing the trail.

From the Inveruglas Visitors Center, pick up the path found on the other side of the A82 southwards, just next to the main road. Continue 0.6 mi and then make a right onto the tarmac road that unfolds beneath the railway, passing through a gate to access the track. Spot the steep, alluring slopes of Ben Vorlich towering on your right as you begin the climb. Pass the signs for Cowal Way and Glen Loin Loop that mark the path that veers to the left, and instead continue the path, with Ben Vane’s craggy slopes coming into view straight ahead. Maintain the way along the tarmac track that soon bends towards Loch Sloy, continuing 0.6 mi before taking the footpath that veers right before reaching the dam itself.

It’s now time to show Ben Vorlich what you’re made of as you begin the unrelenting ascent of the hill. Reward yourself every so often by pausing to soak up the views of Ben Vane and the Loch Sloy Dam from this vantage point, climbing steadily until the gradient begins to ease. Continue up the coire of Lag Dubh, towards the rugged ridge found on Ben Vorlich’s western flank. Views of Loch Lomond are not visible over your shoulder as you press on towards the mountain’s main ridge.

To reach the true summit of Ben Vorlich, maintain the path that leads up to a trig point and cairn, then continue to another cairn 200m further, which you’ll find atop a tiny crag. With the fresh mountain air filling your lungs, fix your eyes on Ben Lui to the north, looking grand and majestic and cheering you on from a distance.

After enjoying some time at the summit, prepare to descend via the same route. Walk back down to the trig point, and re-trace your path of ascent, all the way back to the Inveruglas Visitors Center where the walk began.

Trail Highlights

Ben Vorlich

Towering 985 m high, Ben Vorlich is a classified Scottish Munro (peaks that exceed 3,000 ft), located in the southern Scottish highlands and forming part of the Arrochar Alps. A north-south ridge is formed by the mountain’s peaks, and the main ridge features three summits, the central summit being the highest. There are several routes to reach the summit of Ben Vorlich, making it a popular climb for hillwalkers.

Insider Hints

  • The Inveruglas Visitors Center where the walk begins features public toilets (open until 4 pm) and a cozy cafe to enjoy either before or after the walk
  • Paid parking is enforced at the center
  • When the weather is good, the car park tends to fill up quickly so arrive early if possible
  • If you don’t have your own transportation, you can take a Citylink bus from Glasgow which runs along Loch Lomond’s shores and passes Inveruglas

Getting There

From Arrochar, follow the A83 south for 1.6 mi, then make a left turn onto the A82 and continue for 4.0 mi before turning right to enter the Inveruglas Visitor Center car park where the walk begins.

Route Details

  • 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

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