Buachaille Etive Mòr 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.
5.5-7.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
13.0 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.
1,110 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk

The Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk is a tailor-made adventure for avid hillwalkers seeking something rugged, wild, and intense. This lollipop route will not only have you bagging one Munro but two—Stob Dearg and Stob na Bròige. These summits are just two of the four that stagger across the ever-so-stunning Buachaille Etive Mòr ridge, and you'll tackle them all during this walk! The valley views paired with a sightline with peaks add a level of epic and unforgettableness to this challenging but rewarding Highland adventure.

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Route Description for Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk

The Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk makes for a fantastic adventure in the incredibly scenic and folklore-like Scottish Highlands. While some love to revel in the beauty from the parking lot below—this is a popular sightseeing spot—others prefer to lace up their boots and bag two Munros in one go. The combination of sightseers and eager walkers can result in a crowded parking lot. Therefore, it's essential to arrive early, especially on weekends. Another thing to note is that the terrain is technical at points, with a rough and steep climb, followed by a similar descent, which may force you to scramble. And while the Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk allows pups to accompany you on the trail, it may be safer to leave your furry companion at home. It's not recommended to bring your dog along!

However, the Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk offers phenomenal views along the ridge and atop the two Munros—Stob Dearg and Stob na Bròige—and two other summits. Spend a significant amount of time staring at the Highland valley tucked below at some points while staggering peaks take over the scenery in other areas. Then, near the end of the walk, you'll get the best of both worlds: a valley backed by fading peaks in the distance. Plus, the rugged adventure stitched into this walk makes for a fun, memorable experience!

After parking in the more-than-likely crowded car park, take a moment to take in the impressive mountain scenery from down below before lacing up your boots and heading to the trailhead. To get here, follow the path to the footbridge, which you'll cross before taking a right on the track that leads you to the Lagangarbh hut. See if you can feel Dougal Haston's lingering presence at the hut! This young climber painted the interior, mimicking Jackson Pollock's style, which infuriated the SMC authorities. His paintwork is no longer, but it's still a neat story to think about when you're here.

After the hut, you'll continue through the moor towards a fork; keep right here. And get ready for a boost in intensity as the path ascends, crossing the Allt Coire na Tulaich, towards the coire. Pause to check out the views of Buachaille Etive Beag. At the top of the corrie, you'll follow the path as it heads right to take you through boulder fields, just to the right of a scree chute. Take care as you hike this section! When the path increases in elevation, it will veer left before taking you up a rocky area to arrive at the bealach. This area can be detrimental during the winter, which is why we recommend tackling this route between May and October. However, even then, this section can be dangerous if there's still snow, as it's in an avalanche zone. After, go left to climb the boulder-bombarded, wide ridge, which will start to narrow closer to the cairn for the summit.

When you see the cairn, you'll know you made it atop the summit of Stob Dearg, which is the highest Munro along Buachaille Etive Mòr, standing tall at 1,022 m. Take a moment to catch your breath and stare at the incredible panoramic scenery. The valley imagery here is phenomenal! Then, after soaking everything in, head back to the ridge to make your way to Stob na Bròige. One Munro down; one to go!

Continue along the path as it steepens ever-so-slightly. Eventually, it winds left, marking your climb to the summit of Stob na Doire, another peak en route to the second Munro. This ascent may feel endless, but hey, the views will be worth it, so don't you worry. Cloudy days may hurt visibility, requiring you to take extra precautions as you climb! On your descent after this last summit, you'll notice a bealach, signalling that you're about to head up to the next summit: Stob Coire Altruim, where you'll arrive at a fallen crag that opens up to stunning views.

After, keep following the undulating ridge towards Stob na Bròige, the second Munro. Check out Glen Etive from atop this summit. After breaking at this second Munro, go back to the ridge, heading down to the bealach just before Stob na Doire. Descend along a constructed path, ensuring you stay west when you get to the banks of Allt Coire Altruim. Further on, you'll encounter more technical terrain that may have you scrambling!

When you get to the bottom of the glen, go across the creek to meet up with the path through Lairig Gartain. Take a right onto the footpath and continue along until you arrive at the A82. Unfortunately, you'll have to follow the busy road along a boggy path until you reach the Buachaille Etive Mòr Car Park, where your walk began.

Trail Highlights

Buachaille Etive Mòr

It’s hard to miss the triangular shape of the Buachaille Etive Mòr, a stunning mountain in the Scottish Highlands! Locals may refer to Buachaille Etive Mòr as the “Big Bookill.” This mountain boasts four summits and two Munros—Stob Dearg and Stob na Bròige. You’ll tackle all four peaks on this walk!

Insider Hints for Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk

  • You can park at either the Buachaille Etive Mòr Car Park or the layby at Altnafeadh. Parking in the car park may be tricky in winter.
  • This route is in an avalanche zone, so you may want to avoid it in winter.
  • We suggest not bringing your dog on this hike as it may not be safe for both you and them.
  • This walk gets busy, so we suggest coming early or completing it during the week instead of the weekend.

Getting to the Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk Trailhead

To get to the start of the Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk, head to the Buachaille Etive Mòr Car Park (or the layby at Altnafeadh), located along the A82. This is a small parking lot!

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    On-Leash-not recommended

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk Elevation Graph

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Buachaille Etive Mòr Walk Reviews

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