Stac Pollaidh Walk
If you're looking for an easy stroll, the Stac Pollaidh Walk isn't it! This walk is challenging, technical and fun for those with walking and scrambling experience. Expect to feast on views of Assynt to the north, Summer Isles to the southwest, and Loch Veyatie in the northwest. The Stac Pollaidh Walk may be under 5.0 km, but it definitely packs a punch when it comes to scenery and adventure!
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Route Description for Stac Pollaidh Walk
The Stac Pollaidh Walk in the Highlands requires you to mentally prepare for an intense few hours on the trail! You may be tempted to tackle this route due to the short length, but don’t expect even a moderate hike—this journey is physically demanding. However, despite marvelling at a blockbuster of views, this route doesn’t take you to the true summit of Stac Pollaidh, as only experienced scramblers should take this on. Another thing to note is that while dogs can accompany you, the ridge at the top has a steep drop, creating a potentially hazardous situation for both you and your pup. It’s advised to leave your canine companion at home for this one.
However, those who lace up their boots and give this walk a go will fall in love with the surrounding scenery, granting the chance to catch the Summer Isles to the southwest, Loch Veyatie in the northwest, Assynt in the north, and so much more. And while you can't reach the true summit of the Stac Pollaidh, you can access the ridge via a shorter, not-so-intense scramble! It's safe to say that the Stac Pollaidh Walk ties a bow around a gift box of adventure and scenery.
Setting out from the car park, you'll meander across the road to go north along the path that leads through a gate. From here, the path begins to ascend, taking you through woodland toward moorland. You'll follow the newer route around the mountain, which was created to hinder erosion. You may see faint remnants of the old route covered in grass. Avoid this! Following the new path, you'll catch views of Sgùrr Tuath and Loch Lurgainn with Cul Beag imposing on the east. You'll see a path on the left, but ignore this and keep ascending as the path curves around Stac Pollaidh. Another gate will emerge; go through it to meander through moorland.
Continue along the path as it snakes to Stac Pollaidh's far side. Look out for lovely views of Suilven, a mountain that soars at 731 m across Assynt. Eventually, you'll reach a junction, where you can choose to ascend to the ridge. If so, keep to the left at the fork and get ready to huff and puff as you take on the steep climb! If you want to avoid the ridge, there's a circuit path that wraps around the base of Stac Pollaidh. At the lowest point of the ridge, incredible views of the Summer Isles, Suilven, Loch Veyatie will emerge into view. Pause to catch your breath as you bask in the scenery. If you want to go higher, there's the option to take on an easy scramble. Do note that this will not take you to the summit of Stac Pollaidh!
After taking in the views, head back down the way you came. At the same junction with the ridge path from before, you can opt to continue back the way you came, which is easier, or you can go left to follow a circuit route around the base of the mountain. This way is a bit more technical. Either way, know that soon enough, you'll get back to your car, where you can flip through your photos and pat yourself on the back for completing an intense journey!
Stac Pollaidh is a mountain in the Highlands that soars at 613 m, making it only possible for experienced scramblers to reach the summit. However, the ridge towards the summit offers incredible views of the Summer Isles, Suilven, and Loch Veyatie, to name a few.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take my dog on the Stac Pollaidh Walk?
It’s recommended that you keep your dog at home, especially if you’re attempting the ridge portion of this walk. The steep drop below can be dangerous for you and your dog.
Insider Hints for Stac Pollaidh Walk
- You can take bus 811 from Ullapool to the start of this walk. This is an infrequent bus!
- You can make this an out-and-back route or a lollipop adventure by heading back the way you came after the ridge or taking an alternate route until you meet back with the main path.
- You can also avoid ascending to the ridge altogether!
- We advise against taking your dog on this walk.
Getting to the Stac Pollaidh Walk Trailhead
To get to the start of the Stac Pollaidh Walk, head to the Stac Pollaidh car park in Ullapool (58°02'05.3"N 5°12'26.6"W).
Stac Pollaidh Walk Elevation Graph
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Stac Pollaidh Walk Reviews
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