A Scottish Highlands trek: “Legendary hiking, with walk-up climbing ascent of Ben Nevis.”
The Scottish Highlands are legendary, not least because they are among “least-populated areas in Europe,” says Mountain Madness, and “much of the region is uninhabited except for scattered farms and villages.”
The highlands in fact, are stunning — with rolling hills, scalable mountains, verdant glens and valleys, navigational streams and river. Indeed, they are a trekker’s delight! Famed Ben Nevis of Scotland is actually the highest peak in Britain, and is included in this tour. This is typically a summer/early fall trip, for weather and environmental reasons.
Days 1-2 | Arrive and overnight in Inverness. Free time to explore.
Day 3 | Travel to the West Highlands, go for a spectacular two-hour trek (about 3.5 km/185-metre elevation gain). Overnight at Edencoille, Kinlochleven.
Day 4 | The Devil’s Staircase. You will hike a stage of the famous West Highland Way trekking route, trekking the most challenging stage and crossing the high point of the route, a pass known as the Devil’s Staircase. About 14 km/500-metre elevation gain, approx. 5 hours. Overnight: Edencoille, Kinlochleven.
Day 5 | Ben Nevis. A transfer north takes you to Torlundy. This is the “true” starting point for a hike up Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. It may only be 1,345 metres high, but starting from sea level makes it challenging. Later have a pint with your fellow trekkers at the Ben Nevis Inn. A 17.5-km/1,506-metre elevation trek, about 10 hours. Overnight: Edencoille, Kinlochleven.
Day 6 | Glencoe’s Peaks. Hike in Glencoe itself, with several mountains to choose from, like Buachaille Etive Mor or Bidean nam Bian. Afterwards enjoy a beer, dinner and maybe live music at the Boots Bar at the Clachaig Inn at Glencoe. Approx. 14 km/1,000-metre elevation hike, about 6–8 hours. Overnight: Edencoille, Kinlochleven.
Day 7 | Kintail. Head northwest to the region of Torridon, which has many of Scotland’s iconic peaks, including the Five Sisters of Kintail — highlights include a four-hour hike and a stop at Eilean Donan Castle. Approx. a 7-km/700-metre elevation hike, about 4 hours. Overnight: Tigh An Eilean, Sheildaig.
Day 8 | Enjoy a bit-of-respite-day with an easier trek — there are various options for easier, more laidback hikes in the region of Torridon. A guide will discuss options (including Ben Damph and Beinn Alligin) with your group. Overnight: Tigh An Eilean, Sheildaig.
Day 9 | Loch Clair. Your last day sees an an easier hike — the circuit of Loch Clair. Then you head to Inverness, the Scottish Highlands unofficial capital, arriving about mid-afternoon, then enjoy a farewell dinner with your group. Overnight in Inverness.
Day 10 | Depart Inverness, fly home.
Scotland Highlands Trek | MOUNTAIN MADNESS
Phone: 800.328.5925 | [email protected]
Length/Departs: 10 days; contact Mountain Madness for current departs on offer (if interested, ask about custom dates).
Accommodation: Cozy inns and pubs.
Price: Check with operator for current pricing (website displays US dollars)
Difficulty/physical prep: Intermediate. This trip involves anywhere from 5 to 8 hours a day of trekking, with elevation gains of about 1,000-2,000+ feet (305-610+ meters) a day, and with multiple days of trekking. Mountain Madness recommends that as a guideline, you should be in good physical shape and doing about four one-hour workouts per week before the trip. Also, you should include in your prep routine (a few times) hiking with a small pack for several hours, with altitude gain if possible. We recommend you ask more about this from Mountain Madness.
A few guidelines on trip descriptions: All descriptions/itineraries are sourced from trip/tour operator, and Outpost assumes no liability. Prices are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated, are often “starting from” the one listed, and don’t necessarily reflect final/total cost (that is, taxes, in-country or extra fees might be added). And, prices indicated here do NOT include airfare, unless it says so. Date changes are always possible and sometimes even inescapable. So, always get in touch with an operator directly; sometimes they’ll let you know about a special offer not listed here so a price may actually be less than listed here.