Stac Pollaidh, Scottish Highlands
Length: 2.5 miles
Walking time: 2 hour
Starting point: Stac Pollaidh car park
This circular walk climbs one of Scotland’s most popular mountains, Stac Pollaidh, with its distinctive spiky-topped ridge. There may be a very steep climb to reach the summit, but it’s well worth the effort when you take in the dramatic panoramic view over Britain's greatest wilderness.
On reaching the top look out for Loch Lugainn, the Summer Isles, Inverpolly Nature Reserve and the peaks of Assynt. You might even catch a glimpse of golden eagles or red deer.
1. Cross the road from the car park and head up the path to the first gate. From there, the route rises steadily to your right through a recently planted wood and out on the open moor. As you climb, fine views are revealed of Loch Lugainn to the south and Cul Beag to the southeast.
2. 5–10 minutes into the walk you reach a fork in the pitched path. Bear right here and continue uphill (the left fork is your return route) keeping to the main path as it scales the eastern shoulder of the mountain. At the crest you’ll get your first glimpse of Suilven and the spectacular wilderness to the north.
3. At a second fork, on the far, north-eastern side of the hill, a well-made path heads left off the lower circuit towards the ridgetop above. Bear left to start the steep ascent to the ridge. A short, simple scramble runs left from the lowest point in the ridge to Stac Pollaidh’s eastern peak – a magnificent viewpoint.
4. Return to the low point in the ridge, and from there pick up the pitched path dropping North West to re-join the main circuit. Turn left when you reach it, and follow the path around the dramatic western tower of Stac Pollaidh and back down the mountain to the junction passed earlier. An easy downhill walk from there leads back to the car park and bus stop.
For the full route and to download GPX data for the walk, visit www.ramblers.org.uk/findroutes. This walk is from Ramblers Routes, a collection of Britain’s best walks from the experts. There are hundreds of free routes available on the Ramblers website for anyone to enjoy, and hundreds more for Ramblers members.
The Ramblers helps everyone, everywhere, enjoy walking and protects the places people love to walk. For further information, visit www.ramblers.org.uk.