Beinn Dearg Mhor via Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach, Skye

Walk one of the best walking routes on the Isle of Skye

Walkers will love Beinn Dearg Mhor on the Isle of Skye. Although is not the biggest of mountains that you could face, it more than makes up for it with the quality of scenery to be enjoyed. Set in the Red Cuillins, this walking route allows you to savor the magic of Skye without the need for extreme mountaineering skills. This is one of the most enjoyable walks in the UK.

Name and location of route: Beinn Dearg Mhor via Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach, Skye
Distance: 6.52 miles (10.5km)
Total ascent: 0.57 miles (923m)
Duration: Three to four hours
Terrain: The route follows a series of unexposed ridges and well trodden paths in the heart of the Red Cuillin. The route is physically demanding with an ascent of just over 0.56 miles (900m) but is a real test to how far your navigational and hiking skills have come. A word of warning, there are many loose scree slopes to be found in the Red Cuillin which not only sap your energy but can pose a serious risk of ankle injury. Make sure proper hill walking footwear is worn.

Description of route: This route is testimony to the age old adage that ‘bigger isn’t always better!’ Beinn Dearg Mhor is not the biggest of mountains but more than makes up for its diminutive stature in the quality of walking and scenery to be enjoyed. Skye is famed for the fearsome Black Cuillin and the mountain challenges to be enjoyed here. However, Beinn Dearg, in the Red Cuillins allows you to savor the magic of Skye without the need for extreme mountaineering skills. This is one of the most enjoyable walks in the UK, but these things are all personal so try it and see for yourself!

  • The route starts by leaving the Sligachan Hotel car park (NG 485 299). Cross south over the A863 and follow a bridge over the river.
  • 0.06 miles (100m), after the bridge the path splits, follow the obvious path south east (not south) up the impressive slopes of Druim na Ruaige.
  • This is a steep ascent but luckily it gets most of the day’s climbing out of the way early into your walk when you are feeling fresh!
  • Follow the awe inspiring ridge for just under 1.24 miles (2km) along Druim na Ruaige.
  • At the ridge end, your route changes from south east to east for a short climb up to Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach.
  • Try not to trip over as you take in the surrounding views over the Kyle of Lochalsh and take the obvious line around the cliffs starting north west until reaching another fantastic ridgeline.
  • Descend the ridgeline before ascending north east to the summit of Beinn Dearg Mhor.
  • From the summit of Beinn Dearg Mhor, descend via the wide ridge heading north towards Glamaig.
  • Using your map, and newly tuned navigational skills; leave the ridge line to descend to the obvious saddle between Glamaig and Bealach na Sgairde (take care on the scree here).
  • Follow the obvious path back towards where you started from the Sligachan. This path disappears at times and so is a good test for your ability to walk on a bearing. This should be easy after brimming with confidence at your recent conquests!

Tips for the route: Sections of this route can be boggy so pack your gaiters! Skye can experience extreme and rapid changes in weather conditions so be prepared and take all of your wet weather gear with you, even if you set out in bright sunshine!

Facilities on route and in the local area:

  • Sligachan Campsite is set in stunning surroundings and offers very basic but more than adequate facilities. For more information see's Top 20 campsites.
  • Alternatively stay at the Sligachan Hotel or in numerous B&Bs on Skye (Portree is a beautiful coastal village).
  • Broadford Youth Hostel Tel: 01471 822442
  • Green Gables B&B in Broadford Bay is a great place to stay, overlooking the bay with an otter and seal sanctuary just down the road.

OS map required: OS Explorer (1:25 000) OL411, OS Landranger (1:50 000) 32

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