Creag Meagaidh & neighbouring Munros


Carn Liath (1006m, Munro 126)
Stob Poite Coire Ardair (1054m Munro 76)
Creag Meagaidh (1128m, Munro 30)
Beinn a'Chaorainn (1052m, Munro 79)
Beinn Teallach (915m, Munro 282)


1850m (6,050ft)


27km (17m)


walking : 9:45hr*, running : 5hr
 *Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent

Main route summary

The highlight of this route is the ever-changing view over Coire Ardair and its spectacular cliffs - well famed for their winter climbing. The route initially travels up from the SNH building at Aberarder towards Coire Ardair, with lots of wildlife hiding - but if you can't see any, there's a herd of deer kept near the start and they're not camera-shy. Beinn a'Chaorainn has some good summer scrambling up its east ridge (not covered here), but in winter this munro is well corniced - so take care in snow and mist. The walk is finished with lovely views over the Easains and Loch Treig as Beinn Teallach is gradually descended.

start Aberarder
(grid ref : NN483873)

finish Roughburn, nr Laggan Dam
(grid ref : NN377814)

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GPS data download GPX file of this route

Google Earth    download KML file of this route

easy Pleasant grass covered ground for the most part with some occasional boulder fields difficult
easy Some pathless sections, some sections with fence-posts to follow testing
stroll A fairly long day long day
ok Fine expansive views from the summits stunning
meanings Carn Liath :
  'grey hill'
Stob Poite Coire Ardair :
  'peak of the pot of the high coire'
Creag Meagaidh :
  'bogland crag'
Beinn a'Chaorainn :
  'hill of the rowan'
Beinn Teallach :
  'forge hill'
on our blog
main route outlineprint route
Getting there
  • On the A86, halfway along Loch Laggan, there's a good car-park built by SNH that will hold around 20 cars.
  • It is also possible to stay overnight here and tent it over the wall by the burn !

Carn Liath
  • From the car-park, head up to Aberarder, the SNH building, where there's a shelter, a bench and some display boards with lots of interesting information on the terrain and wildlife in the area.
  • Follow the well constructed path around the right of the house, over the bridge, up to and past the wall to just before the birch forest.
  • Look for a faint path heading off right (north-east) up over the heather and through the re-generating birch forest.
  • Further up you'll reach the fine vantage point of Na Cnapanan.
  • From this aim north-west, drop slightly, then pick up a better path to follow up to Carn Liath's broad summit with its large cairn.

Stob Poite Coire Ardair
  • Although the summits can often be in cloud, the ridge between Carn Liath and Stob Poite Coire Ardair is frequently clear. Just as well, as in mist carefully navigation from Carn Liath is needed, since the path is very faint.
  • After a top and another slight rise, fence-posts are picked up on Sron Garbh Choire and followed up and along to Stob Poire Coire Ardair. It's tricky watching your feet on the boulders, since the constant stunning view left over Coire Ardair to the winter climbs is awesome.
  • The first cairn isn't on Stob Poite Coire Ardair's summit, it's ½ km further on.

Creag Meagaidh
  • Continue following the path hugging the posts, the posts turn sharply and you might be tempted in mist to follow them - don't as they come to an abrupt halt above a 20m drop ! Keep to the path down to 'The Window', then turn south-east, still following the path and start climbing uphill.
  • The path zig-zags up through some scree, then levels out. It's worth heading a bit east to look back down into Coire Ardair.
  • Head south-west-south for ½ km, then west to reach 'Mad Meg's Cairn', this isn't the summit and nobody quite know's why it's here (Muriel Grey suggested Margaret Thatcher's handbag might be buried in it).
  • Creag Meagaidh's not-so-large summit cairn is a further ½ km on, from where the views are wonderful.

Beinn a'Chaorainn
  • Leave the Creag Meagaidh's cairn and head south-west along the crest. Pick up a line of wooden posts and follow for around 1km to where they turn sharply right. Leave them and continue west-south-west over pathless, grassy but easy terrain down to Bealach a'Bharnish. Uphill next, south-west to aim around Coire na h-Uamha to Beinn a'Chaorainn's North Top. This Munro is renowned for its huge ice cornices, so keep well away from the edge in misty winter conditions. From the North Top, the route to the main summit is obvious, following the rim of the coire to the cairn. There has been debate as to which of the Centre Top and South Top are the summit - it's the Centre Top !

Beinn Teallach
  • Return to the North Top, then head nwn, then north-west downhill over grassy, pathless ground to drop 400m. The bealach is a bit wet with a burn to cross.
  • An obvious path heads up the Beinn Teallach's north-east shoulder.
  • Initially very wet, this gives way to a fine dry path to follow to two cairns set 100m apart on the summit. What this Munro lacks in height it more than makes up for in the way of stunning views.

Down to Roughburn
  • The next part of the route depends on how in spate the Allt a'Chaorainn is !
  • If river levels are low, then from the western cairn, initially head south on a faint path over dry bouldery ground. The ground becomes progressively more heather covered and the path more distinct as height is lost. Further down wet and grassy terrain is crossed to reach an old wire fence. Over this and continue on the now obvious path around some forestry and cross the Allt a'Chaorainn a bit further downstream where the ground levels out just before it joins another river coming from the west.
  • If the Allt a'Chaorainn is likely to be in spate it used to be able to cross it using a fence-wire with wooden slats at NN364826. However currently only the top part of the fence survives and this is now uncrossable. So, from the summit for Beinn Teallach you'll need to re-trace your steps to the col at Tom Mor and head down a faint path on the eastern side of the Allt a'Chaorainn. After 3km, you'll reach the other side of the forestry mentioned above.
  • Through the deer-fence next via a stile or gate, then pick up a constructed path at the forest's edge to follow to the forestry track that heads down to Roughburn. Hopefully you've had the fore-thought to have placed car or bike in the car-park here that'll get you back to Aberarder !

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