Meall nan Tarmachan ridge


Meall nan Tarmachan (1044m, Munro 89)


900m (2,950ft)


12.5km (8m)


walking : 4:40hr*, running : 2:10hr
 *Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent

Main route summary

To the west of the Ben Lawers range of Munros, the Tarmachan Ridge dominates the skyline with its intimidating crags, peaks and long ridges.

With tracks below and worn paths on the crests above, the route couldn't be more obvious. And if it's just the Munro summit you're after, then Meall nan Tarmachan is one of the easiest to bag. Very runnable too, so much so, that every year there is a Hill Race held (see 'Alternative routes' below) !

start/finish Below Lochan na Lairige Dam
(grid ref : NN604383)

maps/guides  OS Landranger 51 - click to buy from Amazon OS Explorer 378 - click to buy from Amazon Harvey Superwalker Lawers - click to buy from Amazon Pocket Mountains - Southern Highlands - click to buy from Amazon

GPS data download GPX file of this route

Google Earth    download KML file of this route

easy Good track in, grassy terrain difficult
easy An obvious path to follow testing
stroll An easy afternoon's walk long day
ok Fine expansive views stunning
meanings Meall nan Tarmachan :
  'hill of the ptarmigan'
Meall Garbh :
  'rough hill'
Beinn nan Eachan :
  'hill of the small horse'
Creag na Caillich :
  'crag of the old woman'
main route outlineprint route
Getting there
  • On the A827, 6km east of Killin along Loch Tay, there is a road aiming north up to the Ben Lawers car-park).
  • Another ˝km beyond this, by a bridge there is another area to park cars, and this is where the Meall nan Tarmachan route begins.

Creag na Caillich
  • Leave the roadside and follow a track westwards, over a bridge and to a gate with a large National Trust sign for the Ben Lawers Nature Reserve. Through the gate follow the track for a further 2km contouring around the southern slopes of Meall nan Tarmachan.
  • The track reaches a junction - keep right and 500m on, keep straight-on at another junction.
  • The track climbs and reaches the edge of an old disused quarry.
  • As the track takes a sharp turn right, leave it and climb up the grass ahead.
  • On a north-westerly bearing, the gradient lessens and a pleasant plod is taken over more grass and peat-hags to reach the ground below Creag na Caillich's crags.
  • A faint path can be seen aiming for a gap in the crags north-east of the summit, from where an obvious path continues to Creag na Caillich's summit.
  • Meall Ghaordaidh stands proud to the west and to the east the erroded route over the crests is clearly seen.

Beinn nan Eachan, Meall Garbh and Meall nan Tarmachan
  • Return along the obvious path and drop to the col below Beinn nan Eachan.
  • Follow the path up and over Beinn nan Eachan.
  • The path twists and turns and changes direction to climb Meall Garbh.
  • This hill has an interesting rocky summit, but no difficulties are encountered.
  • Drop to a bealach with two lochans, then follow the path northwards over a broad crest to gain Meall na Tarmachan's summit with its small cairn. Fine views on clear days !

  • From the cairn head north for a few metres, then turn east and drop slightly to turn southwards on the path.
  • Ahead the path drops sharply, but work has been carried out to install rocky steps (slippy if icy) to aid descent.
  • The path meets up with a fence-line, over which a large stile is used to gain the ground on the other side.
  • A brief climb up to a minor top (marked 923m on OS maps), then a fast 2km descent can be made on the path back to the track and to the road.

Contact us

Steven Fallon
31 Argyle Place
Edinburgh EH9 1JT

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0131 466 8152
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