Approaching Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Creran) from the east

Sgurr na h-Ulaidh to Beinn Sgulaird from Glen Etive

Hillwalking route from Glen Etive up Sgurr na h-Ulaidh, Beinn Fhionnlaidh and Beinn Sgulaird with the option to include Beinn Trilleachan

Starting from and finishing in Glen Etive, this is a big day out with a 5km return along road - if you were really keen, it could also be possible to include the Corbett Beinn Trilleachan !

Route outline


Sgurr na h-Ulaidh, 

Beinn Fhionnlaidh, Creran, 

Beinn Sgulaird


Beinn Trilleachan

Ascent 2475m (8110ft)
Distance 30km (19m)
Time 11:40hr
Start Invercharnan in Glen Etive
Grid Ref : NN143483
Finish Head of Loch Etive
Grid Ref : NN111453
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

A fairly long day with varied terrain -grass, boulders, scrambling and much away from paths. Good navigation skills will be needed and a good idea to leave a bike or other transport at the head of Loch Etive to avoid an hour's walk back along the road.

Route map

Show map

Route description

1. Getting to the start in Glen Etive

On the track from Invercharnan in Glen Etive

On the track from Invercharnan in Glen Etive

On the A82 that travels from Tyndrum to Fort William, just before approaching Glencoe and just after the turn off for the Kingshouse hotel, there is a single track road that heads south down Glen Etive. This area is a favourite with canoists, so can be busy when wet ! Head down this road for 11km to where a bridge crosses the Allt Charnan, just before which there is off-road parking for a few cars.

2. Sgurr na h-Ulaidh

On the summit of Sgurr na h-Ulaidh

On the summit of Sgurr na h-Ulaidh

By the bridge, a recently bulldozed track heads around the back of Invercharnan. Head up this for 3km, into the de-forested land and to where the track takes a sharp turn right . If you're cycling in, leave bikes here.

Sometimes there is a small cairn here to mark the start of a mucky and fainter track heading of left (GR NN121488). Follow this path heading of left (nnw) to the deer fence enclosing the remains of the forest .

Now on wet ground, follow a faint path across gradually rising grassy ground on the east side of the Allt nan Gaoirean.

The path eventually disappears - just continue northwards towards Bealach Clach nam Meirleach.

You'll come across a line of fence-posts , follow these until you see an obvious worn path heading uphill over grass and some scree on your left (north).

Head up this and climb uphill. There are a couple of bits of easy scrambling on the way and some crags can be avoided by keeping slightly to the left (west). Rejoin the line of fence-posts to follow to Sgurr na h-Ulaidh's summit .Sgurr na h-Ulaidh's summit cairn is perched above quite a dramatic drop northwards and fine views are to be had in most directions.

3. Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Summit of Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Summit of Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Return to Bealach Clach nam Meirleach by the route up, then follow the fence-posts down to the wet ground at the watershed .

Particularly in wet conditions, don't follow the fenceposts directly up Beinn Fhionnlaidh's north-eastern shoulder - crags and rocky outcrops will hinder progress.

Instead begin to head south from the watershed and gradually gain height by following the baseline of a rough rockface.

There are two options from here, at around c600m, turn west up very steep grassy ground around the rocks, heathery further up, and rejoin the crest of the north-eastern shoulder. The line of posts continue to a minor top (marked 841m), from where a path heading west down to a bealach is followed.

Alternatively, an easier route is to keep to the 500m contour aiming southwards following a faint trod and pick up a path south-east of the minor summit (841m), which then heads directly to the bealach with the line of fence-posts.

At the bealach the posts take a sharp turn south-west downhill - leave them and continue west along crest of Beinn Fhionnlaidh on the path up some scree then grass.

A couple of tricky, but relatively easy moves are required to negotiate two rocky 'bad steps' (there are alternatives to the left), after which the summit is only a few minutes further on. Fine views from the trig point.

4. Beinn Sgulaird

Beinn Sgulaird from Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Beinn Sgulaird from Beinn Fhionnlaidh

From Beinn Fhionnlaidh's summit return east to the bealach , then aim south over pathless and grassy terrain following the line of fence-posts.

Down to a watershed, over a slight rise, head down to Lochan na Fola .

It's a fair trudge over more grassy and pathless ground to reach Airigh nan Lochan . Head around the southern shores of this where an ATV track can be picked up and followed for a bit, but as it reaches the Allt Coire Leacaich , it turns southwards and needs to be left behind. Find a suitable place to cross the Allt Coire Leacaich (tricky in spate).

Beyond the Allt Coire Leacaich, the ground gradually steepens and any faint paths disappear into the grass. Higher up, a small lochan is met as the minor summit of Stob Gaibhre is contoured around.

Into Coire nan Tulach, keeping just to the north of the burn coming down, terrain gets a bit rougher and looser higher up. Begin start turning southwards and reach the crest of Beinn Sgulaird on a minor summit marked (marked '909' on OS Explorer maps) . From here, scramble over some rock, descend slightly, then pick up a path for the short distance to Beinn Sgulaird's summit .

5. Return to Glen Etive

On Beinn Sgulaird's summit

On Beinn Sgulaird's summit

Retrace your steps back to cross the Allt Coire Leacaich and descend the ATV track and reach the Airigh nan Lochan .

You should be able to find a faint path cutting through the grass heading eastwards, follow this to the edge of forestry and into a fire-break surrounding the Allt a'Bhiorain .

The faint path can be traced through the forestry to cross the Allt a'Bhiorain around 1km further on where a temporary looking gate in a deer fence leads to the rough remains of a track, which in turn leads to another gate in the deer-fence .

Through this gate, you'll find yourself on a fine forestry track that drops down to Glen Etive from where the road can be picked up to follow back to Invercharnan.

6. Detour from Beinn Sgulaird to Beinn Trilleachan

By the Allt a' Bhiorain, looking up to Beinn Trilleachan

By the Allt a' Bhiorain, looking up to Beinn Trilleachan

On your way to Beinn Sgulaird, Beinn Trilleachan on your left looks quite intimidating, particularly the Trilleachan Slabs. It is however a fairly straightforward detour to bag this Corbett's summit.

From Beinn Sgulaird, retrace your steps back to cross the Allt Coire Leacaich .Keeping on the east bank of this burn, you should be able to pick a route uphill on grassy terrain for the most part.

The north-east crest of Beinn Trilleachan is reached around 500m from the summit and a path can be picked up and followed to the cairn on the top .

To return, retrace your steps along the crest , a faint path then heads north-east over Meall nan Gobhar to meet up with the edge of the forest. It's a final mucky descent down to the roadside !

Route profile »

Maps and GPX downloads »

Information on maps and GPX files is on this page.

The map images above link to items on Amazon. A small commission is earned on any map purchased which helps fund the operating costs of this website.

Weather forecasts »

Alternative and nearby routes »

Beinn Sgulaird from Glen Etive

Through forestry, then on open hillside and rocky terrain higher up, this route makes for a quiet approach up Beinn Sgulaird.

Peaks : 1 Munro

Ascent : 1025m (3360ft)
Distance : 14km (9m)
Time : 5:15hr

Sgurr na h-Ulaidh from Glencoe

Heading to Sgurr na h-Ulaidh from Glencoe follows a good track, but take the wrong way and you could end up heading up some difficult ground.

Peaks : 1 Munro

Ascent : 1150m (3770ft)
Distance : 12km (7m)
Time : 5hr

Sgurr na h-Ulaidh to Bidean nam Bian

Starting from Glencoe, Sgurr na h-Ulaidh can be linked to Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach, taking in the Corbetts of Meall Lighiche and Beinn Maol Chaluim. A big and rough undertaking !

Peaks : 3 Munros, 2 Corbetts

Ascent : 2375m (7790ft)
Distance : 25km (16m)
Time : 10:15hr

Beinn Sgulaird from Loch Creran

After a steep pull up grassy slopes, a fine there-and-back route over minor bouldery summits gains Beinn Sgulaird's Munro peak. The route can be extended over nearby Corbett Creach Bheinn.

Peaks : 1 Munro, option of 1 Corbett

Ascent : 1280m (4200ft)
Distance : 11km (7m)
Time : 5hr


Contact me