The Famous Lochnagar Walk
Explore beautiful landscapes in the Cairngorms
Lochnagar is the most popular mountain of the Cairngorms. From the high Lochnagar ridge you will have superb views of the Cairngorms and the moorlands of the Balmoral estate. Along this track you will find beautiful waterfalls, diverse wildlife and stunning views over Loch Muick.
The walk starts at the large car park at the end of the public road up Glen Muick. Continue along the track to the Spittal of Glen Muick. You will be crossing a wide, boggy valley bottom, with paths between peaty pools, heather banks and bogs with bright green moss. After about 20 minutes the path will climb up between a stand of Scotch pines trees and end up on a bare hillside.
Pine tree section just beside Spittal of Glen Muich car park
This is where the real climb begins; for an hour, the path climbs steadily through the countryside. The further you climb up, the more of a view over the moorlands will appear. When you reach a high pass, you will get the first views north across the Dee Valley to the high Cairngorms. You cross left here, and you slowly wind up a long field of broken granite boulders until you reach a bare saddle between the summit ridge and the Meikle Pap.
Lochnagar's ascending trail up Alt na Guibhsaich stream
From here you will climb a steep slope of granite boulders for about 20 minutes until you reach a summit plateau. From there the track will follow the rim, going down and winding up around the final ridge. Here you will have stunning views of your surroundings.
To head back you will head south towards Loch Muick. The path descends over heather fields, and will reach the Glas-Allt burn. You will pass a spectacular waterfall surrounded by banks full of purple heather and reach the lakeside. Through a stand of Scotch pines you will find the lodge Glas-allt-Shiel. Here you turn right and follow the shores of Loch Muick. When you reach a boathouse at the food of the Loch you turn right. This path will leave the lochside and heads northeast. When you join a larger track, turn left to the Spittal of Glenmuick.
Meikle Pap. On the way up to Lochnagar
Walking on Eagle ridge just before reaching summit's plateau
Viewing northwest over Glen Muich