East of Lairig Ghru - Cairngorm and Ben Macdui

These high peaks lie between Braemar and Aviemore. You'd think with the vast plateaus of Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm, that these Munros would be fairly dull - but you'd be so wrong. There's hiddens lochans, long narrow crests, dark corries and weird granite tors. Healthy forests surround the area with a diverse wildlife and, if you're lucky, you'll come across a reindeer herd feeding on the artic-like tundra.

The route to Cairngorm from the 'Day Lodge' is one of the easiest Munro routes.

Main route summary

Good tracks and paths head in from various directions. To bag all 6 Munros in one day, it is probably easiest to cycle from Linn of Dee to the south to Derry Lodge, from where a circular route makes for a long and enjoyable day out.

With vast plateaux above 1000m, navigation skills will be tested when the mist or snow come in.

Munros Carn a'Mhaim (1037m, Munro 95)
Ben Macdui (1309m, Munro 2)
Cairn Lochan (1215m, Munro Top)
Cairngorm (1244m, Munro 6)
Bynack More (1090m, Munro 55)
Beinn Mheadhoin (1182m, Munro 13)
Derry Cairngorm (1155m, Munro 21)
Ascent 2725m (8,900ft)
Distance       48km (30m)
Time walk : 16:30hr*
run : 7:15hr
*Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent

Start/finish   Linn of Dee
(grid ref : NN852976)


Which map to choose ?
easy difficult
easy testing
stroll long day
ok stunning
Meanings  Carn a'Mhaim : 'cairn of the large rounded hill'
Ben Macdui : 'MacDuff's hill'
Cairn Lochan : 'hill of the small loch'
Cairngorm : 'blue hill'
Bynack More : 'big cup'
Beinn Mheadhoin : 'middle hill'
Derry Cairngorm : 'blue hill of the thicket'

Route detail & map »

Photos of route »

Alternative routes »

Other hill routes nearby »

Accommodation & food »

Forecasts & other useful info »

Guided days on these mountains »


Upcoming events

30 March

1-3 Apr

8-9 Apr

15-16 Apr

16 April



Recent blog posts

East of Etive
Mar 25-26
Mar 25
West of Etive
Mar 24
Lochy Lochy Munros
Mar 17
Mar 15


© 2017 Steven Fallon