On Conival looking over Breabag

Assynt Munros from Inchnadamph

Hillwalking route up Ben More Assynt and Conival from Inchnadamph

Ben More Assynt and Conival are the highest mountains in rugged Assynt in the north-west of Scotland. This route heads in from Inchnadamph to the west with the option to extend over the nearby Corbett of Breabag.

Route outline


Ben More Assynt, 




Ascent 1190m (3900ft)
Distance 16km (10m)
Time 6:00hr
Start/finish Inchnadamph
Grid Ref : NC251216
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

Assynt is a wonderful and rugged area in the north-west of Scotland, in which Ben More Assynt and Conival are the highest mountains. This fairly direct route bags these summits and traverses the rough quartzite covered crests and summits.

A fine alternative, which is also detailed on this page, is to extend the route over Ben More Assynt's 'bad step', onto the Southern Top, then Breabag and hike out via a visit to the 'bone caves' of Inchnadamph.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Inchnadamph

Conival from the River Traligill

Conival from the River Traligill

In the north-west highlands, the A835 travels northwards of Ullapool to meet with the A837 at Ledmore Junction. North of the junction, the A837 heads northwards for a few miles and just before meeting with the southern end comes to the small hamlet of Inchnadamph.

In Inchnadamph there is a hotel, a few houses and field centre with hostel (now called Inchnadamph Explorers Lodge). The route begins from here, with parking just south of the bridge over the River Traligill by the entrance to the Inchnadamph Hotel.

2. Conival

On Conival's northern shoulder

On Conival's northern shoulder

Leave the car-park, head back onto the main road, cross the bridge over the River Traligill, then turn up the track past the field centre .

Keeping on the track pass through a gate, the track turns south-east, crosses over a weir and climbs uphill to the holiday cottage of Glenbain . A large farm hut is passed, after which the track heads straight on - don't follow it, instead turn onto a faint path on the south side of a wall and follow this over grass to meet up with the River Traligill . Notice there is a footbridge off right - this leads to caves and worth a visit.

The path keeps to the north side of the burn for another 2km, then pulling slightly away from the burn , turns north-east to cross wet grass and start to climb. The ground becomes more wet and peaty further up with the path making a way up the west side of the burn..

The path crosses the burn higher up, after which some easy scrambling is required to get over a line of rock. One more patch of grass, then it's onto the northern arm of Conival.

Turning southwards, the path zig-zags up screes onto some grass covered ground and higher up occasional blocks of quartzite are crossed. Conival's summit is reached, where there is a large cairn from where wonderful views are to be had, particularly west over to Suilven and east to Ben More Assynt's southern aspect.

3. Ben More Assynt

On the ridge between Conival and Ben More Assynt

On the ridge between Conival and Ben More Assynt

Although it's only around 1.5km between the summits of Conival and Ben More Assynt, most of the ridge is covered in scree and boulderfield, so feels a bit longer !

From Conival's summit, head eastwards and scramble down a rocky section and pick up a path on the crest between Conival and Ben More Assynt.

The path follows the bouldery crest most of the way, there's section of slab which falls to the north (and which needs a little care but is avoidable by going under) and a minor bump to hike over on the final approach to Ben More Assynt, aside which no difficulties are encountered on the way.

Ben More Assynt's summit has two cairns, one on the summit bouldery plateau, and another to the north on a narrow section of rock - I suspect the latter is the higher. Like Conival, the views are expansive, though very different, looking primarily northwards and eastwards.

4. Return

Returning to Inchnadamph

Returning to Inchnadamph

The easiest route back to Inchnadamph is to return to Conival and head back down the route taken up.

On the way back have a look at the some of the caves and hidden burns on the way out.

5. Ben More Assynt's 'bad step' and Breabag

From Breabag, Conival to Ben More Assynt's south top

From Breabag, Conival to Ben More Assynt's south top

An alternative from Ben More Assynt is to hike along its southern shoulder, up Breabag and return to the roadside via the 'Bone Caves'. This route, in brief below, finishes around 4km south of the start point.

From Ben More Assynt's summit cairns, head south-east on an obvious path towards a bealach. The crest narrows to a ridge and the 'bad step' blocks the way ahead. A bit of care is required to cross this, but otherwise shouldn't prove a problem in fine conditions. Beyond the 'bad step', the path continues to a cairn on Ben More Assynt's 'South Top' and southwards to the minor top of Carn nan Conbhairean .

Drop initially southwards on grass and heather to turn north-west and cross Dubh-Loch Mor's outflow . Head to the col between Conival and Breabag Tarsuinn, where some large well spaced out fence posts are met (a direct escape route from here can be made to the River Traligill ).

To start heading up Breabag, follow the posts uphill. This is a fairly tedious climb, boulder after boulder, but persist and eventually the first cairn is met on the summit marked '718m' . More of the same up Breabag's plateau, with the last pull up to the Breabag's bouldery summit on a pleasant grassy section.

A grassy run downhill north-west leads to the 'bone caves' from where a fine path returns to the roadside (a link to more information on the 'bone caves' and Breabag route is below).

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Alternative and nearby routes »

Assynt Munros from Glen Cassley

Most hillwalkers will head up Ben More Assynt and Conival from Inchnadamph, but this fine alternative approach from quiet Glen Cassley shows another side to these mountains.

Peaks : 2 Munros

Ascent : 1035m (3400ft)
Distance : 26km (16m)
Time : 4:20hr

Breabag and the Bone Caves

A hike of two halfs - fine paths on lower ground to the 'bone caves', followed by pathless grass and heather covered terrain to Breabag's summit crest.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 700m (2300ft)
Distance : 10km (6m)
Time : 3:40hr

Glas Bheinn from the Lairig Unapool

Starting from a height of 250m, this short walk up rough terrain leads to Glas Bheinn's summit from where views are quite stunning.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 530m (1740ft)
Distance : 6km (4m)
Time : 2:25hr

Canisp from Loch Awe

Of the two main approaches to Canisp, this is the shorter, but has little in the way of decent paths to follow. Some interesting rock formations are passed on route.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 740m (2430ft)
Distance : 13km (8m)
Time : 4:30hr


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