Bac an Eich from Sgurr Coire nan Eun

Bac an Eich and An Sithean

Hillwalking route up Bac an Eich and An Sithean from Strathconon

Bac an Eich and An Sithean are grass covered Corbetts tucked away in a remote area between Loch Monar and Strathconon. Old stalkers paths help access, though higher up, navigation can be challenging on the pathless wide summit plateaux.

Route outline


Bac an Eich, 

An Sithean

Ascent 1200m (3930ft)
Distance 31km (19m)
Time 9:45hr
Start/finish Inverchoran, Strathconon
Grid Ref : NH261508
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Starting from near Loch Beannacharain at the head of Strathconon, this route utilises estate tracks and stalkers paths to gain the lower slopes of Bac an Eich and An Sithean. This is a fairly long circular route and also explores the glens surrounding the hills.

Some of the stalkers paths are vague, but marked on maps, others are more destinct yet not marked on maps ! On higher ground, navigation can be challenging on the pathless wide summit plateaux, particularly in misty conditions.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Strathconon and Inverchoran

Entrance to Invercoran

Entrance to Invercoran

West of Inverness, the A832 heads through Muir of Ord to Marybank, beyond which is Strathconon. This rather lovely glen has little lochs and hydro schemes, aside which travels an unclassified and narrow road.

Through Strathconon and past the settlements of Bridgend, Porin and Milton, the road turns south-west into a much less populated area.

Just before reaching Loch Beannacharain at the end of the strath, there's a turn-off for the house at Inverchoran on the south side of the River Meig. Verge-side parking can be made here, or possibly better, in a gravel roadside patch around 400m before reaching the turn-off.

2. Bac an Eich

On Bac an Eich summit, looking to Torridon and Fisherfield

On Bac an Eich summit, looking to Torridon and Fisherfield

The first part of this route is through the rather lovely and narrow Gleann Chorainn. Starting from the roadside, head down the track towards Inverchoran and cross the bridge over the River Meig. Upon approaching the house at Inverchoran and just before a cattlegrid, a sign indicates a preferred route to avoid disturbing those living here - over the cattlegrid, turn left, through a gate, cross a small bridge over a burn, turn right before the next building, back over the burn via a weir - all which ends up on the track behind Inverchoran.

The track now heads south for a bit, then comes to a junction - take the right fork with the track aiming south-west. The track climbs a little and comes to another junction - again take the right fork.

The track drops slightly and meets with the Allt Gleann Chorainn - cross it onto its west bank and pick up a deer-trod. The track below criss-crosses the burn several times over the next 1km or so, so best to stay on the deer track while it does. Further on, meet with the track again on the west side of the burn and follow it to one final crossing at around 300m.

Now on the east bank of the burn, the track twists and turns as it climbs fairly steeply before coming to a junction just below the skyline of the pass of Torran Ceann Liath. Keep right at the junction and on a path (the track off left heads down into Glen Orrin).

Shortly after the junction, views open up dramatically, with a fine vista of the Strathfarrar Munros. A little further on another junction is met - again keep right and on a faint path.

Now out of Gleann Chorainn, and above the pass of Torran Ceann Liath, the path aims north-west, gradually becoming over-grown by heather and marsh, and after around 500m hiking, ends by a small cairn . There's a few rocks ahead, beyond which some navigation northwards leads up a grass-covered slope onto Bac an Eich's summit .

A trig point sits on the summit surrounded by a stone shelter and from where some really fine views can be had to Strathfarrar in one direction and Torridon and Fisherfield in the opposite.

3. An Sithean

An Sithean's summit with Maoile Lunndaidh beyond

An Sithean's summit with Maoile Lunndaidh beyond

In clear conditions, the stalkers path heading up Sgurr Coire nan Eun can be seen below, but even then, the route to the base of this is a bit vague !

From Bac an Eich's summit head west for around 500m dropping on a gentle hillside, then south-west over grass-covered ground to reach the top of a steeper slope. Bound down this moist slope to Drochaid Coire Mhadaidh and cross the faint path in this pass.

Looking directly up the hillside ahead, trace a faint stalkers path zig-zagging a route southwards. As the slope flattens a cairn marks the end of the track - from here to An Sithean there are no paths to follow (and navigation will be challenging in mist) !

I took a route sticking to the crest of the ground, travelling over Sgurr Coire nan Eun , around the bump with spot-height of 768m and refreshed my water at the burn flowing out of Cuil-rathain. The final 1km to An Sithean is a bit ploddy, where a rather dilapidated cairn rests.

Fine views all round, though the mass of Maoile Lunndaidh does block some of the westerly vistas.

4. Return

By the River Meig

By the River Meig

Terrain is about to get quite a bit rougher !

Taking a bearing north-west and begin to descend grassy slopes. As grass gives way to heather, look for the stalkers path - as it's rather vague and overgrown as it twists and turns travelling downhill, it's easily lost ! The path becomes more obvious as it approaches the pass of Torran Ceann Liath (yup, another one !).

At the pass, the stalkers path meets the path crossing over the col - turn right and follow it as it criss-crosses the Allt an Amise. After a while, this path settles to a rouute above the east bank of the burn and gradually descends past some lovely little waterfalls only to disappear into thick grass on the approach to the River Meig .

This river will need crossed (not sure what that'll be like in spate !) after which a vague estate track is picked up on its northern bank. Following this 'track' north-east, it gradually improves and forms into a fine constructed track. After crossing a burn , the house at Corrievuic is met, followed by a bridge by the estate buildings of Scardroy.

Further on after passing the impressive Scardroy Lodge (where robotic lawnmowers were trimming the grass on my last visit) and an unfinished house renovation , the track becomes a road and this is followed to a gate and cattle-grid at the start of the public road.

The road travels back above the northern shore of Loch Beannacharain to the start point of the route - if you'd had the foresight of a bit of advance planning, either by stashing a bike, or organising a lift from the car-park near the western end of the loch, that'll save from hiking 4km on tarmac !

5. Alternative route to Bac an Eich

Corriefeol ruins below stalkers path up Creag Achadh an Eas

Corriefeol ruins below stalkers path up Creag Achadh an Eas

If you're not too fussy about hiking through Gleann Chorainn, a shorter route can be made, still bagging the two Corbett peaks.

Park in the car-park near the end of the public road (the estate has placed 'No Parking' signs by the verge at the end of the public road), then on foot head to the house at Corrievuic . Drop to a bridge over the River Meig, cross it and head up to a couple of ruins at Corriefeol .

Behind the ruins, a stalkers track, not marked on OS maps, climbs uphill aiming for Creag Achadh an Eas. The track twists and turns before heading towards Coire Dhugaill and becoming faint and evenutally disappearing.

Turn southwards, and up onto the grassy slopes above An Leth-chreag and follow the ridge line, with some rocky lines on route, up to Bac an Eich's summit .

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Alternative and nearby routes »

Maoile Lunndaidh from Strathfarrar

A lovely walk along fine paths above the shores of Loch Monar leads to the southern base of Maoile Lunndaidh from where an old stalkers path travels uphill into Toll a' Choin below the summit crest. A detour to An Sithean doesn't add much distance, just a tad over 300m of ascent.

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Strathfarrar Munros

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