Looking to Beinn a' Ghlo from Carn a' Chlamain

Beinn a' Ghlo to Beinn Dearg

Hillwalking route on the Munros and Corbetts above Atholl

A fairly long hillwalking route rewarding fit hill-baggers with 5 Munros and a Corbett including the peaks on Beinn a' Ghlo and others above Glen Bruar and Glen Tilt.

Route outline


Carn Liath, 

Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalagain, 

Carn nan Gabhar, 

Carn a' Chlamain, 

Beinn Dearg


Beinn Mheadhonach

Ascent 2850m (9350ft)
Distance 42km (26m)
Time 15:00hr
Start Loch Moraig
Grid Ref : NN905670
Finish Old Blair, Glen Tilt car-park
Grid Ref : NN874663
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

Access to the foot of Beinn a' Ghlo, Carn a' Chlamain and Beinn Dearg is along excellent estate tracks and paths. Higher up the ground lines between summits, is often heather clad and pathless testing navigation skills, even in clear conditions.

Although making for a long day, most fit walkers will be to bag all 5 Munros and the Corbett Beinn Mheadhonach. However, should you find youself in a situation requiring the route to be cut short, escape routes are mentioned, with a link to the relevant webpage for more information.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Blair Atholl and the walk start

Carn Liath at the beginning of the route

Carn Liath at the beginning of the route

As this route starts and finishes at two different points some 4km apart, it might be worth arranging transport to avoid an extra hour's walking at the end of the day.

The village of Blair Atholl sits aside the A9, north of Perth. Near the centre of the village, immediately east of the bridge over the River Tilt, there is a road junction with sign pointing the way to Monzie and a few other places.

Drive up this road and you'll come to a junction - keep right (marked by a Right-of-Way sign to Glen Tilt). The road climbs uphill and comes to another junction, again keep right and towards Monzie Farm. The road now narrow, goes over a cattle-grid and then into open fields, though fenced off with electric-wires. Near the end of the road there is a parking area by another cattle grid aside Loch Moraig which is partially hidden behind some trees.

2. Carn Liath

Summit trig point on Carn Liath

Summit trig point on Carn Liath

On foot or bike, leave the parking area and head along the road to the gate by a sharp bend at the end of the public road. Through this gate, its onto an estate track which initially climbs then levels off. After around 1.5km two sheds are reached .

By the sheds, cross a fence via stile to get onto open hillside. Drop slightly on to grassy wet ground and cross a small burn. A path develops - follow this up to an old dyke and continue uphill to its end.

The path leaves the side of the dyke then heads directly up the south-west shoulder of Carn Liath. Over grassy terrain and through heather, higher up, the badly erroded scar as seen from the A9 is reached. Up close the errosion is loose quartzite and doesn't seem as bad as expected.

After around 500m of ascent, the steep gradient easies and a small cairn is met - an indicator that Carn Liath's summit cairn is just 300m further on. Fine views are had in all directions.

On its own, Carn Liath is one of the easiest Munros to bag. To get to Carn Laith's summit requires a mere ascent of 640m. If not intending to bag any other Munro peaks on Beinn a' Ghlo, simply about-turn ad re-trace your footsteps back to Loch Moraig.

3. Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain

Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from just above the col

Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from just above the col

Leave Carn Liath's cairn behind and drop north-west along the wide crest of the hill.

An obvious path is followed as the crest twists aiming north-west, then north-east towards the crest of Beinn Mhaol. Sticking to the crest, the route turns once more north-west and drops to a sharp little bealach .

Ahead is Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain's south-west shoulder and the path continues up this, initially scouring a route uphill through heather. Higher up, heather is left behind and more grassy with occasional stoney ground is crossed as the route following the hill's crest gradually turns northwards. Hiking up, the gradient easies as Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain's summit cairn is neared.

4. Carn nan Gabhar

Carn nan Gabhar from Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain

Carn nan Gabhar from Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain

In poor visibility, the route from Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain to Carn nan Gabhar can be tricky to navigate as the wide crest is fairly pathless !

From Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain's summit, drop north-east, then east to a flat grassy area. Continue for a further 300m north-east over a slight rise , then bear east and start to loose height. A path is met to follow down through some scree to Bealach an Fhiodha . A more definite path then heads east gradually climbing uphill to the north end of the col between Airgiod Bheinn and Carn nan Gabhar. From this col, head north-east on a faint path up over grassy ground to a bouldery summit with a cairn . This is not Carn nan Gabhar's summit, neither is the trig point 250m further on.

Around 150m further on from the trig point is Carn nan Gabhar's summit , which is marked by a large tidy cairn. Superb views in all directions.

5. Carn a' Chlamain

Carn a' Chlamain from the east

Carn a' Chlamain from the east

North of Carn nan Gabhar is visited infrequently, therefore the ground is fairly pathless.

Head north-east from the summit cairn on Carn nan Gabhar, then after losing around 100m of height, start to turn north and continue around the head of Coire a' Chaisteil to Meall a' Mhuirich . North, then north-west to head down to Glen Tilt, the last 250m of heathery descent being pretty steep, but a path can be picked up to follow to near a bridge over the River Tilt.

Cross the bridge, then head northwards, directly up the steep heathery ground ahead and to the right of some crags.

Once past the crags, turn south-west onto the north-east shoulder of Creag a' Chochaidh (marked by the spot height of 729m on the OS Landranger map) and aim for the Allt na Maraig (the burn flowing down from Carn a' Chlamain). The ground is covered in deep heather in parts, grassy and pleasant going in others.

Nearing the Allt na Maraig, you should start to see the obvious stalkers path aiming up Carn a' Chlamain. Follow this westwards to meet up with another track coming from the south-east and continue up to Carn a' Chlamain's bouldery conical summit with its small cairn.

6. Beinn Mheadhonach

Beinn Mheadhonach

Beinn Mheadhonach

The path on Carn a' Chlamain's crest continues north-westwards, but quite quickly becomes fairly indistinct. Follow it as best as you can over Aonach na Cloiche Moire, then drop directly down over grass and heather into Gleann Mhairc .

Summit of Beinn Mheadhonach, looking back to Carn a' Chlamain

Summit of Beinn Mheadhonach, looking back to Carn a' Chlamain

Now aiming westwards, climb up wet tussocky ground to the bealach between Carn a' Chiaraidh and Beinn Mheadhonadh . Being a fairly remote Corbett lacking in distinctive features, there is no path to follow on Beinn Mheadhonadh's crest, but it's a delightful walk nonetheless over grass aiming southwards to the small cairn on the summit .

Summit of Beinn Mheadhonach, looking back to Carn a' Chlamain

Summit of Beinn Mheadhonach, looking back to Carn a' Chlamain

7. Beinn Dearg

Summit boulderfield on Beinn Dearg

Summit boulderfield on Beinn Dearg

This next stage of the route is on fairly featureless terrain, through heather and occasional bog and will require good navigation skills, particularly if mist comes in !

From Beinn Mheadhonadh's summit return northwards to the bealach , then contour around the west side, or go over the top of Carn a' Chiaraidh . Drop to the tussocky and heathery ground at the head of Glean Diridh .

Beinn Dearg's summit is just 2km away - a direct route is possible over some wet and grassy ground, then more heather clad, with progressively more boulders protruding or hidden in the undergrowth. The OS map suggests a steep scree ascent for the last 100m or so to Beinn Dearg's summit - it's not nearly as frightening or difficult as you'd think.

Alternatively, from the head of Glean Diridh , aim north-west towards the bealach between Beinn Dearg and Elrig 'ic an Toisich, from where a grassy bank can be followed uphill through most of the slope's boulderfield, from where an enjoyable walk continues along the northern shoulder of Beinn Dearg to its summit .

Beinn Dearg's summit

Beinn Dearg's summit

Standing alone with a fairly prominent summit, there are fine views to be savoured in all directions from Beinn Dearg's trig point.

Beinn Dearg's summit

Beinn Dearg's summit

8. Return to Glen Tilt

Descending Beinn Dearg

Descending Beinn Dearg

From Beinn Dearg's trig point, head south-south-west for 1km on the obvious path down through red granite boulders and stones to a flat grass and heather covered area.

Follow the path as it turns south-east and lose a bit of height. Leave the path as it turns south and instead continue south-east over more heathery ground to the col above the souce of the Allt Sheicheachan.

Climb up the gently rising slopes above Carr Feith nan Sac to the northern arm of Beinn a' Chait and continue to this hill's summit .

Descend southwards and after loosing 350m of height, pick up a soggy path to follow southwards around the western side of the minor summit of Elrig. The path meets up with a track which fords the Allt Slanaidh just above a small hut and follows the burn's southern bank into the forest above Glen Tilt.

The track passes above a firing range and meets up with the main track that travels through Glen Tilt. Follow this track to the car-park near Old Bridge of Tilt, where hopefully you've arrange transport back up to Loch Moraig.

9. Escape routes

Descending Carn a' Chlamain to Glen Tilt

Descending Carn a' Chlamain to Glen Tilt

After bagging the 3 Munro peaks on Beinn a' Ghlo, the most direct return route is outlined on the Beinn a' Ghlo from Blair Atholl page.

Upon reaching the summit of Carn a' Chlamain, the direct escape route down to Glen Tilt is outlined on the Carn a' Chlamain via Glen Tilt route page.

Route profile »

Maps and GPX downloads »

Other maps :
Explorer OL51
GPX file(s) :
Download GPX
of route
Always carry a decent compass.

Information on maps and GPX files is on this page.

Weather forecasts »

Alternative and nearby routes »

Beinn Dearg from Calvine

Although Beinn Dearg is a remote Munro, there is a network of paths and estate tracks leading to its base, the most direct of which travels from Calvine through Glen Bruar.

Peaks : 1 Munro

Ascent : 1170m (3840ft)
Distance : 31km (19m)
Time : 5:30hr

Carn a' Chlamain via Glen Tilt

From Blair Atholl, a fine estate track follows the course of the River Tilt to the base of Carn a' Chlamain, from where a route leads up the mountain's heather-clad south-western shoulder up to the bouldery summit.

Peaks : 1 Munro

Ascent : 1090m (3580ft)
Distance : 26km (16m)
Time : 5hr

Beinn Bhreac and neighbours

Cycling along estate tracks from Glen Tilt reaches the base of Beinn Dearg's southern shoulder, from where a very 'off-piste' circular route bags the Corbetts of Beinn Mheadhonach and Beinn Bhreac.

Peaks : 1 Munro, 2 Corbetts

Ascent : 1635m (5360ft)
Distance : 37km (23m)
Time : 9:20hr

Beinn a' Ghlo from Blair Atholl

Beinn a'Ghlo is a massive and complex mountain towering above Blair Atholl and Glen Tilt. Along its crests are three Munro summits, Carn Liath, Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain and Carn nan Gabhar.

Peaks : 3 Munros

Ascent : 1350m (4430ft)
Distance : 20km (12m)
Time : 7:15hr


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