Ben Lomond from the Arrochar Alps

Ben Lomond

Hiking routes up Ben Lomond, including Ptarmigan

Ben Lomond, the most southerly Munro, sits alone on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond - the greatest area of fresh water in the British mainland. Due to it's proximity to the populated areas of Scotland's Central Belt, Ben Lomond rivals Ben Nevis for the acolade as the most climbed hill in Scotland and its guardians the NTS and Forestry Commission work hard to manage and control the errosion.

The route on this page follows the fine path direct from Rowardenan on Loch Lomond's shore. A fine alternative is to descend from the summit via the quieter Ptarmigan Ridge on which is a rough path to follow, creating a wonderful circular route.

The direct route up Ben Lomond makes this one of the easiest Munros to bag.

Main route summary

  Map base ©OpenStreetMap
Ben Lomond is most easily accessed from Rowardenan on the shores of Loch Lomond.

The mountain's southern shoulder has an obvious path which rises gradually up to the summit with it's expansive views.

Munros Ben Lomond (974m, Munro 183)
Ascent 975m (3,200ft)
Distance   11km (7m)
Time walking : 4:20hr*
running : 1:30hr
*Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent

Start/finish   Rowardennan
(grid ref : NS360987)

easy 2/10difficult
easy testing
stroll long day
ok stunning
Meaning  Ben Lomond : 'beacon hill'

Route detail & map »

Getting to the start at Rowardenan
  • The village of Drymen lies on the A811, 30km west of Stirling.
  • Heading north-east from the village the B837 heads to Balmaha on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond, then continues up to the large car-park at Rowardenan.
  • The road from Balmaha to Rowardenan is narrow and somewhat pot-holed.
  • There is a visitor centre with ranger service and loos by the car-park.

Ben Lomond
  • Behind the visitor centre, a sign points the start of the path up the hill.
  • The path climbs gently at first, then a few 'granny-stoppers' (boulders requiring hands out of pockets) need negotiating.
  • The path continues through the recently felled forest and comes to a gate at the edge of the Forestry Commission's ground.
  • Through the gate and over a wooden bridge, the open ground belonging to the NTS is climbed using a well maintained path.
  • Some zig-zags up steep ground gain a second gate. A bit more steep ground and the gradient eases.
  • The path is followed for 2km to the base of some zig-zags climbing a bit more steep ground, then swings north-east for a short detour to gain the narrow summit crest.
  • Turning north-west, a narrow rut is followed to an easy last scramble up loose ground and the summit trig-point with superb views in all directions.

Return to Rowardenan

Return by the same route

Photos of route »

Alternative routes »

Other hill routes nearby »

Forecasts & other useful info »


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