Meall Chuaich from the estate track to the west

Meall Chuaich from Dalwhinnie

Hiking route up Meall Chuaich from near Dalwhinnie

Fine estate and hydro tracks are followed to a hidden bothy, from where a quick jog up and down bags Meall Chuaich, a fairly unassuming Munro.

Route outline


Meall Chuaich

Ascent 650m (2130ft)
Distance 14km (9m)
Time 3:35hr
Start/finish Chuaich on A9
Grid Ref : NN655867
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This direct route to Meall Chuaich is pretty straightforward following estate tracks on the lower ground and well worn paths higher up. If mist is down, and particularly in winter with a ground-covering of snow, navigation on Meall Chuaich's higher flat and bouldery ground can be tricky.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to start near Dalwhinnie

Meall Chuaich from the aqueduct

Meall Chuaich from the aqueduct

On the A9, around 4km north of the south Dalwhinnie junction and just south of the entrance to Chuaich Farm, there are two laybys (number 93 and 94) on opposite sides of the road. Parking is really restricted to the laybys, though often people park on verge by the entrance to the moorland track.

2. Loch Cuaich

The bothy below Meall Chuaich

The bothy below Meall Chuaich

Immediately north of the laybys, on the east side of the A9 is a gate, a sign-board and the start of a track going uphill. A path is being gradually worn heading from layby 94 to this gate, keeping walkers off the A9.

There's a kissing-gate to the side of the main gate, head through this and up the track to meet another track aside an aqueduct. Turn left and follow this track for 2km to cross the aqueduct via a bridge by a building and some trees. Head around a small dam and some hydro works and continue for a further 2km on the track to a junction just before Loch Chuaich.

3. Meall Chuaich

Meall Chuaich's summit cairn and the Cairngorms

Meall Chuaich's summit cairn and the Cairngorms

By Loch Cuaich, turn right, walk up a track, past a private locked bothy and over a wooden bridge.

The track takes an obvious turn right, there's a small cairn at the side - come off the track here and onto a worn path heading uphill. This path, mucky and slippy in bits, heads north-east over heather, then grass, then turns east-south-east over a flat area.

The wet ground is at last left behind ! Careful navigation is required from here in mist as the terrain becomes more bouldery and the path almost disappears.

As progress is made, a line of fence-posts comes into view. Follow these fence-posts to Meall Chuaich's large summit cairn .

4. Return to A9 near Dalwhinnie

Winter sunset from Meall Chuaich's summit fence-posts

Winter sunset from Meall Chuaich's summit fence-posts

Return is by the same route.

Alternatively the fence-posts at the summit can be traced southwards down into Coire Chuaich, where the track can be picked up, giving a longer return route.

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 »

Meall Chuaich from Glen Tromie

Biking along estate tracks leads through pretty Glen Tromie then most of the way up Meall Chuaich's north-eastern shoulder, leaving a distance of only 600m to hike to the large cairn on the summit.

Peaks : 1 Munro

Ascent : 780m (2560ft)
Distance : 31km (19m)
Time : 2:45hr

East of Drumochter

Carn na Caim, A'Bhuidheanach Bheag and Meall Chuaich form a linear route on the eastern side of Drumochter Pass. Having a bike or other transport organised will save a long return route as the start and end points are around 11km apart.

Peaks : 3 Munros

Ascent : 1100m (3610ft)
Distance : 25km (16m)
Time : 8:10hr

The Fara circuit

Longer and much more enjoyable than a direct route up from Loch Ericht, a delightful circuit on estate tracks and grass covered slopes leads to The Fara's large summit cairn from where vast vistas can be savoured.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 550m (1800ft)
Distance : 11km (7m)
Time : 3:40hr

West of Drumochter Munros

Bags of character and great views, this is a fine high-level route on which to quickly bag the 4 Munros west of the Pass of Drumochter, possibly adding in the Corbett peak of the Sow of Atholl for good measure.

Peaks : 4 Munros, 1 Corbett

Ascent : 1300m (4270ft)
Distance : 24km (15m)
Time : 8:10hr


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