Fionn Bheinn from Achnasheen

Hillwalking route up isolated Fionn Bheinn in the Northern Highlands

A hike up grass-covered slopes lead up southern aspects of Fionn Bheinn's onto its summit crest, where an impressive coire surprises. On a clear day the route couldn't be more obvious.

Route outline


Fionn Bheinn

Ascent 860m (2820ft)
Distance 10km (6m)
Time 3:55hr
Start/finish Achnasheen
Grid Ref : NH162586
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Viewed from the roadside, Fionn Bheinn doesn't appear to be a particulary exciting or interesting hill, however due to its isolation, the summit affords great views to the nearby Fannaich Munros and other peaks to the west.

The route up this Munro is mainly on grass-covered terrain, a fair bit of which is soggy underfoot. Higher up, the route follows the rim of the impressive coire, Toll Mor, which often holds snow well into summer.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Achnasheen

The start by Achnasheen

The start by Achnasheen

Achnasheen sits on the the A832 between Dingwall and Torridon. There's not a lot here, but it is well served by trains on the line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh. There is a fairly new roadside café - 'the Midge Bite' and the nearby Ledgown Hotel serves fine bar-food.

The walk begins by a red phone-box and if coming by car, there is parking for two or three cars by the start of the walk. Alternatively, park by the station.

More routes that can by accessed by train are listed here.

2. Creagan nan Laogh direct

The two posts above Achnasheen

The two posts above Achnasheen

From the roadside, a sign points the start of the route initially over a bridge crossing the Allt Achadh na Sine. Turn right, through a gate (sign-posted) and follow a track uphill past a house then some dog-pens and a locked gate in a deer-fence. Immediately beyond this are some Water Authority buildings , just behind which is another gate in the deer fence, this one should be unlocked.

Through the gate and keeping the Allt Achadh na Sine on your left and with a fence tight on your right, follow a faint path uphill. The path goes around a small fenced-off water-storage area, from where you'll meet one more gate. Once through this, it's onto open hillside.

A rough and soggy path can be traced uphill cutting a route through heather. The heather gives way to grass and marsh and the gradient eases. Ahead more steep ground leads to the flat and dry area of Creagan an Laogh .

3. Creagan nan Laogh via the hydro track

Aiming direct up from the hydro-scheme

Aiming direct up from the hydro-scheme

If the Allt Achadh na Sine is crossable, then instead of taking a direct and soggy route uphill, keep your boots dry by following a track leading to a small hydro scheme.

So, after going through the gate behind the Water Authority building, cross the burn and pick up the track. The track twists and turns uphill taking a leisurely route, which I reckon adds a distance of 500m compared to the direct route. The surface becomes rougher with height gained and ends by a small dam just below the 500m contour. Beyond the dam, a soggy worn line of footprints indicates the way ahead north-east crossing some flat ground. Gradually this route disappears into heather and grass before the climb up Creag nan Laogh begins.

4. Fionn Bheinn

Fionn Bheinn's summit trig point and view east

Fionn Bheinn's summit trig point and view east

On Creagan nan Laogh, there is a small cairn and ground is fairly smooth. Aim northwards following a faint path, dropping slightly to a col with a couple of small puddles (a fine photo spot taking in Torridon in the background). The path can be traced a bit further northwards aiming for a patch of rocks and boulders , but disappears before reaching them.

Just behind the boulders is the summit crest of Fionn Bheinn above its coire, Toll Mor. A path leads westwards, dropping to a dip before the final bit of hiking to Fionn Bheinn's summit. There is a trig point on the top, from where views on clear days are vast.

5. Return to Achnasheen

Heading down the track below the hydro-scheme

Heading down the track below the hydro-scheme

The return is simply a case of re-tracing your steps. The route can be short-cut slightly by aiming from the dip on Fionn Bheinn's crest directly to Creagan nan Laogh or even to the dam - however, expect the terrain underfoot to be quite lumpy and a bit soggy !

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