An Lochan Uaine, the famed Green Lochan

Meall a' Bhuachaille from Glenmore

Hillwalking route up Meall a' Bhuachaille via Ryvoan and the Green Lochan

A lovely walk through Scots Pine woodlands and past the 'Green Lochan', leads to lonely little Ryvoan Bothy, from where a direct ascent of Meall a' Bhuachaille is made via a decent path.

Route outline


Meall a' Bhuachaille

Ascent 550m (1800ft)
Distance 9km (6m)
Time 3:15hr
Start/finish Glenmore Visitor Centre
Grid Ref : NH978098
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A fairly easy and straightforward hillwalking route explores the area around Glenmore while aiming for the summit of Meall a' Bhuachaille. Lower down fine tracks travel through forestry meeting up with the 'green lochan' and Ryvoan Bothy. Higher up, well-defined paths are hiked on through heather on fairly gentle and runnable gradients.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Glenmore

Loch Morlich

Loch Morlich

On the south side of Aviemore, there is a roundabout, from where the road towards Cairngorm Mountain begins. It's a journey of around 10km passing lovely Loch Morlich on the way. After entering Glenmore, pass the Visitor Centre, then turn left and drive the 1km to the end of the road and try and park on the roadside just beyond the entrance to Glenmore Lodge.

This area can be a tad congested, so if parking is not possible, return towards the main road by Glenmore Visitor Centre, then turn left and there is a parking area by the bridge over the Allt Ban (charge of £2 at time of writing).

2. Green Lochan and Ryvoan Bothy

Ryvoan Bothy

Ryvoan Bothy

From the end of the public road, head around a barrier, then folllow a fine forestry track heading initially east. After around 2km, you'll come to An Lochan Uaine , the 'green lochan', it's worth stopping here to take in the atmosphere. No one quite knows why the loch is quite so green and there are legends surrounding this strange but beautiful place.

A further 500m on from the lochan, the track comes to a junction to the right leads to Bynack More, Creag Mhor and Loch Avon in the heart of the Cairngorms. To aim to Meall a' Bhuachaille, turn left and head along a now rough, but improving, track. Around 500m further on from the junction, Ryvoan Bothy is met in lovely surroundings.

3. Meall a' Bhuachaille

Meall a' Bhuachaille's summit cairn and Cairngorm

Meall a' Bhuachaille's summit cairn and Cairngorm

Behind Ryvoan bothy a path leads westwards through heather and uphill. Well constructed at first, the path climbs fairly gently for around 150m before turning north-west and steepens.

Higher up, gradually the constructed path gives way to a boot-eroded path which turns westards again, then south-west for the final approach to Meall a'Bhuachaille's summit .

There's a large cairn to shelter out of winds and the vistas from here are stunning and vast, giving probably one of the finest views to Cairngorm.

4. Return

Path down Meall a' Bhuachaille

Path down Meall a' Bhuachaille

From Meall a'Bhuachaille's summit, aim north-west and follow a path downhill. Although the path was well-constructed and improved in recent years, natural and boot erosion have taken their toll.

The path twists and turns and comes to a junction just above the bealach between Meall a'Bhuachaille and Creagon Gorm. Turn left and follow the path with Loch Morlich directly ahead and below. The path comes into a forest and as it does, widens to a track .

Lower down and through forestry, the track comes to a junction - keep straight on, pass a couple of houses and you should end up by the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd Centre with the Glenmore Visitor Centre and cafe close by.

Head around the reindeer centre, and pick up a pedestrian path above the roadside. This returns to the end of the public road by Glenmore Lodge.

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Alternative and nearby routes »

Tour of Meall a' Bhuachaille

Hiking a traverse of the ridge from Meall a' Bhuachaille to Craiggowrie takes in a few tops following a worn path. The Meall a'Bhuachaille hill race follows much of this route, with one annoying little detour !

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 700m (2300ft)
Distance : 13km (8m)
Time : 4:30hr

Bynack More and Creag Mhor from Glenmore

Bynack More is a very accessible mountain with weird granite tors sitting at the north-eastern edge of the Cairngorms. The Corbett peak of Creag Mhor is a short distance away and the much of the route from Glenmore to access these hills can be done on bike !

Peaks : 1 Munro, 1 Corbett

Ascent : 860m (2820ft)
Distance : 22km (14m)
Time : 5:30hr

Cairngorm and Ben Macdui

Ben Macdui and Cairngorm are two of the highest mountains in the country and rest in on the vast plateaux of the Cairngorms in Scotland's eastern highlands. Starting from a height of 650m and with gently rising slopes leading up to the Munro summits, this is a relatively easy route in clear summer conditions.

Peaks : 2 Munros

Ascent : 1000m (3280ft)
Distance : 17km (11m)
Time : 6hr

Geal Charn from Dorback

Above the Braes of Abernethy, fine estate tracks lead from Dorback Lodge to the foot of Geal Charn, from where a delightful circular route makes for an enjoyable afternoon's walk or run.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 600m (1970ft)
Distance : 16km (10m)
Time : 5:45hr


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