A'Chailleach and Carn Sgulain

Eastern Monadhliath Munros

Circular hill walking route up A'Chailleach and Carn Sgulain

The rolling landscape of the Monadh Liath is vast containing gentle slopes and rolling hillsides ! Craggy steep ground can occasionally be found, but the challenge in these hills is the navigation - if the mist is down, your skills will be tested.

The Monadh Liath is vast and as no roads penetrate into the area, there is very little human intrusion giving the area a real sense of remoteness. Keep eyes peeled as you're sure to spot wildlife - last time I was here a golden eagle soared above me !

Route outline

  Map base ©OpenStreetMap
Munros A' Chailleach
Carn Sgulain
Ascent 750m (2460ft)
Distance 14km (9m)
Time 4:45hr
Start/finish Glen Road, Newtonmore
Grid Ref : NN694998
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

This circular route starts and finishes from just above Newtonmore, where Glen Banchor leads to the foothills of the Monadh Liath.

Tracks lower down give access cutting though grass and heather clad slopes. Higher up the vast plateau of the eastern Monadh Liath can be fairly featureless, but lines of fence-posts and faint deer-trods can be traced to aid navigation skills.

Route detail

Getting to the start in Glen Banchor »
  • Half way along Newtonmore's main street, there is the Letterbox Restaurant. This sit on the corner of the entrance to Glen Road, which heads up towards Glen Banchor. Head up this to the road end, which terminates at a bridge just after a rough car-park which has room for around 10 cars.

A'Chailleach »
  • Immediately before this car-park, there is a track heading up the side of foresty. Follow this track, through gate for just over 1km.
  • At a sharp turning in the track, there is a path off left (this may be indicated by a small cairn, tho it wasn't on our last visit). The path leads down to a bridge crossing the burn hidden in the heather below.
  • Over the bridge, follow a faint path over wet and grassy ground heading northwards and travelling parallel to the burn. The path begins to turn, then head uphill to cross a minor burn.
  • Further on and in a hollow, An Leitir hut is met - some of the carvings on wood inside are over 100 years old !
  • Follow a faint path uphill from behind the hut, getting more obvious as it ascends.
  • The path levels off in heather and peat before a last direct haul to summit of A'Chailleach's summit . A large cairn on the top provides shelter out of wind !

Carn Sgulain »
  • From A'Chailleach's summit, aim due north, on a faint path at first.
  • The path disappears as the ground drops more quickly down to a burn (the Allt Cuil na Caillich).
  • Cross this burn and continue north over wet and peaty ground until a line of fence-posts is reached.
  • Turn right (east) and follow fence-posts for less than half a kilometre to Carn Sgulain's small untidy cairns (the first cairn met is on the highest point).

Return to Glen Banchor »
  • From the summit cairn, head north-east to the other cairn, then continue for a further 200m or so.
  • Turn south-east and hike over grassy ground towards Am Bodach, loosing height. I went around Am Bodach to minimise ascent, but still avoiding the steep rocky ground at its south-west end. Loose more height (never too steeply) and pick up faint trods to meet up with an estate track .
  • Follow the estate track for around 2km until it does an obvious turn south-east . Leave the track and head south on a trod, cutting through bracken. Cross a burn (the Allt na Feith Buidhe, there is a bridge at NH706010 ), then pick up ATV tracks and then a track to follow back to the roadside around 1km east of the start point.

Route profile »

Maps and GPX downloads »

Weather forecasts & webcams »

Guided hillwalking events in this area »

Route photos

A'Chailleach from the southA'Chailleach from the south
An Leithir Hut and Creag DhubhAn Leithir Hut and Creag Dhubh
Approaching A'Chailleach's summitApproaching A'Chailleach's summit
Looking from A'Chailleach to Carn SgulainLooking from A'Chailleach to Carn Sgulain
Heading to Carn SgulainHeading to Carn Sgulain
Returning to Glen BanchorReturning to Glen Banchor

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