Sgor Mor from Sgor Dubh

Sgor Mor from Linn of Dee

Hillwalking route up Sgor Mor from Linn of Dee

A hike up heather-clad slopes following fence posts and faint paths leads to the summit of isolated Sgor Mor, from where superb views are had of the Cairngorms either side of the Lairig Ghru.

Route outline


Sgor Mor

Ascent 650m (2130ft)
Distance 18km (11m)
Time 5:30hr
Start/finish Linn of Dee
Grid Ref : NN852976
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

The long ridge of Sgor Mor and Sgur Dubh rises above the River Dee and the forestry of Scots Pines west of Braemar. The slopes are gentle and covered in heather, without much in the way of paths to follow. Higher up, terrain is of granite gravel and typical Cairngorm windswept tundra.

This circular route makes progress from Linn of Dee following estate tracks and faint paths aside a deer-fence. The crest between Sgor Dubh and Sgorr Mor has some faint paths that can be traced, but otherwise and particularly on the descent from Sgor Mor, expect much bounding through heather.

Route map

Show map

Route description

1. Getting to Linn of Dee

Out of the forest by Linn of Dee

Out of the forest by Linn of Dee

From Braemar, drive west along its main street, veering right at the Hazelnut Patisserie. Continue onwards on an unclassified road for 9km to the bridge at the Linn of Dee.

Cross the bridge over the River Dee, turn sharp right, uphill slightly and you'll come to a large, well sign-posted car-park on your left.

There is a one-way system around this car-park which is operated by the National Trust for Scotland and there is a daily charge of £3 to park.

2. Sgor Dubh

Fence line leading to Sgor Dubh

Fence line leading to Sgor Dubh

From the Linn of Dee car-park, head northwards up an obvious path (sign-posted) through the forest. The path climbs gently, crosses some bog via a wooden walkway, then meets up with the track travelling up the west side of Lui Water .

Turn left (north) and walk for around 200m to just beyond the edge of forestry on your left . You should see the faint signs of an old track heading west through heather and around the boundary of the forest. Follow this for just over 500m to a sharp turn in the forest boundary, where there is a gate in a deer-fence (and an orienteering marker) .

Through the gate and keeping the deer-fence on your right, follow a faint path tracing a route aside the fence-line. Further on in a patch of woodland, you'll come to another gate - ignore this gate and keep the deer-fence on your right.

With pleasant terrain underfoot, the deer-fence and path gradually turn north-west and climb up towards Sgor Dubh, reaching a height of 670m before turning west and beginning to aim downhill. At the highest point , cross the deer-fence then over stunted heather, make a beeline for Sgor Dubh's summit - there's a trig point and a small cairn on the top with fine views all around.

3. Sgor Mor

Sgor Mor from Sgor Dubh's trig point

Sgor Mor from Sgor Dubh's trig point

Looking west from Sgor Dubh's summit, Sgor Mor doesn't seem too far away, nor does there appear to be much of a drop between the two summits.

From Sgor Dubh's summit pick up a faint path that initially heads south-west for a short distance, before turning and aiming in a more westerly direction. After around 1km, the bealach between the two tops is reached and the path seems to disappear into heather.

Ahead there are some rocky outcrops and some stoney ground to contend with or hike around, but in the main the 2km route to Sgor Mor is on heather covered ground following the crest or just below it.

There is a circular stone dyke on Sgor Mor's summit to shelter out of westerlies from where views of the southern Cairngorm peaks are simply awesome !

4. Glen Dee and return

Track back out following River Dee

Track back out following River Dee

Leaving Sgor Mor's summit, head south-south-west and descend down Sgor na Cuileige. As progress is made, descent steepens and fun can be had bounding down the ever deepening heather.

The path on the north side of the River Dee is met and this is then followed to White Bridge .

At White Bridge, pick up the estate track heading east and follow it for 4km back to Linn of Dee.

Route profile »

Maps and GPX downloads »

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 »

Cairngorm darkside from Linn of Dee

Between Braemar and Aviemore and east of the Lairig Ghru are vast plateaus with several Munro peaks. amongst the hidden lochans, long narrow crests, dark corries, huge cliffs and weird granite tors. Healthy forests surround the area with a diverse wildlife and, if you're lucky, you might come across a reindeer herd feeding on the arctic-like tundra.

Peaks : 4 Munros

Ascent : 1850m (6070ft)
Distance : 35km (22m)
Time : 10:15hr

Ben Avon and neighbours from Linn of Quoich

A fine route up Ben Avon and neighbouring Munros through Scots Pine forests full of wildlife - from grouse and deer to snakes and ant colonies. Higher up the route continues amongst dramatic scenery of cliffs and weird volcanic tors, where ptarmigan and hare entertain.

Peaks : 4 Munros

Ascent : 1740m (5710ft)
Distance : 50km (31m)
Time : 12:15hr

Carn na Drochaide from Linn of Quoich

Ideal for a spot of easy hillrunning, this delightful circuit uses the tracks and faint paths heading up from the forests surrounding Linn of Quoich and crosses Carn na Criche on the way to Carn na Drochaide.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 515m (1690ft)
Distance : 9km (6m)
Time : 3:10hr

Munros above Geldie Lodge

In the remote area west of Linn-of-Dee and between Glen Tilt and Geldie Burn there are two Munros, Carn an Fhidhleir (also known as Carn Ealar) and An Sgarsoch.

Peaks : 2 Munros

Ascent : 970m (3180ft)
Distance : 38km (24m)
Time : 7:25hr


Contact me