Walk: Ben Nevis, Highland

Climb to the crest of the Highlands with the 11-mile hike to the summit of Ben Nevis

Published: June 12th, 2017 at 9:48 am

Ben Nevis’s North Face is strictly for climbers, but walkers can enjoy superb views of these magnificent cliffs from the area north of the mountain.


The following route leads you off the popular ‘tourist path,’ and is tough walking, involving some 1,700m of vertical ascent – so it will only suit fit and well-equipped hikers, whose party includes at least one experienced hill walker– especially in winter.

Hiker south of Ben Nevis, Scotland ©Jake Graham
Hiker south of Ben Nevis, Scotland ©Jake Graham

Glen to lochan

Park in Glen Nevis and set off along the main ‘tourist route’. After about three miles you will reach the ‘halfway lochan’, Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe.


Into the valley

Head north, skirting the lower slopes of Carn Dearg, until the path turns southeast. After a few hundred metres, leave the path and head east, crossing the Allt a’ Muillin river. In front of you lies a 600m ascent up rough slopes to Carn Beag Dearg.

Ben Nevis and Fort William from Corpach
Ben Nevis, Scotland ©Getty Getty

A spectacular ridge

From Carn Beag Dearg, follow the high ridge south to Carn Mor Dearg, enjoying the sensational views of Ben Nevis’s north face.


To the summit

The ridge steadily drops 200m before a faint path leads steeply upwards to the summit. Descend to the west via the ‘tourist route’.



For an alternative route, visit Walkhighlands.


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