FATMAP by Strava

Lochnagar Loop and the Glas Allt

Cairngorms National Park

Rewarding loop that can be expanded to bag five munros, before descending one of the most technical natural trails in Scotland.

Mountain Biking Extreme

29 km
1 km
1 km
3-4 hrs
Low Point
396 m
High Point
1.1 km
Lochnagar Loop and the Glas Allt Map

Lochnagar is an iconic hill, settled majestically over the royal Balmoral estate with its steep southern flanks falling into the shores of Loch Muick. When you picture rugged Scottish hills and glens, this is it.


The route is a demanding and rewarding one, climbing steeply and quickly up from the loch's shores, you traverse the plateau with the option to take in 5 munros during the circuit. Plenty of stiff climbing and hike-a-biking is punctuated by full throttle rugged and open singletrack, with views open as far as the weather will allow! The final push brings you out onto the crown itself, Lochnagar. Just make sure you go to the cairn at the true summit for your celebratory photo!

Once the view has been savoured, it is time to steel yourself for what is arguably the most technically demanding descent this side of Scotland, the Glas Allt. A gentle opener lulls you in before the first of many steep rugged and misshapen staircases of uncut granite. The stairs are both steep and tall and a steady feather of the brake and looking far ahead is what will bring you safely to the end. The trail then opens up and is punctuated by water bars that even a 29er couldn't roll over! Breaking in the final section, the trail turns the gradient and exposure back to 11 before finally delivery you shaking back to the shores of Loch Muick.



Very steep, difficult, narrow singletrack with widely variable and unpredictable trail conditions. Unavoidable obstacles could be 15in/38cm tall or greater, and unavoidable obstacles with serious consequences are likely to be present. Obstacles could include big rocks, difficult root sections, drops, jumps, sharp switchbacks, and more. Ideal for expert-level riders.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between May and September


  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Drops
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Guidebooks in this area