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Scottish 4000ers: Lochaber (Part 1 / 3)

Ben Nevis

A fine trail or hiking loop taking in some of the highest peaks the UK has to offer

Hiking Difficult

21 km
2 km
1.9 km
7-8 hrs
Low Point
98 m
High Point
1.3 km
Scottish 4000ers: Lochaber (Part 1 / 3) Map

This loop starts at the Nevis mountain resort where there is parking (albeit a little expensive over night) and a great cafe. Those looking to shorten the day could ride the gondola half way up Aonach Mor (1221m) but we’ll let you decide if that’s cheating or not.


The munros here are grand and with limited trails, the intiial descent is a bit of a slog but you’ll soon be rewarded with excellent views of the sea lochs surrounding Fort William. Once on the plateau at the top of the ski area, the out and back to Aonach Beag (1234m) is a much more relaxed affair with some spectacular panoramic views including the dominating north face of the Ben.

Take care descending the steep zigzags down the valley before climbing back up the iconic CMD arête (1220m). This beautiful ridge comes with a healthy dose of exposure (especially for those keen to stay high) so take care before you’re back in the boulders on the ascent to your final peak. Route finding through the rocks here can be challenging so take care following the path/GPX if you’re in the clouds. Enjoy your moments on the UK’s highest peak, Ben Nevis (1344m) before descending the tourist path before taking a right at Lochan Meall and off back around the back of the Ben eventually joining the path that leads to the CIC hut. This is a fitting finish for a great route before returning back to the Nevis centre.

Those looking for a big day out, jump on your bike and cycle to Cairngorm resort to finish the Scottish 4000ers in under 24 hours.



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between March and October


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area