Tour of the Northern Corries

Cairngorms National Park

A classic hike around of Scotland's most famous peaks.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
11 km
Ascent
793 m
Descent
793 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
627 m
High Point
1.2 km
Gradient
14˚
Tour of the Northern Corries Map

With expansive views across the Eastern Highlands and 3 Munros en route, it's easy to understand why this is considered such a famous and iconic hike.

Description

The route begins at the carpark of Cairngorm Mountain resort and the fact that you can drive to such a high altitude (over 600 metres asl) means that there is relatively little uphill hiking required to tag these 3 summits. Indeed, completing this entire walk requires doing less uphill than climbing a single Munro from sea level!

Start your day (after a coffee at Cairngorm Mountain resort base station, of course) by hiking south on a gradually ascending path which leads you over to the western end of Coire an Lochain, the famous bowl north of Cairn Lochain's summit. The trip over to the Coire can feel something of a slog but it's an effort worth making so that you can experience the rest of this hike.

Once at the Coire follow a good path as it swings east and climbs onto the summit of Cairn Lochain. From here you have fabulous views across the Cairngorm plateau, Ben Macdui and the Lairig Ghru - Scotland's best known mountain pass.

The views just keep on coming as you traverse east across to your next summit - Stob Coire an t-Sneachda. From Sneachda drop down to a wild and windy col just next to the cairn at point 1141 (which is a famous landmark because it represents the edge of the Cairngorm plateau and it's the last thing you need you locate in bad visibility before you reach the "safety" of the Cairngorm Mountain resort).

Make a final climb up from the col to the summit Cairn Gorm mountain and then descend down to top station at Cairngorm Mountain resort. Grab a drink and then continue downhill to the carpark with 3 Munros in the bag.

Difficulty

Difficult

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.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Wild flowers

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area