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The best Glencoe walks and hikes

One of the best ways to see Glencoe is to try one of the many beautiful Glencoe walks and hikes available.

This way you get away from the roads and out into the beautiful Scottish countryside, with mountain views, lochs, and streams and maybe even spot some deer.

Read more: Check out the Goatfell hike on Arran!

The beauty of hiking in Glencoe is that there are so many Glencoe walks to choose from that you can find something no matter how experienced a hiker you are.

If you’re looking for easy Glencoe hikes, or something more strenuous, then check out this list of the best walks in Glencoe for your next trip to Scotland and add them to your Glencoe itinerary!

AllTrails is my go-to hiking app for finding, planning, and navigating while I’m out on the trails. With offline maps on AllTrails+ you can be confident you’re still on the right track, even without mobile signal.

best glencoe walks pin

Best Glencoe walks and hikes

Head out into the hills near Glencoe and try one of these beautiful walks. Remember to practice leave no trace and only hike within your ability.

I like to use the AllTrails app on my phone for route finding. 

It’s also a good idea to have access to an OS map to see all the trails, contours, and other landscape features.

OS Maps are awesome for hiking in the UK. I’ve never found anything quite like them when in other countries. They have all features like churches, rivers, peaks, viewpoints and more. You can get paper maps (which are great for finding new places), and their app is super useful too.

Easy walks in Glencoe, Scotland

If you’re looking for Glencoe easy walks that are a couple of hours long and won’t leave you too out of puff, then take a look at these suggestions below.

These hikes don’t have much elevation so they’re great for hikers of all abilities and make good hikes for kids in Glencoe too!

glencoe scottish highlands in winter
Glencoe walks are a beauty with views like this

An Torr/Signal Rock walk 

Considered as the best walk in Glencoe by many,  The An Torr hike, also known as Signal Rock, is one of the easy Glen Coe walks you can do.

There’s some slight elevation gain but the trail is easy to follow and you get incredible views of the Glencoe Valley, the peaks of Aonach Eagach and the Three Sisters!

And for history buffs, legend has it that this is where the signal to begin the Glencoe Massacre was given, making it one of the top Glencoe attractions!

  • Distance: 2.5km/1.5 miles
  • Time: 1-1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation: 50m
  • Trailhead: Signal Rock car park on A82

Glencoe Lochan, loop trail

In the woodlands behind Glencoe Village is a small lake known as Glencoe Lochan to locals.  There are several easy trails here that go up and around the lochan all with beautiful views. The Woodland Trail takes you into the forest and away from the water slightly, the Mountain Trail goes steeper into the forest and another trail takes you around the shores of the lake. 

  • Distance: 2.5km/1.5 miles
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Glenlochan Carpark

Hike out to Steall Falls 

The Steal Falls path starts just south of Fort William and takes you to the base of the second-highest waterfall in Britain. It’s undoubtedly one of the best easy Fort William hiking trails.

The waterfall tumbles down from a height of 120m from the slopes of An Gearanach and into the River Nevis. On the hike, you’ll pass through Nevis Gorge with stunning alpine meadows and woodland.

There are some steep drop-offs and, for the more adventurous, there’s an optional wire rope bridge that requires you to balance on a single wire (while holding the upper wires) to make it closer to the base of the falls. 

  • Distance: 3.9km/2.4miles
  • Time: 1.5-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation: 141m
  • Trailhead: Upper Glen Nevis car park

West Highland Way

One of the longest and most well known Glencoe walking routes is The West Highland Way. The West Highland Way is Scotland’s thru-hiking trail that goes from just outside of Glasgow to Fort William through Glencoe.

You can, of course, hike the trail in sections too. If you’re just visiting Glencoe for a few days, the most appropriate section would be the West Highland Way to Kinlochleven beginning at Altnafeadh.

From Kinlochleven, you can take the bus back to Glencoe.

  • Distance: 12km/7.5 miles
  • Time: 4-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy-moderate (depends how far you want to hike!)
  • Elevation: 562m
  • Trailhead: Altnafeadh car park 

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Moderate Glencoe walks

Looking for something a bit harder and steeper but equally beautiful, these best hikes in Glencoe for are for you. 

rainbow over loch in scotland highlands

Lost Valley

Apparently, the MacDonald clan hid their stolen cattle in this beautiful valley, perhaps because they were easy to hide thanks to the deep gorge. This trail is slightly harder with some steep climbs and scrambles but the views of the Three Sisters of Glencoe are more than worth it. 

  • Distance: 4km/2.5miles
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 262m
  • Trailhead: Car park for the Glencoe Three Sisters walk/Lost Valley Glencoe car park

Ballachulish Horseshoe

Another of the stunning walks around Glencoe is the Ballachulish Horseshoe. That’s the name given to the banana-shaped ridge that this trail takes you on. The trail goes between 2 munros: Sgorr Dhearg and Sgurr Dhonuill. From the summit, you can see Ben Nevis in the background.

One of the more challenging parts of this hike in Glencoe (besides the elevation), is that the trail can be difficult to find. Make sure you take a good OS map of the Glencoe area and a compass (and know how to use them!). 

  • Distance: 15km/9 miles
  • Time: 5-7 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate 
  • Elevation: 1,300m
  • Trailhead: Ballachulish car park

The Devil’s Staircase and Ciaran Path

The Devil’s Staircase Glencoe walk is part of the West Highland Way and is therefore pretty well signposted. The staircase takes you up to the highest point along the trail so there are some great views. While the name suggests lots of stairs, there actually aren’t stairs on this trail; the path an uphill zig-zag. Nevertheless, it’s a challenging route and gives hikers a real feeling of wilderness.

  • Distance: 23.3km/14.5 miles
  • Time: 5-7 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 938m
  • Trailhead: Kinlochleven

Garbh Beheinn

This short walk is perfect if you don’t have much time to spend in the Glencoe area. It starts from Caolasnacon just west of the village of Kinlochleven and involves a short, rugged ascent up to the west ridge of the summit of Garbh Bheinn. At the summit, you can get great views of Loch Leven and Ben Nevis which makes the ascent well worth it!

  • Distance: 8km/5 miles
  • Time: 3-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 978m
  • Trailhead: Caolasnacon

Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste

This moderate Glencoe hike offers one of the most beautiful views you can find in the Glencoe area. Looking southwest you can see the end of Buachaille Etive Mor which is one of the most well-loved mountains in the area. 

Starting at Altnafeadh, summit and descend on the west ridge for a shorter walk, or make it longer by descending to Kingshouse and returning to the start point along a section of the West Highland Way.

  • Distance: 6.8km/4 miles
  • Time: 2-3 hours for shorter, 4-6 for the longer route
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 629m
  • Trailhead: Layby at Altnafeadh

Beinn Trilleachan

Beinn Trilleachan is a long granite ridge which runs parallel to the shores of Loch Etive. Drive down the beautiful scenic road towards Glen Etive to get to the trailhead for Beinn Trilleachan. The views across the loch to Ben Starav and back up Glen Etive toward Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag are stunning on this Glen Etive walk.

  • Distance: 9km/5.5 miles
  • Time: 4-6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation: 1,000m
  • Trailhead: Car park at end of the Glen Etive road

Strenuous/difficult hikes in Glencoe

The Glencoe best hikes are sometimes the hardest ones. These walks near Glencoe are for experienced hikers due to the tricky terrain, length, elevation and way-finding difficulties. 

ben a'an summit near callander scotland national park uk

Mam na Gualainn

A great option for walks in Glen Coe and Kinlochleven walks is the Mam na Gualainn trail. Begin by following the West Highland Way, this Glencoe hike of Mam na Gualainn heads out of Kinlochleven and climbs up before taking you along the picturesque trail to Beinn na Caillich. 

The views are never short of breathtaking, especially on a clear day! Turn this hike into a loop by leaving and returning from Kinlochleven. 

  • Distance: 19.5km/12 miles
  • Time: 7-8 hours
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation: 1,084m
  • Trailhead: Kinlochleven


The lower slopes of Fraochaidh above Duror and Glen Creran are forested but by taking the route from Ballachulish you can avoid walking through the forest and get views for the whole trail as you approach the mountain. 

Make sure you take an OS map with you for wayfinding and enjoy the incredible views of Glencoe!

  • Distance: 21km/13 miles
  • Time: 7-8 hours
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Elevation: 1,113m
  • Trailhead: Ballachulish village car park.

Pap of Glencoe walk

The cone-shaped mountain (one of the easiest mountains in Glencoe to spot) is known as the Pap of Glencoe towers above Glencoe Village and is hard to miss. Wayfinding is easy but the trail itself gets steep and there’s a small scramble to reach the true summit at the end.

  • Distance: 6.8km/4.5 miles
  • Time: 3.5-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Elevation: 689m
  • Trailhead: Near Strath Lodge Glencoe on the unnamed road Glencoe Village

Buachaille Etive Mor 

The Buachaille Etive Mor circular walk make a great strenuous hike at the entrance of Glencoe Valley. This hill is one of Scotland’s most photographed hills and summiting it makes a great challenging day. The route is rough underfoot but the path is easy enough to follow.

There are actually two summits of Buachaille, both of which are classified as munros: Stob Dearg and Stobe na Bròige which are connected by a ridge. 

  • Distance: 10.9km/6.8 miles
  • Time: 4-6 hours
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Elevation: 1,132m
  • Trailhead: Glencoe Valley viewpoint

Bidean nam Bian

The highest mountain in the Argyll area, Bidean nam Bian makes for a challenging ascent for peak baggers. This mountain has many converging ridges and the classic ascent takes the rock scramble up Dinner-time Butress on Aonach Dubh onto Stob Coire nan Lochan.

From here there’s a narrow ridge to the main summit. You can make it a loop trail if you take a descent over Stob Coire nam Beith and down into the coire from the Bealach.

This route means you’ll have hiked Bidean’s 3 main peaks.

  • Distance: 11.3km/7 miles
  • Time: 5-7 hours
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Elevation: 1,235m
  • Trailhead: Loch Achtriochtan (could also do a lakeside Loch Achtriochtan walk for something easier)

Aonach Eagach

Glencoe hiking along the stunning mountain ridge of Aonach Eagach makes the perfect day out for experienced hikers in Glencoe.

Best attempted in the summer since you’ll need crampons, ice-axe and ropes in winter, Aonach Eagach includes a lot of exposed scrambling along the ridgeline between Meall Darg and Sgorr nam Fiannaidh.

This isn’t a loop trail so you’ll either need to go with two cars and have one at either end or go back the way you came up.

  • Distance: 18km/12 miles
  • Time: 7-9 hours
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Elevation: 2,152m
  • Trailhead: Near Glencoe Hidden Valley walk car park

Summit Ben Nevis

ben nevis summit
Not so great views from the summit of Ben Nevis!

Without a doubt, one of the best Glencoe hikes is summiting Ben Nevis! Weather permitting and with the right experience, you can also hike to the summit of Ben Nevis; the highest mountain in the UK! Which easily makes it one of the best mountains to climb in Scotland.

At 1,345m high, the volcano of Ben Nevis has a couple of different routes you can take to the top. There’s the Carn Mor Dearg Arete route for experienced and well-prepared scramblers or the easier Mountain/Pony Track to Ben Nevis.

Getting to the top takes around 5-7 hours and there’s a section of steep climbing and some sheer drops.

Looking for more hikes in Scotland? Check out these guides to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park hikes: Ben Ledi (Corbett) & Hiking Ben Lomond (Munro)

Glencoe wildlife

stag in the scottish highlands

Whilst you’re unlikely to come across any dangerous wildlife in Glencoe, you may see some animals. It’s likely you’ll see some deer and stag in the hills  You may also come across foxes and hares, both of which are common on higher ground.

For birders, there’s a huge variety of life in Glencoe, Scotland. Ravens and buzzards are common sights, whereas the golden eagle is only found in remote areas.

What to pack for hiking in Glencoe

Hiking in Scotland comes with its challenges with regard to knowing what to wear.

One minute it’s hot, the next it’s pouring down with rain and then it’s hot again and now you’re in a snowstorm. The weather changes a lot and that goes for pretty much any mountain environment.

Scotland is also known for its wet weather and that means that a lot of the trails are often very muddy. You’ll need good hiking shoes, these aren’t the sort of hikes you’ll want to do in trainers. 

What to pack for this hike depends on what season you’re hiking in.

Where to stay in Glencoe

three sisters glencoe walks

These Glencoe places to stay are suitable for all sorts of travellers whether you’re on a budget, looking for something more luxurious and everything in between. 

Self-catering in Glencoe

Prefer to find places to stay in Glencoe that offer self-catering facilities? Check these out, they’re well situated for doing hikes around Glencoe.

Signal Rock, Glencoe

Signal Rock Glencoe self-catering lodge has everything you need for a remote getaway in the Scottish Highlands and comes at a great price too!

RiverBeds Lodges with Hot tubs

These luxurious lodges in Glencoe include a sizeable outside area with your own private hot tub. What could be more ideal than a hot tub soak with a mountain view after a day of exploring Glencoe? Each cabin comes with an en-suite and kitchenette. 

The House in the Wood / Woodland Cabins

The House in the Wood in Ballachulish is a cosy cabin with a kitchen and fireplace. It’s less than 4 miles away from Glencoe Village and has a garden for relaxing in too. 

Hotels in Glencoe

Get a good night’s rest for walks in Glencoe area by staying at these Glencoe hotels. 

The Ballachulish Hotel

The Ballachulish Hotel is in a stunning location between the Glencoe mountains. One of the most famous hotels in Scotland, The Ballachulish includes breakfast and is very reasonably priced. 

The Isle of Glencoe Hotel

The Isles of Glencoe Hotel on the side of a peninsula reaching into Loch Leven is absolutely beautiful. The hotel has spacious bedrooms with loch and mountain views and is family-friendly. There’s also an indoor swimming pool, bio-sauna, and an exercise room. Make sure you enjoy a Loch Leven walk if you stay here. 

Budget-friendly accommodation in Glencoe

These hotels and glamping in Glencoe are perfect for those of you looking for budget accommodation. 

Glamping Pods in Kinlochleven

These glamping pods offer cosy accommodation with free wifi and hot showers. It’s great if you’re looking to do some camping in Glencoe, but don’t want to risk your tent flooding! It’s the perfect location for Kinlochleven walks. 

Glencoe Youth Hostel

The Glencoe Youth Hostel is just minutes from Glencoe Village and offers dorms and family rooms. You can pay slightly more for breakfast or make use of this Glencoe hostel’s kitchen. If you’re cycling this is a great option since it has bike storage!

Final thoughts on the best walks Glencoe has to offer

If you’re looking for the best hikes Glencoe Scotland has to offer hopefully this post has given you some ideas.

As with all hikes, be sure to check the weather forecast and the trail details, make sure you have a downloaded map, or a map and compass, and always let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. And, always practice leave no trace ethics – never leave anything behind on these Glencoe trails (or anywhere!).

These Glencoe hiking trails range from easy to difficult so you can pick one that suits your needs. Whether you head up high in the hills or stay at a lower elevation, these are some of the best routes for walking in Glencoe.

Love hiking? Check out over 100 hiking guides from all over the world.

Last Updated on June 16, 2023 by Hannah

Leave a comment

  1. Kally says:

    On my way to Europe ! Can’t wait to visit the city ? This post made me even more excited about my trip there!

  2. Sandi MacLeod says:

    Budget stay idea.. the Red Squirrel Campsite in Glencoe. Also has Bell tents with log burners for autumn and winter camping.

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