Loch Glass: the Hidden Side of Ben Wyvis

This Loch Glass walk follows straightforward tracks, taking in a lesser appreciated side of Ben Wyvis. Starting point: Free parking at the start of the walk or further along the road at Eileanach Lodge. Distance: 7.8 miles (12.5km). Height gain: 350 meters (1140 feet). Time: ~5 hours. OS Map: Explorer OL437. See route summary and download maps on ViewRanger.

Loch Glass Walk Map
Source: ViewRanger

It’s worth having a few tricks up your sleeve for days when the weather is iffy but you’d still like to get out for some air! A walk around Loch glass turned out to be just the ticket on a particularly schizophrenic winter day in the Scottish highlands. The mountain weather forecast said something about gale force winds: “expect very difficult conditions and severe wind chill most or all day”. Jane, my good friend and hostess with the mostest at Pinewood Steading, and I had already made plans for a long walk and were keen to get out there. So we made for Loch Glass, about an hour north from Inverness, for a lower level walk, crossing our fingers for some views.

In researching the route we spotted this apt description from a user’s report on Walkhighlands:

“…on this and another visit that September, I had caught glimpses of the rather impressive Coire Mor, the remote and craggy eastern corrie of Ben Wyvis. This got me to thinking that there must be a route which takes in the most interesting bits of the Wyvis range without too much masochism.”

Indeed the views of Ben Wyvis were dramatic, particularly on this windy weather day. Watching the clouds sweep across the top of the mountain, I was grateful to be experiencing those gale force winds as an observer rather than a participant!

View of Ben Wyvis from Loch Glass
View of Ben Wyvis from Loch Glass

We experienced all types of weather during this five-hour trip. We set off in icy rain, then emerged from the wood to bright sun.

Higher up the hill felt like a winter wonderland.
View of Loch Glass and Ben Wyvis
Coming back down, the snow started falling. I layered up in my down jacket as the wind picked up. Fortuitously the forest provides a good amount of shelter and also makes for a magical landscape in the snow and dusky winter light.
The woods above Loch Glass
 
There are plenty of options to extend this walk. Venture further up the hill towards the wind farm for more views. Or go off piste to find the trig point at Meall Mor (738m).
This is a great walk in all weather. It just goes to show you don’t have to climb a mountain to get sensational views.

Loch Glass Walk Summary:

  • Starting point: Free parking at the start of the walk or further along the road at Eileanach Lodge.
  • Distance: 7.8 miles (12.5km)
  • Height gain: 350 meters (1140 feet)
  • Time: ~5 hours
  • OS Map: Explorer OL437
  • See route summary and download maps on ViewRanger.

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