Tigh Brachen

Beinn Dearg

Beinn Dearg

Walk 20 - Ascent of Beinn Dearg (12 miles)

12 miles on rough path, with long pathless sections over moorland, returning the same route. Good navigation skills are essential. This route avoids any scrambling.

At a height of 2999ft, Beinn Dearg is neglected by many walkers as it doesn’t make the munro tick list. Well, they are missing out on a wonderful walk. Beinn Dearg is a monster of a mountain and in lot of the routes offered by various walking books requires a lot of scrambling and a good head for heights. This route avoids the majority of this. It takes you out into some wild and remote moorland with wonderful views over to the Flowerdale mountains. But even though you are on your own, you are being watched by the countless number of red deer found in is remote area (which is a point to note for anyone with dogs).

The route begins from the car park at Coire Mhic Nobuil. Cross the road bridge over the Abhainn Coire Mhic Nobuil, and take the marked track on the east side of the burn, which gently climbs through caledonian pine forest. When in spate, the burn has an impressive waterfall which cascades through the deep gully it has carved. Passing through a deer fence, the horizon is now dominated by Beinn Alligin on the left, the slopes of Liathach on the right, and the imposing bulk of Beinn Dearg directly in front of you. Continue to follow the path which takes you through open moorland, and eventually brings you to a footbridge to take you back over the burn.

Once over the bridge you reach a fork in the track marked by a prominent cairn. Take the left fork (the right fork is the walk around the back of Liathach to Glen Torridon), and continue on the well trodden path which steadily rises towards the Horns of Alligin. Once you reach the new bridge over the Allt a’ Bhealach turn off the main path (do not cross the bridge) and follow the faint path which follows the western bank. You will probably now be on your own, while many others focus on ticking off Beinn Alligin on their list. The path can be hard to follow so you should aim for the broad col at the top of the Bealach a’ Chomhla. Once you reach the col you are rewarded with fantastic views of the remote wilderness to the mountains of Basobheinn, Beinn an Eoin and beautiful Loch na h-Oidhche.

Any sign of a path has gone, so you now have to pick your way over rough ground, around the base of Stuc Loch na Cabhaig. Try to keep some height and avoid the temptation to drop down to Loch na Cabhaig. You are now in remote country and as you start you come around the back of Beinn Dearg, red deer are everywhere. Continue ahead and aim for grid point NG9017361772 which is the burn you now need to follow up to the Loch a’ Choire. Once at the loch, stop and listen. You will hear nothing. This is a remote and silent place.

Its now time to return by retracing your steps, and while it’s a long return, it avoids any difficulty for tired legs. However, if you fancy some scrambling you can follow the ridge to Stuc Loch na Cabhaig. Some are then tempted to drop down to the col at the top of the Bealach a’ Chomhla. This is extremely hard, very steep and requires scrambling over rocky outcrops, so for the general hill walker not recommended.