logo Walking Britain

Highland Walk
Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye

County/Area - Highland - Isle of Skye

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.6 miles / 7.5 km    Ascent - 1880 feet / 570 metres

Time - 4 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NG408206
Lat 57.202622 // Long -6.293331
Postcode IV47 8TA (approx. location only)
what3words start stopwatch.shut.outraged

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 411Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 411Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 32Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 32Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye Photo from the walk - Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This is a walk of some quality taking you into the rugged heart of the Cuillins. The walk starts at the end of the road down Glen Brittle - a trip worth doing even if you haven't time to walk. The free car park (Grid ref. NG408206) overlooks with the idyllically situated camp alongside. Walk through the campsite to the toilet block. Take the path which heads uphill, ignoring the path heading south along the loch-side. Well maintained, this path climbs steadily and soon splits. Take the left fork and continue climbing.

As you gain height your objective becomes obvious - a rocky coire surrounded by tremendous mountains, including the highest peak of the Cuillin - Sgurr Alasdair. To your right the small islands of Soay and Rum can be seen whilst behind the hills on the other side of Glen Brittle look rather docile when compared with those ahead.

After passing close to the southern shores of Loch an Fhir-bhallaich you need to keep straight ahead ignoring the path veering off to the right and the rocky buttresses of Sgurr na Ciche. The going underfoot becomes rockier and the climb steeper as you reach the lip of Coire Lagan. Alongside Allt Coire Lagan tumbles seaward, it ferocity depending on recent rain. Reaching a steeper rocky section some mild scrambling is needed and it is worth making a mental note of your route to make you descent easier.

With each step the crags and screes of the Cuillin move nearer with your eyes working hard to absorb the colours, shapes and feel of the mountains. Suddenly you emerge into the Coire with its beautiful lochan. Defended by high crags the setting is grand and worth the effort expended during the climb. Hopefully the weather will be kind and you can relax in this natural amphitheatre. Of particular note is the Great Stone Shoot, which provides one of the "walkers" routes to the summit of Sgurr Alasdair. Sadly hidden from view, but not too far distant is the Inaccessible Pinnacle, which is the hardest Munro to conquer.

The are two options for the return. Either retrace your steps or more interestingly use the path that skirts the north-eastern shore of Loch an Fhir-bhallaich. This takes you to the waterfall on Allt Coire na Banachdich and allows you to explore the pretty "gorge" as the stream to the valley floor. Reaching the road it is easy to reach the car park by following the road.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2197 The Inaccessible Pinnacle and Sgurr Mhic Choinnich - very hard - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 3216 Sgurr a'Ghreadaidh and Sgurr na Banachdich - very hard - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 2589 Marsco from the Sligachan Hotel, Isle of Skye - moderate - 8.7 miles/14.1 km

Walk 1166 Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye - easy - 4.0 miles/6.5 km

Walk 3753 Blabheinn via south ridge - mod/hard - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 3760 Glamaig (Sgurr Mhairi & An Coileach) - mod/hard - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Walk 2002 Dun Caan, Isle of Raasay - moderate - 10.6 miles/17.2 km

Walk 1164 The Storr Sanctuary, Isle of Skye - easy/mod - 3.2 miles/5.2 km

Walk 2640 The Storr & Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye - moderate - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 1165 The Quirang, Isle of Skye - easy - 3.2 miles/5.2 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Great Mountain Days in Scotland

Great Mountain Days in ScotlandInspirational guidebook to 50 challenging routes for mountaineers, scramblers, hillwalkers and fell runners, many long enough to backpack over 2 days, especially in winter (12 to 25 miles). A mix of classic routes and unsung gems across Scotland from Galloway to the Outer Hebrides in widely differing wild landscapes. With customised OS mapping.
More information

Ben Nevis and Glen Coe

Ben Nevis and Glen CoeGuidebook to walking in Scotland's Ben Nevis and Glen Coe region, featuring 100 graded walks of 2 to 21 miles. The routes range from gentle walks to bothy treks and cover 43 Munro summits and 3 scrambles. The routes include walking near Kinlochleven, Fort William, the Grey Corries, the Mamores, the Black Mount and Ben Cruachan.
More information


NavigationThis pocket handbook to navigation will help you master the necessary map and compass skills for mountain walking. Chapters include map scales, symbols and contours, grid references, map reading, bearings, route planning and night and bad-weather navigation, as well as navigating with a GPS.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.