logo Walking Britain

Cairngorm Walk
Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore)

Nat Park - Cairngorm - Cairngorm North

County/Area - Highland

Author - Andy Smith

Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km    Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres

Time - 2 hours 10 minutes    Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference NH972098
Lat 57.167489 // Long -3.701573
Postcode PH22 1QY (approx. location only)
what3words start option.overjoyed.exclusive

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL57Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL57Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 36Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 36Digital Map1:50kBUY

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

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore) Photo from the walk - Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore) Photo from the walk - Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore) Photo from the walk - Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore) Photo from the walk - Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore) Photo from the walk - Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore)
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This walk provides an easy but lengthy afternoon out for all the family enjoying some of the finest forest trails in the country. As the Cairngorms is one of Britain's newest national parks, there are numerous pathways and picnic spots all located in superb settings. Although this is a low level route, it is always worth checking the local weather forecast as Loch Morlich sits at the foot of the northern Cairngorm mountain range, which can have surprisingly sudden changes in weather.

Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore) Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore) Loch Morlich circular (near Aviemore) 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

From Aviemore take the road leading to the mountain railway and ski centre. This road, which starts as the B970, leads into Rothiemurchus Forest. Continue through Inverdruie and within 3 miles you enter Glenmore Forest and the road runs along side Loch Morlich for about a mile. Take the car park signed Loch Morlich Watersports immediately after you pass the end of the Loch on the right hand side (Grid ref. NH972098).

After parking (small fee payable), leave the car park to the south through the forest passing the toilet block to your left with the waters edge 50 meters to your right. The noise coming off the Loch through the trees is striking as you make your way along the superb path laid out by the National Park Authority. Continue until you reach the outflow of the Abhainn Ruigh River. Bear left here for about 300 meters until you reach a footbridge. Cross the river here and turn right back towards the Loch. After a short while the path splits. Keep right here.

The going is now very straightforward as you walk towards the forestry commission access road. Bear right on the road but do take care, particularly with children, as the road can be in use by log trucks on weekdays as the logging industry is currently very active. Continue along for half an hour until a sign is reached to the right marked Loch Morlich Circular (Grid ref. NH959088). Take this and cross back into Rothiemurchus over a small footbridge. After a while the path meets the forestry commission track again, which leads you back to the main road.

Cross the bridge by Glenmore Lodge and walk along the road for a few meters until a way marker takes you back to the waters edge on your right. Here the views across the Loch to the mountain range are spectacular, particularly in winter, making it a worthy photo stop. Continue along passing through the lay-bys until you reach the sailing club. From here there is a faint path or alternatively walk along side the road on the grass. Shortly before the car park is reached, take the faint path down the bank leading onto the bright orange river sands. Walk along here and then turn left back into the car park from where you started. Looking across the loch you can think about what you have achieved in such a short space of time.



Other walks nearby

Walk 2412 Craiggowrie & Creagan Gorm from Loch Morlich - mod/hard - 7.3 miles/11.9 km

Walk 2607 Lairig Ghru & Chalamain Gap from Glenmore - mod/hard - 11.0 miles/17.9 km

Walk 3579 Meall a'Bhuachaille & Ryvoan Bothy from Glenmore - moderate - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 3218 Eag a' Chait gap Via Rothiemurchus Lodge from Glenmore - moderate - 8.2 miles/13.3 km

Walk 1020 Glenmore to Linn of Dee via Lairig Ghru & Corrour - hard - 21.0 miles/34.1 km

Walk 1605 Loch an Eilein & Rothiemurchus Forest - easy/mod - 10.0 miles/16.3 km

Walk 2421 Braeriach via the Chalamain Gap - hard - 15.0 miles/24.4 km

Walk 1881 Ben Macdui & Cairn Lochan from the Ski Centre - hard - 10.4 miles/16.9 km

Walk 2672 Cairngorm Mountain via Coire an t-Sneachda - mod/hard - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 1390 Cairn Lochan via the Fiacaill Buttress from the Ski Centre - very hard - 5.7 miles/9.3 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Munros Vol 2 - Northern Highlands and the Cairngorms

Walking the Munros Vol 2 - Northern Highlands and the CairngormsGuidebook to walking the northern Munros, covering the northern Highlands, the Cairngorms and the Isle of Skye. 70 routes are described, including those up Ben Macdui, Braeriach and Cairn Gorm. Routes range from 7 to 46km, requiring a fair level of fitness. The second of two guidebooks to walking Scotland's Munros: peaks higher than 3000ft.
More information

Skye's Cuillin Ridge Traverse

Skye's Cuillin Ridge TraverseThis 2-volume set provides all the information required to complete the main ridge traverse on Skye's Black Cuillin. Strategy, gear, training, navigation and logistics are covered, and 10 classic scrambles are described. A lightweight second guidebook gives the scrambler detailed maps, topos and route description for the ridge traverse itself.
More information

The End to End Trail

The End to End Trail
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

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.