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Kingshouse to Kinlochleven

· 4 reviews · Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • Red Deer
    Red Deer
    Photo: Fraser MacRae, Macs Adventure
m 600 400 200 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km The Devils Staircase Cairn - Good spot for packed lunch Kingshouse Hotel The Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall The Massacre of Glencoe
Climb the Devil's Staircase and catch a glimpse of Ben Nevis (Scotland's highest mountain) on this section of the West Highland Way between Glencoe and Kinlochleven.
moderate
Distance 14.4 km
5:00 h
339 m
581 m
550 m
13 m
From Kingshouse follow a track to Altnafeadh, which reveals great views of the famous ‘weeping glen’ and site of the Glencoe Massacre in 1692. Zigzag up the Devil’s Staircase to the highpoint of the West Highland Way at 548m, giving stunning views towards Ben Nevis in clear weather. From here wind your way down into the small town of Kinlochleven.
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Author
Macs Adventure
Update: February 17, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
550 m
Lowest point
13 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
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Dec

Track types

Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Kingshouse Hotel

Safety information

Take your time climbing the devils staircase and be careful of loose gravel. The climb is short but steep.

Maps

If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the West Highland Way map from Footprints. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.

Guidebook

If you wish to bring a guidebook, we would recommend Trailblazer's West Highland Way: Milngavie to Fort William by Charlie Loram.

Macs Adventure Blogs

Using our decades of experience we have written several blogs containing helpful tips, daily wildlife information, lunch stops, where to eat, FAQ and more. Please follow the link below to read our West Highland Way insights:

https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/category/walking/west-highland-way/  

Tips and hints

Noted on the interactive map are a couple notable points of interest. Click the icons on the map for more information.

Start

Kingshouse (or Glencoe Mountain Resort - see your individual trip documents) (248 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NN 25987 54615
DD
56.650890, -4.839970
DMS
56°39'03.2"N 4°50'23.9"W
UTM
30V 387188 6280039
w3w 
///reading.unloads.outfit
Show on Map

Destination

Kinlochleven town centre

Turn-by-turn directions

*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided these route notes to help you. The West Highland Way is well waymarked, but we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day.  The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***

 

It’s time to leave the cosy confines of the Kingshouse Hotel, if you leave from the entrance to the small walkers/climber’s bar at the eastern end of Kingshouse Hotel turn left.  Soon you’ll cross a stone bridge and follow the track to a T-junction, turn left again and follow the signs for the West Highland Way with excellent views of Buachaille Etive Mor on an old road.  Make sure you don’t miss the signposted turn off to the right onto a narrow path.  Follow this path as it traverses the hillside towards Glencoe, keeping the A82 on your left-hand side.  After a small clump of pine trees the path swings right to ascend the side of the glen – this is the iconic Devils Staircase.  Ascend on stone steps to gain the top, at 6.50 km into your day’s walk, for wonderful views of Loch Leven to the west, Blackwater Reservoir to the east and the Nevis Range mountains to the north.

From the high point (550m) traverse the slopes of Stob Mhic Mhartuin from where it’s a steady descent, for 8 km, into Kinlochleven. After the open space of the Rannoch Moor enjoy the change of scenery as you walk along forest trails and tracks leading into the village.  Make sure to look behind you up at the steep slopes of the Aonach Eagach Ridge – a popular scrambling route with seasoned walkers in the summer months and mountaineers in the winter. 

At 13.70 km cross the River Leven and turn left to enter the village via a residential area, following the West Highland Way into the village centre – the track today finishes outside the Tailrace Inn.  Please see your tailored accommodation for specific accommodation directions. 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NN 25987 54615
DD
56.650890, -4.839970
DMS
56°39'03.2"N 4°50'23.9"W
UTM
30V 387188 6280039
w3w 
///reading.unloads.outfit
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

If you wish to bring a guidebook, we would recommend Trailblazer's West Highland Way: Milngavie to Fort William by Charlie Loram.

Using our decades of experience, we have written several blogs containing helpful tips, daily wildlife information, lunch stops, where to eat, FAQ and more. Please follow the link below to read our West Highland Way insights:

https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/category/walking/west-highland-way/ 

Author’s map recommendations

If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the West Highland Way map from Footprints. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.

Equipment

Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. A waterproof cover for your rucksack is also useful.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it would be beneficial to bring a power bank.


Questions and answers

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Rating

4.8
(4)
Profile picture of Anna Kinne
Anna Kinne
June 01, 2022 · Community
This was probably my favorite day of the hike. Our day started out rainy, but by the time we got to the top of Devil’s Staircase it was dry and sunny. The climb up Devil’s staircase wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be - there are lots of opportunities to stop and enjoy the beautiful view (and catch your breath) as you climb. When we got just past the top we found a few large stones next to a sweet little brook and we enjoyed our lunch with gorgeous views to the north. Definitely a moment to remember. From there, the walk to Kinlochleven is long, but all downhill (and again, about a mile longer than the guides suggest.)
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When did you do this route? May 18, 2022
Photo: Anna Kinne, Community
Photo: Anna Kinne, Community
Photo: Anna Kinne, Community
Photo: Anna Kinne, Community
Andy Quick
September 29, 2020 · Community
After a slow start a challenging climb up the Devils Staircase rewarded by stunning views and epic scenery as you crest the ridge. Long slog down to the village.
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Across the Glen
Photo: Andy Quick, Community
Andrei Denisovich
September 06, 2020 · Community
Lovely walk.
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Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
14.4 km
Duration
5:00 h
Ascent
339 m
Descent
581 m
Highest point
550 m
Lowest point
13 m
Scenic Cultural/historical interest Healthy climate Flora and fauna Linear route

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