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Hiking trail

Kingshouse to Kinlochleven

· 1 review · Hiking trail · Highland
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
m 600 400 200 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km The Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall Kingshouse Hotel Cairn - Good spot for packed lunch The Devils Staircase 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
14.4 km
5:00 h
339 m
581 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.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Macs Adventure
Updated: 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
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

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, hints and links

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:
Geographic
56.650890, -4.839970
UTM
30V 387188 6280039
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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

Geographic
56.650890, -4.839970
UTM
30V 387188 6280039
what3words 
///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.


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Reviews

4.0
(1)
Arnaud Gautier
October 13, 2019 · Community
Less arduous than expected. Be ready for a long descent into Kinlochleven, but you shall be rewarded. Really enjoyed staying in town.
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Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
14.4 km
Duration
5:00h
Ascent
339 m
Descent
581 m
Round trip Scenic Cultural/historical value Faunistic highlights Healthy climate

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