Share
Bookmark
Print
GPX
KML
Plan a route here
Embed
Fitness
Hiking trail

Storr to Quiraing

Hiking trail
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Looking back to the Cuillin Ridge
    / Looking back to the Cuillin Ridge
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The Old Man of Storr from below
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The Old Man of Storr from above
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / The clouds coming into the ridge
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / A special view point from Beinn Eidra
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 20 15 10 5 km

Begin the day at the geological wonder of the Old Man of Storr, and follow the sweeping Trotternish Ridge over peak and through valleys before arriving at the Quiraing, whilst enjoying stunning views the entire way.

difficult
22.6 km
8:00 h
1292 m
1212 m

A spectacular day starting at the iconic Old Man of Storr, a jutting stone pinnacle that bursts from the grassy ground to tower above you, improbably tall and thin. The day finishes at the Quiraing, a similarly impressive geological feature. Traverse the Totternish Ridge's full 20 km, dipping into quietly sheltered valleys before rising back up to the exposed ridge tops. Due to the natural curve of the ridge, you can expect awe-inspiring vistas of the ridge itself, with no end of natural beauty surrounding it - it is widely considered to be one of the most scenic walks in the UK.  The views, in every direction, are astounding - in the strait between Skye and the mainland, a green and luscious island, the Isle of Rassay lies.

Please be aware that this is a challenging day hike, at 24 km and with over 1500 m of ascent it is physically very difficult. The weather on the ridge is very changeable, and visibility can be poor, with some dangerous drops to your right for most of the day. You should be a competent navigator and hill climber with a good level of fitness to take on this challenge. The rewards for those who do are immense.

 

 

 

Author’s recommendation

Set off early, the views are too spectacular to be rushed. It is rare to have such beauty in every direction and you should make the most of it.

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
659 m
Lowest point
175 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

This is a serious ridge/cliff top walk. This means there are large drops to your right-hand side for almost all of the trek and visibility may not be consistently good. Be very aware of this and use the Macs Adventures app where possible. Be sure to also bring a map and a compass.

The weather is very changeable on the ridge, and snow can come late in the year. Be sure to bring suitable clothing for all weather types.

Some of the ground can be uneven, with pebbly beaches and muddy or rocky grassland. Ensure you have suitable footwear and be cautious with your footing.

 

Equipment

Please bring warm and waterproof clothing including a hat and gloves.  Expect all weathers on Skye as ever though and don't forget your sunscreen and sunglasses.  The ground is challenging so a sturdy pair of walking boots is reccomended along with walking poles to take some pressure off your knees on the ascents and descents.  

 

Tips, hints and links

 

Points of interest

The Old Man of Storr

A tall and jagged rock formation, jutting brutally out of the ground and surrounded by soft grassy slopes. The Old Man of Storr is part of the Storr Peak and rock formation. The views from here, with the Old Man in the foreground and the sea, the Cuillin Ridge and the Isle of Raasay in the background are astounding. 

Isle of Raasay 

Birthplace of Sorley Maclean, a famous Scottish Poet this island inspired some his writing. With the Scottish coast and Appletree lying on the other side of the strait, the peaks on the mainland snowcapped into the start of spring. Rassay is Gallic for 'Land of the Roe Deer, and it is uniquely heavily forested, lush and green with a different landscape and ecosystem to Skye.

Beinn Edra 

The peak of Benin Edra as an Ordnance Survey way marker on it. You will pass right over the summit, and this peak stands apart from other sections of the ridge providing the most astounding 360-degree views of Skye, the mainland and most spectacularly the rest of the ridge.

 

Food & Drink

There is no where to eat of drink along today's remote walk so please bring all the food and water you will require.  You can buy provisoons in Portree before you leav from the Co-op.  

Start

The carpark for the Old Man of Storr (176 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
57.497976, -6.159097
UTM
29V 670237 6376381

Destination

The carpark for the Quiraing

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - Start at the carpark next to the stone pile/cairn that has the information poster for The Old Man of Storr on it, pass the cairn and continue STRAIGHT ON through the metal gate, following the path as it ascends and bears right

0.18 km - Ignore the left turn, and stay on the track continuing STRAIGHT ON

1.20 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON through the metal gate and continue on the path as it ascends

1.60 km - As the path levels out, you will see the Old Man of Storr on your left. Be careful of falling and loose rocks as you carry straight on as the path begins to ascend again

2.10 km - At the top of the hill, leave the main path briefly to take advantage of a view spot. TURN RIGHT on to a stone outcrop, being careful of the drop, then head back to the path and TURN RIGHT over a small fence using the step provided as the path arcs to the left

2.30 km - The path ascends steeply with an easy scramble up a rocky surface, then the path arcs to the right, continue STRAIGHT ON

3.40 km - BEAR LEFT away from the path until you see a gap in the rocks above you after 30 metres, BEAR LEFT again to head through the gap

3.80 km - After walking across the ridge for 400 metres, the path starts to ascend again, 30 metres after this BEAR RIGHT and begin to skirt the mountain. At this point, the path disappears and will be very faint for the rest of the day.

3.90 km - BEAR LEFT and start ascending gently, continuing to skirt the mountain at around 600 metres altitude

4.30 km - BEAR RIGHT and begin to descend down the side of the mountain into the valley below

4.90 km - You will reach the bottom of the valley, BEAR LEFT and begin to ascend the opposite side

5.00 km - When you reach the metal fence posts embedded in the rock, BEAR RIGHT, keeping the posts to your right and follow them up the ridge

5.50 km - When you reach the top of the ridge, keep the posts to your right and continue STRAIGHT ON over the ridge

5.80 km - avoid the next ascent, BEAR LEFT and skirt the peak. There is a faint path that disappears and reappears intermittently

6.40 km - BEAR LEFT and start descending the ridge gently

6.70 km - BEAR LEFT again and begin to zigzag/slalom down the steep slope to the base of the valley. Be careful of loose rocks and uneven ground

7.20 km - When you reach the bottom of the valley, BEAR LEFT past the cairn, crossing a broken metal fence, and start to ascend the other side of the valley, passing to the left of the crocky outcrop that marks the beginning of the next ridge

7.50 km - When you reach the top of the ridge, BEAR RIGHT and follow the top of the ridge line, staying a sensible distance back from the drop

8.90 km - BEAR LEFT, leaving the path, and begin to descend down into the next valley

9.10 km - You will meet a faint path, BEAR RIGHT and follow it down the valley, the path forks, BEAR LEFT and continue to descend

10.00 km - As you traverse the slope, the path will reappear, follow this around the side of the valley as you BEAR RIGHT and then BEAR LEFT to ascend the slope on the other side

10.80 km - At the top of the ridge, BEAR RIGHT joining a grassy path that follows the ridge

11.10 km - When you reach the end of the ridge, BEAR LEFT down to the bottom of the valley, being careful of the drop to your right

11.20 km - Cross the tumbledown wall immediately followed by the broken fence, continue STRAIGHT ON over the valley floor before ascending the slope on the other side and following the ridgeline

12.30 km - When the ridge ends, descend slightly into the next valley, and then follow the faint path to continue STRAIGHT ON up the other side and following the ridgeline

13.20 km - Continue to follow the faint path to continue STRAIGHT ON as it follows the ridgeline descending into the next valley

13.80 km - Cross the bottom of the valley and follow the path to continue STRAIGHT ON up the slope on the opposite side of the valley

14.30 km - Skirt around the left side of the summit, BEAR LEFT with the sea to your left, maintaining your altitude

14.80 km Cross the valley floor, keeping to the left of the pool and the boggy ground and continue STRAIGHT ON up the other side of the valley

15.10 km - BEAR RIGHT, crossing over the summit, being careful of the drop to your right

15.40 - As you crest the summit, you will pass a cairn and an Ordnance Survey waypoint. On a clear day, this is an excellent viewpoint. BEAR LEFT and follow the ridge as it descends into the next valley

15.90 km - As the ground levels out you will see a large plateau extending in front of you, with a steep drop to the right and another slope in the distance - this is where you are heading. Continue STRAIGHT ON towards the first ridge edge

16.20 km - You will reach a short steep slope, carefully descend it and continue STRAIGHT ON across the plateau

17.20 km - The ground is boggy and marshy, you will pass a small stream to your left and then cross a stream as you continue STRAIGHT ON

17.40 km - When you reach some metal fence posts on your right, keep them on your right and follow them around the ridge as you continue STRAIGHT ON over the plateau

17.70 km - When the fence runs out, continue STRAIGHT ON as you follow the ridge at a safe distance

19.0 km - You will reach a fence to your right as you approach the slope leading up to the next ridge, the path re-appears here, follow it closely as you BEAR RIGHT staying away from the cliff edge

19.40 km - Once level with the top of the ridge on your right, BEAR RIGHT again

20.20 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the ridge on the grass path

21.20 km - As the ridge begins to descend, follow it closely as you BEAR RIGHT. On a clear day, you should see the finish in front of you, the car park

21.50 - Continue to BEAR RIGHT, to the left of the carpark is a boggy marsh and is best avoided

22.60 km - Arrive at the car park, this is where you will meet your onward transport.  

Note


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Questions & answers

Pose the first question

You have a question concerning this content? Here is the right place to ask it.


Reviews

Write your first review

Be the first to review and help others.


Photos of others


Difficulty
difficult
Distance
22.6 km
Duration
8:00 h
Ascent
1292 m
Descent
1212 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
Show elevation profile Hide elevation profile
For changing the range of view, push the arrows together.