4.1 of 5 (5 votes)

Ben Macdui from the north

A moderate walk (mountain (above 600m)) in national park Cairngorms in Highlands, Scotland, about 15.60km (9.69 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 6:30h. It is unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 703m (2306ft)
Descent 693m (2273ft)
Max. Elevation 1310m (4297ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 1396m (4579ft)
Start & End
Coire Cas
Distance 15.60km
Duration ~6:30h
Car Free Walks TeamCreated by Timwoods on 20 Oct 2014
Ben Macdui, Scotland's second highest mountain, rises up on the eastern side of the mighty Lairig Ghru, the glen that carves through the northern Cairngorms. Ben Macdui is nothing special itself, a fairly featureless rounded top, but the scenery is superb all along the route. It's a route best saved for a clear day to make navigation easier and the views worthwhile. Descend via the steep Goat Track for an exciting finish to the day.

Walk Functions


Nearby Walks


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Walk Map

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OS Grid NH989060
Take the bus to Cairn Gorm's unlovely ski centre. Don't worry, it's soon left behind.
OS Grid NH984054
Take the footpath next to the information board at the far end of the car park, and continue along this, ignoring the two turnings to your left.
About 0.81 km (~0.5 miles) from
OS Grid NH977035
it's a long and steady ascent up into the plateau, but a good path makes it easy going.
About 2.01 km (~1.25 miles) from
OS Grid NH977018
On a clear day, the path along the edge of the plateau will give you some of Scotland's finest views across the Lairig Ghru. On a cloudy day, take care to follow the cairns.
About 1.71 km (~1.06 miles) from
OS Grid NH981007
Continue across the flat ground between two lochans and follow the cairns to the summit.
About 1.17 km (~0.73 miles) from
OS Grid NN989989
The summit is marked by a large cairn, and a viewfinder marking out the surrounding tops. Once you've had your flapjack, retrace your steps back to the lochans.
About 1.93 km (~1.2 miles) from
OS Grid NH984012
At the lochans, take the right-hand path heading uphill towards the northern edge of the plateau.
About 2.33 km (~1.45 miles) from
OS Grid NH990026
Where the path meets the cliff top, look for the steep rocky path leading into the corrie.
About 1.48 km (~0.92 miles) from
OS Grid NH992031
This track is used by climbers to reach the surrounding crags. It looks daunting from above, but go carefully and there's nothing too tricky.
About 0.53 km (~0.33 miles) from
OS Grid NH992036
The path leads to the corrie basin where a path leads through the lochs.
About 0.58 km (~0.36 miles) from
OS Grid NH986049
Another good path leads down towards the car park again.
About 1.38 km (~0.86 miles) from
OS Grid NH989059
Rejoin the main path and retrace your steps to the ski centre. Buses leave from the upper car park.
About 1.08 km (~0.67 miles) from

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