The Great Outdoors (UK)
NN609379 Start at the Ben Lawers car park on 1 the west side of the road (please note there is a charge for parking). Head through a walled area with interpretation boards welcoming you to the Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve, managed by the
National Trust for Scotland. Go through a gate, cross the road and continue on the main path on the left side of the burn towards Beinn Ghlas, which is visible ahead. The path enters an area that has been fenced off to protect from overgrazing by deer and sheep.
NN612386 After around 800 metres, keep on the main 2 path as it bears R and crosses the burn. Continue up the path on the other side towards Beinn Ghlas. The route eventually leaves the fenced-off area.
NN617393 Where the path forks, bear R up the 3 south-west ridge of Beinn Ghlas. The ground becomes steeper and increasingly rocky, but the path is well-made and zig-zags up some of the steepest bits. Continue along the ridge as the gradient eases to reach the summit of Beinn Ghlas (1103m).
NN625404 Ben Lawers is now clearly in view about 4 1.5km away. Continue north-east, following a wide and easy path along the ridge. The final pull up to Ben Lawers is straightforward with a couple of steeper sections. The summit (1214m) is marked by a trig point and view indicator to help you make the most of the magnificent views you’d expect from the highest mountain for many miles around. Ben Lawers falls just short of 4000ft. In 1878, in true Victorian fashion, a gigantic cairn was built in an attempt to raise the mountain into the elite company of Scotland’s ‘four thousanders’. Attitudes towards the stewardship of Scotland’s mountains have changed over time, and the cairn has long since been removed.
NN636414 Continue north over Creag an Fhithich 5 (1047m) and down to a bealach. Lochan nan Cat lies below on your right at the foot of steep crags. Climb up to the sharp summit of An Stuc (1117m). The most challenging part of the route follows – the extremely steep descent north-east from An Stuc to the bealach under Meall Garbh (spot height 991m on the OS Explorer map). Under snow and ice, crampons, an ice axe and experience in using them are recommended. Great care is also required in wet, slippery conditions. If in doubt, avoid this descent by descending north-west from An Stuc’s summit for at least a couple of hundred metres until the gradient on your right eases enough to enable you to bear east across the head of the Fin Glen to gain the bealach between An Stuc and Meall Garbh.
NN641433 The difficulties are now over. From the 6 bealach continue east on easy, grassy terrain across
Meall Garbh (1118m) and on to Meall Greigh (1001m).
The latter, poised at the eastern end of the range, is another great viewpoint.
NN674438 Descend south from Meall Greigh, keeping 7 to the crest and aiming for a bump on the southern shoulder, given a spot height of 805m on the OS Explorer map. Continue more steeply south down Sron Mhor to pick up a path by the Lawers Burn. Follow the path south through pleasant woodlands to meet the A827 road. Turn right and walk with care along the A827 for approximately 350 metres to the Lawers Hotel.