Why should I climb Creag Mhor?
Creag Mhor Arisaig offers views right across Arisaig and you don’t even need to go up to the top to reach them. Even if you just go as far up the path towards the mast or a little beyond, you can enjoy panoramic views over Arisaig village and Loch na Ceall across to Loch nan Eala and Rhu, Kinloid, Back of Keppoch, Bunacaimb, the Small Isles and even across to Loch Morar. You really don’t have to go far for a good view.
The higher you go, the more you will see including the sea lochs, Loch Nan Uamh and Lochailort further south and once you reach the summit at 351 meters, you’ll see a hill loch below. The ridge is also known as Sgurr an t-Sasunnaich.
On the way, depending on the time of year, you may see lots of wild flowers including orchids, bog asphodel, cross-leaved heath, buttercups, lousewort, cotton and lots more. Of course, there’s lots of heather and thistle too.
If you’re lucky, you may see deer, but there’s often not much sign of life up there. There used to be sheep grazing but I haven’t seen any on my last three visits but I do still see droppings and you might spot some rabbits. There are plenty of birds around from tiny martens to birds of prey so take time just to sit and watch and listen out for them. Oh, and there are lots of caterpillar and slugs galore!
Where is Creag Mhor Arisaig?
Once you pass Arisaig Village, you can’t really miss Creag Mhor rising up on your right from the fields at Kinloid. It starts roughly inline with Back of Keppoch and continues along to Traigh. The Kinloid road goes along the foot.
How to climb Creag Mhor Arisaig
Now, how to climb Creag Mhor. The easiest route is from Arisaig Station. There is usually room to park there but it’s also easy enough to walk there from Arisaig village. Cross over the railway tracks near the signal box you see in the photo (after checking for oncoming trains of course!) and amongst the wild growth on the opposite side, you’ll see two gaps, take either one and follow the trodden path and climb over the stile. This will take you up and across to near the mast.
I usually go by the road that goes to the foot of Creag Mhor which is the turn off to Kinloid. You pass this soon after Arisaig village on your way towards Mallaig. It’s not a paved road so not everyone will want to drive down there and it’s not suitable for camper vans, so you might choose to walk or cycle there. See the first photo below.
After you pass a campsite on your right and a farm, keep going and before long, you’ll see a cleared area for parking on the right, however, this area has become a bit less suitable for parking and last time I went (July ’22), there was only really room for one or two vehicles unless they’re off-road ones.
From there you’ll see a path going up under the railway bridge and up towards the mast on the hill. Recently the gate has been padlocked as people were leaving the gate open and cattle were getting through so you’ll probably need to climb over. If the gate isn’t padlocked when you go, be sure to close it behind you.
At the mention of the rail bridge, you’ve probably realised this might a good spot to watch the Jacobite Express steam train passing by so you may want to try and time your walk to add that in. You can see it close up not far from the bridge but you can also find yourself a good viewpoint a little further up to see it from afar. Trains pass in both directions somewhere between 2:20 pm and 2:40 pm. Have a look at my post on ‘Where to see the Harry Potter steam train.’
Both these routes will take you near the mast and from there, there is a fairly clear trodden path for quite a way but then it fades. There is a vague path that goes round the back of the summit which you can take or you can go up and down across the peaks (lots of false peaks letting you think you’re almost there!) I like the views more on this option. It might be an idea to use a walk tracking app to make sure you can roughly retrace your steps if the weather takes a turn.
The third option is to start further along the Kinloid road and climb the face. The last time I did this I was 13 or 14 (and fitter!) and my friend and I climbed it in wellies with nothing more than a kagoul in case it rained and some sandwiches to eat at the top. Ah, those were the days!
You could also do a loop going up one way and down another and you can also continue along the ridge (up and down peaks) or if you’re a more experienced walker and have plenty time, across to Sgurr an Albannaich which is a bit taller at 394m.
How long does it take to climb Creag Mhor at Arisaig?
Depending on your starting point, fitness level and pace, between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, then add stops for breaks, photos. It takes about 45 minutes to go back down. From Kinloid road, my wikiloc tells me that last time I took 3 hrs total time and 1 hr 45 mins moving time to the top and back. I made quite a few stops to enjoy the view, watch the train, look at flowers and caterpillars and take photos (ok, and catch my breath too!).
I didn’t get a chance to sit and have my lunch on Sgurr an t-Sasunnaich this time as the mist was descending and Eigg had completely disappeared so I decided it was safest to head back down as soon as possible. I was glad I took my hoodie for the walk down as it was windy and damp although I was hot on the way up.
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How should you prepare to climb Creag Mhor?
The most important thing you need to climb Creag Mhor, or indeed do most hill walks in the area, is decent footwear, preferably waterproof as it can get pretty wet up there between bog and marsh. I like to wear hiking boots but I’ve done it in wellies too. Ankle support is quite important because the ground is quite uneven and full of surprises and the last thing you want is to be up there with an ankle injury. Hiking sandals are not recommended unless you want squelchy feet and probably a few ticks.
For clothing I recommend socks and full length trousers to increase your protection you against ticks. Next pack a kagoul or some form of waterpoof jacket in your bag as the weather in Scotland is quite unpredictable and you could find yourself in rain or mist even if you set off in blue skies. Lastly, I recommend taking an extra layer as it can get pretty cold up there, especially if the mist suddenly comes down and it will keep you warm in the event of any mishaps.
Of course, take plenty water and some snacks or packed lunch in your backpack. Take your phone for emergencies and photos. There’s a good signal up there (sometimes better than down on the ground!) Binoculars would be good to throw in if you have them, especially for wildlife watching and a camera if you have one.
A tick remover or tweezers is a useful thing to keep in your backpack when walking around Scotland although you won’t be in any danger if you can’t remove any attached ticks till you get home. Maybe apply some replellant though. You can read more about ticks in Scotland on my post here.
If you’d like an ordinance survey map of the area, you can buy that at the Arisaig Land, Sea and Islands Centre or order online at Amazon here. (for USA, go here.)
Arisaig Weather and Safety
The weather In Scotland is often unpredictable and in this area, the mist can suddenly fall as if from nowhere. Check the weather forecast before you go and keep an eye on the peaks above and the surrounding area. You should be able to see Rum and Eigg. If they start to disappear, mist has come down there and it may also soon come down on Creag Mhor. It’s not uncommon to not be able to see the mountain at all or at least the top part.
Even though it’s not a long or difficult hike, let someone know where you’re going and by which route and take your phone.
Now all you have to do is enjoy your climb and the amazing views!
(Note: This Creag Mhor should not be confused with the munro Creag Mhor in Perthshire, which is a much more challenging climb.)
Here are a few things you might like to buy for your trip to Arisaig
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- Go to home to explore more top things to do in Arisaig or go to About to know more about Everything Arisaig
- If you liked this post, you may also like Walks around Morar
Creag Mhor FAQS
- What does Creag Mhor mean? Creag in Gaelic means crag or rock and mhor means big so it’s the Big Crag or Big Rock
- Where is Creag Mhor Arisaig? – it’s just off the A830 after Arisaig village
- How tall is Creag Mhor in Arisaig? It’s 351 metres or 1151.5 feet
- Can you climb Creag Mhor at Arisaig – Yes, see post above
- What can you see from Creag Mhor at Arisaig? – all over Arisaig, Eigg, Rum, Skye, Loch Morar, Lochailort, sometimes Sands of Morar further along .