Mountain walks

This broad-shouldered Munro dominates the eastern side of Loch Lomond and is one of Scotland’s most famous natural landmarks. The main draw of Ben Lomond is the hike to the summit, attempted by over 50,000 people a year ... and achieved by most! The 4 miles (6km) of the main path will take you through forested ground managed by Forestry and Land Scotland for the first mile, before emerging onto the more open hillside managed by the National Trust for Scotland. The Ptarmigan Ridge route is steeper and more difficult, particularly on the higher reaches.

Most people take between 2½ and 4 hours to get to the summit, and between 4 and 6 hours for the full trip up and down, although this depends on the fitness and pace of the walker.

A view looking south from the summit of Ben Lomond along a narrow ridge path towards a neighbouring peak. Loch Lomond can be seen in the distance, in the top right.
The rewarding view south from the summit of Ben Lomond

The reward is some fantastic views: as far as Ben Nevis to the north, the Ochils and Pentlands to the east, the uplands of Galloway in the south, and Mull, Islay and Arran in the west.

The weather can change quickly, and on Ben Lomond (as for any venture into the hills) walkers should be fully prepared for wet and cold conditions. Winter conditions require extra caution, and the Ptarmigan route in particular should only be attempted, when under ice and snow, if you’re fully equipped and familiar with using crampons and an ice axe.

For those who venture off the paths, there are a myriad of fantastic hidden corners to find yourself in, along burns and in corries. Exploring the wider hillside away from paths is best done with a map and compass – if you want to brush up on your navigation skills, or learn from scratch, book on one of our ranger service navigation courses.

We spend over 300 person-days each year working to prevent landscape erosion through maintenance and repair of the paths.

If you’d like to give something back to the mountain, you can support this work through donations to the Trust’s Footpath Fund.

Walking in Scotland

Family walking in Glencoe >