An excellent big day out on one of the great Scottish mountains. The five Munros on the route are easily accessed from the Loch Muick car park and form an obvious loop, the perfect get high, stay high route. Ensure that you book some good weather to get the most enjoyment out of the day.
metres / Distance
NO3097185162 Follow the track out of the car park and along the east side of Loch Muick. After crossing the black Burn the track zigzags uphill and then follows the plateau edge overlooking Glen Muick before making a long easy ascent over the first Munro of Broad Cairn. From here continue over to Cairn Bannoch enjoying the easy path and the minimal descent and ascent between the two Munros. Continue along the ridgeline until you reach the third summit of Cairn an t-Sagairt Mor.
NO2076684356 At the summit take some time to explore and find the aircraft wreckage and memorial. Then retrace your steps to meet the path that contours the south flank of Carn an t-Sagairt Beag. Follow this and climb steeply up before heading to the summit of Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach.
NO2266084518 Retrace your route once again to join the main path and continue over to the Cac Carn Beag, the main summit of Lochnagar.
NO2439086049 Multiple routes back to the Loch Muick car park are available but the easiest option is to follow the main tourist path down past the impressive Falls of the Glasallt to meet the track on the North side of Loch Muick.
NO2774482555 A long slog along track takes you back to the Loch Muick car park, hopefully with some daylight left.
Start/Finish: Loch Muick Car Park (Pay and Display), NO309851
Nearest town: Ballater
Terrain: Paths and tracks, mostly easy going underfoot.
Seasonal variations: During the winter season, the route will be very different as the paths and tracks could be much harder to follow and progress slower if there is snow on the ground. In deep fresh snow it's one for skiers, not walkers.
Its shorter (27.3km total the last time I recorded it) and more pleasant to descend via the col with the Meikle pap and then down the land rover track That comes over from Deeside. This avoids the slog back along the loch and has the added bonus of granting the traditional brilliant view of Lochnagar's main corrie.
Agree odd route choice avoiding viewing the impressive vista of Lochnagars corrie. Effort wise going clockwise always feels easier, but for a first time visit anti-clockwise aiming to see the corrie lit up in early morning light from the Meikle Pap, or MP Col, with the rays catching the corrie rim and picking out the intricacies of the buttresses, would be my recommendation; even if it does mean an early start.
Yeah I tend to always go Clockwise so that the slog along the loch is at the start and the gentle decent down the land rover track at the end. Totally agree that with an early start anti clockwise would be worth it for some nice light on the cliffs.