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Walking RouteBeinn Dubh

By Leanne Downs2 December 2019

This is a steep but straightforward and rewarding hill walk on a clear day, giving spectacular views across Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond, in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park

Beinn Dubh is a mountain in Scotland with a height of 657 metres (2156 feet) putting it in the midst of the classification range for Grahams (Scottish mountains between 2000-2500 feet with at least 15 metres on all sides). It ranks 166th ordered by height from tallest to lowest in a list of 219 mountains in the group.

This is a short but steep hill walk from the Luss village car park, up to the summit of Beinn Dubh and down again along the same path, giving expansive views across Loch Lomond and its surrounding peaks, notably Ben Lomond. The route can be extended to encompass the rest of the Glen Striddle horseshoe.

You should allow at least 4 hours to complete this walk and even longer in winter conditions or if you want to stop and take in the scenery. There is a large flat section along the route which give the perfect opportunity for a rest stop to soak in the mountain scenery.

The path is relatively clear, but is boggy in places. Care should be taken at all times but especially near the last 200 metres of ascent, where the hill becomes significantly steeper to the left side, which may be particularly hazardous in poor visibility. The last section benefits from a fence which is a useful reference point on the OS (OL39) map for this more treacherous area of the hill.

Be careful not to walk past the steps to the bridge, it can be easily missed

Leaving the village

There is a large car park at the start of this walk in the village of Luss. From here you walk along the road before crossing and turning right near the school and ascending up the steps of the footbridge that crosses the A82. There is a large pale coloured house on the right and just along from here you will see a gate and a signpost for the footpath that leads up to the Beinn Dubh summit.

The hill is signposted just past the bridge

Into the woods

The first section of the path heads up a grassy bracken covered slope, through a large gate and into a small patch of woodland called Strone Wood, where there is a telephone mast nestled within its boundaries. The woodland is a mixture of deciduous trees such as oak and birch, which are covered in moss. The path is rocky here and there is a large cable protruding from the path – be careful not to trip over it.

The path goes through a small patch of mixed woodland

Through the bracken

Upon leaving the wood the path trails through another thick patch of bracken and through another gate. Now is a good time to stop for a breather and turn around to admire the breathtaking view of Loch Lomond – if you’ve been lucky with the weather.

On a clear day, the views over Loch Lomond are stunning

Ben Lomond

The terrain levels off slightly as Ben Lomond and the tops of the Culag forestry plantation come into view on your right, giving your legs and lungs a welcome period of respite from the steep uphills of the path so far. It is needed, as the next section soon becomes steep again.

The Culag forestry plantation and Beinn Dubh

False summits

There are a few false summits as the path steepens again and you draw closer to the true summit of Beinn Dubh. Just past the 500 metre point, a low fence sits close to the path on the left, guiding you 100 metres of ascent, until you come to the point where you need to cross the fence (there is a steep crag to your left here so be careful – especially in poor visibility) and keep it close to your right for the rest of the way to the summit.

One of the many ‘false summits’ on Beinn Dubh

At the top

The path levels out again, making the climb more gentle for the last 50 metres of ascent to the summit, where a rocky cairn marks the top. Admire the tops of surrounding peaks before heading back in the direction you arrived from – unless you’ve decided to walk the rest of the Glen Striddle Horseshoe.

The summit gives views across the surrounding hills and the loch

Heading down

If heading back down the hill along the same path, you’ll be treated to sweeping views the whole way down on a clear day. Keep the fence close to your left until you reach the crossing point where it then runs along your right. The path separates from the fence just before the path curves to the left and then to the right. It can be slippery when descending so take it slowly here.

The path leads back down to the crossing point in the fence

Finishing the walk

You’ll eventually reach the flatter section of the hill again and then the path steepens again down towards the gate before the woods. Once through the woods, go through the next gate, past the house and back across the bridge. Refuel in the village tearoom.

Back towards the house at the start of the hill path

MAP

Ordnance Survey OL39

STAY & EAT

Coffee & Cake : Coach House Coffee Shop – This is a busy but cosy and dog friendly tearoom which is popular with visitors. It has a large selection of cakes, hot food and drinks, you can even try a banoffee coffee.

Restaurant : Slanj RestaurantDog friendly pub style restaurant with a small but delicious selection of meals and live music. They also allow overnight parking for camper van dwelling customers.

B&B: The Green Kettle InnSituated a short drive from Luss, this B&B is a quirky and cosy place to stay. The tearoom serves hot food and drinks and has a large collection of interesting retro bits and bobs on display.

Wild Camping : Loch Lomond & The Trossach National Park – Loch Lomond is a fantastic place to wild camp, however please observe and adhere to the camping restrictions that are in place during the busy tourist season.

Leanne Downs

About Leanne Downs

Leanne Downs is the content editor for Thryve and works as an outdoor writer, blogger and photographer. She loves hiking, hillwalking and wild camping.

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