The easiest Munros to bag in Scotland
Our guide to bagging your first of Scotland’s Munros
Named after 19th-century hillwalker Sir Hugh Munro who complied the first list, Munros are mountains in Scotland measuring over 3,000ft (914m) high. There are 282 in total. And ticking off their summits, known as ‘bagging’, has become a popular, if obsessive, pastime for lovers of the Scottish outdoors.
Given their minimum height, no Munro is easy, especially factoring in the vagaries of the Scottish climate. But some are more beginner-friendly than others. So, where to start?
If you’re new to bagging, look for Munros with defined paths, rather than those that require navigating over unmarked or technical terrain. Consider more popular routes, so other people will be around if you have any trouble. Look for hikes that start at higher altitudes, so you don’t have so far to ascend. Always check the forecast before you go. And don’t climb in winter unless you have the right equipment and skills to handle the conditions.
The good news is, being ‘easier’ doesn’t mean less good. Many of the more accessible Munros still make excellent mountain adventures. Here are a few that are great for bagging beginners…
Ben Lomond - Height: 3,193ft (974m)
Located in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, only 25 miles north of Glasgow, this craggy, conical peak is Scotland’s southernmost Munro. Its accessibility means it is the first many baggers climb. It’s also straightforward, as a wide, obvious path leads up Ben Lomond’s south ridge to the top. But the rewards are rich, including sublime views over Loch Lomond and north into the seemingly endless Highlands.
The car park at the Rowardennan trailhead gets very busy. The loveliest way to begin is to take the summer ferry across the loch to Rowardennan from Tarbet.
Buachaille Etive Beag - Height: 3,143ft (958m)
Running parallel to the more celebrated ridge of Buachaille Etive Mòr in the Highlands, Buachaille Etive Beag is often overlooked. Which is unfair, as it’s a marvellous mountain, with two Munros to tick off (Stob Coire Raineach and Stob Dubh). A clear path, steep in places, leads from the Beehive car park up to the bealach (mountain pass) and beyond. There’s also a narrow section between the peaks. But the views are worth it, extending down Loch Etive, across glorious Glencoe and over to wild Rannoch Moor.
Bynack More - Height: 3,576ft (1,090m)
Found within Cairngorms National Park, long and steady, that’s Bynack More. A well-made path with a largely gentle gradient leads to the top of this pyramidal peak. But you’ll need to cover a fair amount of distance to get there.
This ‘long walk in’ approach is quite common for the Cairngorms. Luckily, the walk up Bynack More is a pleasure. It climbs from Glenmore through Scots pine forest up to Lochan Uaine and the Ryvoan Pass before striking across moorland. There are uninterrupted views across Moray from the top.
Ben Wyvis - Height: 3,431ft (1,046m)
Not only is Ben Wyvis (‘Awesome Mountain’) a relatively straightforward challenge, it’s an obvious one too. Looming just north of Inverness at Easter Ross, Wyvis stands enormous and isolated in this area, providing a big draw for Munro baggers. A good path leads to the top from Garve, affording expansive views across the northwest highlands and over the Cromarty Firth.
Ben More - Height: 3,852ft (1,174m)
Aside from the high, challenging scrambles on the Isle of Skye, Ben More on the Isle of Mull is Scotland’s only other Munro on an island. The mountain rises from the centre of Mull, above Loch na Keal, and is accessible via a non-technical trail. The summit offers a dazzling 360 over the surrounding coast, scattered islets and mainland peaks. Be sure to wait for good weather to attempt it, to see the views at their best.
Lochnagar - Height: 3,789ft (1,155m)
This Aberdeenshire Munro near Balmoral was once conquered by Queen Victoria, who ascended on horseback in 1861. She wasn’t keen, calling the experience ‘cold, wet and cheerless’. But dark, brooding Lochnagar, which looms above an inky lake of the same name, has become a hill-walking classic nonetheless.
The popular route from Glen Muick follows largely obvious paths, with one steep boulder field to cross. From the top there are huge views across the Cairngorms. You’ll also get a dizzying perspective on the mountain’s curved north corrie, where sheer, buttressed cliffs drop to a tiny lake.
Ben Lawers - Height: 3,983ft (1,214m)
Big, bulky Ben Lawers in Perthshire is the ninth-highest peak in Scotland. But you wouldn’t know it from the walk up. The trail begins at 450m above sea level, mitigating some of the ascent and making it a good option for novice baggers. It’s also simple to combine Ben Lawers with neighbouring Beinn Ghlas (3,609ft/1,100m), ticking off two Munros in one go. There are fine views of Loch Tay and Glen Lyon. Keep a look-out for rare alpine plants, red deer, black grouse and the gamebird ptarmigan too.
Beinn na Lap - Height: 3,074ft (937m)
This bulbous beast, rising up from Rannoch Moor in the West Highlands, is more accessible than you might think. The West Highland Railway runs just below Beinn na Lap, and its summit is a fairly short, simple climb from Corrour Station.
The trail starts at 400m above sea level, heading across moorland and above Loch Ossian. The trickiest aspect of the walk is working with the train timetable. Corrour is the remotest halt on the UK rail network, so plan well if you don’t want to be stranded.
Ben Chonzie - Height: 3,054ft (931m)
Kids as young as five have managed to bag big old Ben Chonzie in Perthshire. With a mostly gentle gradient, it’s one of the easier Munros to tackle, doable in around half a day. The track leads up from Glen Lednock and into heather moorland. There’s a short boggy bit and the wind can whip the ridge but there are gorgeous views over the glen. Look out for wild mountain hares as you go.
We’ve got ideas for hundreds of wonderful walking routes across England, Scotland and Wales, long and short, easy and challenging. Search for routes on our website. Or join a guided walk with a local Ramblers group. Find your nearest Ramblers group and choose a walk that suits your pace, fitness and interests.
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