Stac Pollaidh, Highlands - Coigach's "Little Mountain" (Free Route)

Route Summary

A circular walk climbing Stac Pollaidh in Scotland for a magnificent panoramic view over Britain's greatest wilderness and the added reward of possible sightings of golden eagles and red deer. With a very steep climb to reach the summit ridge.

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance:  2.5 miles (4km)

Walking Time: 02h 00m

Type: Circular

Start location

Stac Pollaidh car park IV26 2XY

lat: 58.0348504

lon: -5.2071973

Getting there

Scotbus 811 runs daily from Ullapool to Reiff and back (Mon– Sat), passing Stac Pollaidh car park en route. Unfortunately, the gap between the outward and return services doesn’t always leave enough time to climb the mountain. Timetables should be checked in advance at traveline scotland  or phone 0871 020 22 33 or

Route Map

stac pollaidh highlands route map



Cross the road from the car park and head up the path to the first gate.  From there, the route rises steadily to your right through a recently planted wood and out on to the open moor.  As you climb, fine views are revealed of Loch Lugainn to the south and Cul Beag to the southeast.


Some 5–10 minutes into the walk you reach a fork in the pitched path at NC108097.  Bear right here and continue uphill (the left fork is your return route) and keep to the main path as it scales the eastern shoulder of the mountain, from the crest of which you gain your first glimpse of Suilven and the spectacular wilderness to the north.


At a second fork, on the far north eastern side of the hill, a well-made path peels left off the lower circuit towards the ridge top above.  Bear left here to start the steep, strenuous ascent to the ridge.  A short, simple scramble runs left (East) from the lowest point in the ridge to Stac Pollaidh’s eastern peak – a magnificent viewpoint.  But the true summit further west is a much trickier proposition involving exposed, difficult scrambling around a series of rock towers.  It’s best avoided unless you are an experienced climber with a solid head for heights.


Return from the east peak to the low point in the ridge and from there pick up the pitched path dropping North West to rejoin the main circuit.  Turn left when you reach it, and follow the path around the dramatic western tower of Stac Pollaidh and back down the mountain to the junction passed earlier at NC108097.  An easy downhill walk from there leads back to the car park and bus stop.


Terrain: Well made pitched paths, uneven in places, with sustained ascents/descents and a very steep climb to reach the summit ridge.

Maps: OS Explorer 439.

Eating & Drinking: Many choices in Ullapool. There is a pub at Althandu, Nr Achiltibuie,

Sleeping: As above.

Visitor Information: Ullapool Tourist Information Centre 6 Argyll St (301854 612135)