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Cairn Gorm

Cairn Gorm

Hiking Highlight

Created by komoot users
Recommended by 43 out of 43 hikers

The most accessible mountain in the vast range that is named after it, Cairn Gorm’s gentle dome is a familiar sight from the gear shops, restaurants, pubs and cafés of Aviemore. Despite its popularity and the development of an extensive ski operation on its northern flanks, hikes to Cairn Gorm are spectacular, delivering you to the sixth highest summit in Britain.


Crucially, you can be given a leg-up by the car park at the skiers’ base station, which sits at about 1,900 feet (590 m). This is a short drive, or bus journey, from Aviemore’s many amenities. From the base station, a funicular railway climbs up to the Ptarmigan restaurant at 3,599 feet (1,097 m). Don’t get any ideas though, as hiking from the restaurant is not permitted.


An accessible giant boasting tremendous views of the Cairngorm wilderness


Many walking routes to Cairn Gorm start from the base station and either ascend the Fiacaill a Coire Cas ridge alongside the ski paraphernalia or stride out west towards the wilder Northern Corries. Scrambles of all grades can be found on the glorious cliffs and ridges of the Northern Corries and it feels a world away from the manicured ski slopes.


Once you gain the plateau, it is quite an easy walk to the shallow domed summit, where you’ll find an automated weather station. The view across the vastness of the Cairngorm plateau towards tor-topped Beinn Mheadhoin and the giants of Ben Macdui and Braeriach is awesome. To the north west, the Monadh Liath rise in gentle waves beyond Aviemore.


The Cairngorms experience the UK’s most severe conditions in winter. In fact, the highest wind speed ever recorded on British soil was recorded at 173 mph on Cairn Gorm summit in March 1986. Suffice to say, the high Cairngorms are the preserve of experienced mountaineers in winter conditions.


Tips

  • Dan Hobson

    Cairn Gorm is one of the most iconic mountains in Scotland. While it might not be the tallest at 4,085 feet (1,245 metres) tall, it is the namesake of this entire mountain range. From the summit you are rewarded with magnificent views over the national park. Cairn Gorm is home to the UK's highest Funicular Railway—if you fancy the easy option—and even has a restaurant and cafe.

    • February 4, 2019

  • Andreas Trust 🥾

    Very nice but very windy. The view is awesome with appropriate weather

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    • August 20, 2019

  • Lena 🏞️

    Take warm clothes (jacket, cap) as it can get very cold.

    translated byView Original
    • August 21, 2019

  • Karo

    Great view of steep climb from Ptamigan restaurant

    translated byView Original
    • May 6, 2018

  • Lena 🏞️

    Wrap warm clothes;)

    translated byView Original
    • September 23, 2018

  • Andreas Trust 🥾

    Great view in good weather. It stormed neatly up there

    translated byView Original
    • July 21, 2019

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Best Hikes to Cairn Gorm

Our Tour recommendations are based on thousands of activities completed by other people on komoot.

  • Intermediate
    04:35
    7.21 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,400 ft
    2,400 ft
  • Intermediate
    03:17
    4.65 mi
    1.4 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,950 ft
  • Intermediate
    03:14
    3.94 mi
    1.2 mph
    1,900 ft
    1,900 ft
  • Intermediate
    02:59
    4.70 mi
    1.6 mph
    1,925 ft
    1,925 ft
  • Intermediate
    04:56
    8.11 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,475 ft
    2,450 ft
  • Intermediate
    04:22
    6.88 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,375 ft
    2,400 ft
  • Difficult
    05:12
    9.08 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,375 ft
Location: Highlands, Scotland, United Kingdom

Information

  • Elevation1,290 m

Good to know

  • Family Friendly
    Yes
  • Wheelchair access
    No
  • Dog Friendly
    Yes

Most Visited During

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Weather Forecast - Highlands

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Cairn Gorm