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Home » Adventure Travel » Adventure Travel Trips » Scotland’s West Highland Way and Optional Ben Nevis Climb

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Scotland's West Highland Way and Optional Ben Nevis Climb 

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May 8 - 21, 2017

CMC Members: $3,200
Non-Members: $3,500

Trip Information 

Trip Itinerary 

Email Leader


Trip Overview


Hike Scotland’s West Highland Way for 95 miles beside lochs, waterfalls, and craggy mountains in the Scottish Highlands. This famous route is walked by over 50,000 people each year, making it the most popular long distance walk in Scotland. The path uses ancient roads, including drovers’ roads, military roads and old coaching roads and we will walk the traditional route from south to north to the foot of Scotland’s (and the U.K.’s) highest peak, Ben Nevis. Weather permitting, options after completing the West Highland Way include a climb to the summit of “the Ben” (4,409 feet), or an excursion on the West Highland Railway/Ferry to Mallaig and Armadale. While hiking will be the trip’s focus, the group will also tour medieval Edinburgh, Stirling (famous for being the home of William Wallace), the Eliean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands, and a Scotch distillery.




Small hotels and B&Bs along the walk and 3-star hotels in Edinburgh.


Types of Activity and level of Difficulty


This trip includes 09 days of hiking, and only fit participants will be accepted on the trip. The West Highland Way will take eight days hiking from village-to-village in the Scottish Highlands, with distances ranging from 7 to 16 miles per day. The optional final day of hiking will be a climb of Ben Nevis (Scotland and the U.K.’s highpoint). The peak attempt is 12 miles (roundtrip) on good trails to the 4,409 ft summit (about 4,300 feet of gain). This climb is straightforward and typically not difficult, but weather in the Scottish Highlands can change quickly and safe descent routes can become obscured in foggy conditions. A second option for this day will be an excursion on the West Highland Railway to Mallaig, and ferry ride to Armadale on the Isle of Skye.

Skills and Training Requirements


No technical skills are required, but participants must have the demonstrated ability to hike long distances for successive days.



Trip Leader: Polly Hays and Joan Rossiter

Polly Hays is a CMC Trip Leader and has been a member of the Colorado Mountain Club since she moved to Colorado in 2000. She has led or co-led several CMC Adventure Travel Trips, including Yellowstone in Winter, New Zealand Great Walks, and Turkey Hike and Culture. She enjoys traveling domestically and internationally, when she is not busy working at her day job as Water Program Manager for the US Forest Service. Polly is certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR.

Co-leader Joan Rossiter is a CMC Trip Leader and has been a member of the Colorado Mountain Club since 1983.   She has co-led the CMC Adventure Travel trip Yellowstone in Winter on two occasions.  She has been involved in BSTS as an instructor since 1998, and is the current school director.  She enjoys domestic travel, especially random road trips.  Joan is certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR.