Ben Vrackie & Meall na h-Aodainn Moire from Balnakeilly
Ben Vrackie  Meall na h-Aodainn Moire


Estimated net time 3-4 hours
Difficulty No difficulties.
The whole route is done on fine path except the short climb to gain the summit of Meall
Drinking water A couple of fairly reliable sources of running water above Loch a Choire.
GSM coverage Extremely poor around trail head, no coverage up to the trail fork at 430 metres, and fine coverage above this trail fork (June 2011).
Parking Room for many cars at car park by trail head.
Start height 207 metres
Vertical metres 775 metres for the roundtrip.
Trip distance 9.3 km
GPS-file X


Route photo

  Ben Vrackie trail head and parking at Balnakeilly.


From road A924 through Pitlochry follow this road north out of down, 1.3 km from the main street through Pitlochry (Atholl Road), to Moulin Hotel. Turn left here, onto Baledmund Road. There's a sign for "Ben-y-vreckie". Follow this road 170 metres to a junction, and then continue straight ahead, following signs for "Ben-y-vrackie". Fork right a little higher up, and then turn right onto the car park.

From the far end of the car park follow the path north through the forest. When you get out of the forest cross the road, and re-join the path on the other side of the road. This path then joins a gravel road for 100 metres before resuming. Continue on this path up to 430 metres, 1.8 km from trail head. At the trail fork make sure you stay right and follow signs for Ben Vrackie (you will be coming down the left leg of this fork). This path takes you up to Loch a Choire, from where you proceed on a well maintained path to the summit of Ben Vrackie.

From Ben Vrackie head back down to Loch a Choire. Once you've passed the flat stretch along the lake continue straight ahead on a narrow path, which soon brings you onto a wider path. Follow this path to its highest point, on the south side of Meall na h-Aodainn Moire, and then turn right to climb the mountain through thick heather.

From the summit of Meall na h-Aodainn Moire descend back to the path and then turn right. Soon you will meet a path going through the pass, and you should turn left onto this path, which will bring you back to the trail fork where you forked right during your ascent. From here follow your ascent route back to the car park.



01. June 2011

Day #1 of the annual trip to Scotland, this time with Pitlochry as base for the first three nights. Jon and I were on the same flight from Bergen to Aberdeen, and we arrived our rented house at Pitlochry a little after noon. After having unpacked the car I changed into hiking gear, and then dropped Jon at the local hotel's bar before heading up to trail head.

Hiking conditions were fine, and the path made hiking really easy all the way up to Loch a Chiore. From here the wind was starting to make an impact, and at the summit of Ben Vrackie it was very windy. And unfortunately the views were severely obstructed by low clouds. Hence I didn't hang around very long, and instead headed across to Meall na h-Aodainn Moire, where the wind was a little less dominant. After another short summit stop I ran back to the car, and drove down to the Moulin Hotel to pick up Jon, who had a very hard time convincing me that I needed a beer before the short drive back up to our house.
Photos 01.06.2011