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West Highland Way 7: Kings House to Kinlochleven

 5.0 (1)
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Length

9.0 Miles 14.5 Kilometers


Singletrack

Elevation

1,095' 334 m

Ascent

-1,854' -565 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

1,760' 536 m

High

48' 15 m

Low

Conditions


Unknown

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Perhaps the most beautiful section of the West Highland Way and features the aptly named Devil's Staircase.

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Overview

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Dogs: Leashed

Description [Suggest Changes]

From King's House (West Highland Way 6: Inveroran to Kings House), the path becomes a more difficult, rocky singletrack roughly paralleling the A82 through beautiful Glen Coe for several miles. When the singletrack finally reaches a car park at the A82, you've reached the beginning of the aptly named Devil's Staircase. This is a steep, difficult climb (800 ft in one mile) on loose, babyhead rocks with increasingly tight switchbacks near the top; bring your best grippy tires.

This is a popular section of the WHW because of the fantastic view of Glen Coe and the surrounding mountains particularly from the top of the climb. You'll find many hillwalkers, and they'll generally congratulate you whether you're riding or carrying your bike to the top. Most mortals can expect to carry their bikes at least near the top where the overall steepness and technical nature of the trail make it difficult to maintain both momentum and traction.

Your reward for reaching the top is a commanding view of Glen Coe and surrounding mountains to the south as well as the Blackwater Reservoir to the north. You'll also enjoy the magnificent descent into Kinlochleven, which lies on Loch Leven at sea level almost 1,750 feet below.

The first half of the descent is singletrack, and it is not as steep as the climb up the Devil's Staircase, so you don't need to be an expert downhill rider to enjoy it. Here, the trail can have a bit of water on it, but the rocky surface drains well. Be aware as there are some box culverts along the descent that are just the right width to completely swallow a front tire causing a rather spectacular endo. Most of these can be carefully jumped. There are a few short sections of steep descent on loose rocks. The second half of the descent into Kinlochleven finishes on a nice forest road.

The final segment of the WHW, West Highland Way 8: Kinlochleven to Fort William takes you to the northern terminus.

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  5.0 from 1 vote

#2

in Highlands

#2218

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#2

in Highlands

#2,218

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