Home   Glossary
Ben Nevis
Quick Facts
This is the summed total of all the climbing within a route and is a good indicator of the strenuousness of a route.
Total Ascent
1370 m

An estimate of the time taken based on a derivation of Naismiths rules. Our calculation is based on the horizontal and ascent components of a climb, we do not make a reduction for descent.

Registered users can customise these walking times by specifying their own walking and ascending speeds. They can also add a fixed time period for stoppages.

Route Time
5.5 hrs
The horizontal distance of the route.
Route Distance
14.83 km

The UK is covered by 204 Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 scale maps. Maps numbered 1 to 86 cover Scotland but for the highest mountains (Munros) only 23 maps are required. The name given roughly describes the area covered by the map.

You can click on the map name to purchase the map for £6.29 including postage which is one of the cheapest prices we have found.

OS Landranger Maps Required
  41   Ben Nevis, Fort William & Glen Coe
Only £6.29  (£13.49 Laminated) from  

A brief summary of this route.

Our summary will always contain one of easy, moderate or hard to indicate the severity of the route.

This is the "Tourist Route" which thousands climb each year, it is fairly strenuous. It can, however, be a serious ascent as the "path" disappears on the higher boulder slopes and navigational errors can and do lead to disaster.

Here we provide the nearest town to the start of the route where you will find basic services.

We then give directions from that location to the route start. Your approach route may differ.

 Travel Information

Head to: Fort William

From Fort William (A82), at the Nevis Bridge roundabout, follow signs to Glen Nevis. Park by the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel.

Route Waypoint Map

The total ascent is 1,370 metres. Allow 5.5 hours to complete this 14.83 km route.

The hillphones service can inform you of stalking activities in the area.

Usually the shortest way to climb the mountain, making best use of tracks and paths to gain altitude. Route navigation requires map reading skills and an ability to navigate with a compass.

The information given here will enable you to annotate your map and plan your route. We do not give anecdotal descriptions on where to find the paths, worn by the feet of previous mountaineers.

Where the access routes are few or the ridge is narrow, paths are generally obvious. On open ground, following paths without using your compass may get you lost in poor visibility.

 Route Information
Waypoint Detail
  Start from parking near bridge
  NN12307305 Distance
18 m
Cross river and ascend to join path ascending SE
NN12607284 Distance
0.48 km
45 m
Continue SE to junction with path from Youth Hostel (An alternative approach route)
NN13337201 Distance
1.10 km
175 m
Continue SSE on path
NN14067179 Distance
0.76 km
356 m
Ascend SE turning NE on path to junction above Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe
NN14727241 Distance
1.20 km
640 m
Continue S to start of zig-zag section
NN14707154 Distance
0.86 km
771 m
Ascend ESE on zig-zag path on boulder strewn slopes. Please be aware that dangerous cliffs lie to the N and S of the path.
NN15717139 Distance
1.93 km
1215 m
Where path straightens ascend just S of E towards ruin (Do not navigate direct to summit!)
NN16667119 Distance
0.97 km
1340 m
From ruins head NNE to summit of Ben Nevis
NN16697127 Distance
0.08 km
1344 m
Reverse route to return
  NN12307305 Distance
7.45 km
18 m

A selection of weather forecasts local to this route.

West Highlands
by MWIS (PDF format)
West Highlands
by Met Office
Ben Nevis
by Metcheck
Images of Ben Nevis
Route Area Map
Legend  Munro  Corbett  Graham  English/Welsh Top  Accommodation

A selection of local accommodation options who advertise with Munromagic.com.

 Where to Stay
We currently have no
sponsored accommodation listings for this area.

Rating & Reviews

 Rating & Reviews
 from 9 votes
Click Stars to Vote
Your Rating
Written by Kevin Woods on 01 Dec 2007:
Was an enjoyable day out, and I have to say it's better than most people seem to say. That may have been because our early start eliminated the crowds. Still, a pleasantly surprising route for the amount of bad rep it gets.
Written by Alan Morris on 06 Sep 2005:
The tourist route in generally a disgrace. Covered in litter. An obvious sign that Ben Nevis is "climbed" by non hikers/walkers and they have no idea of what the experience is all about. The usual skills of general munro bagging such as true navigation, path finding, and scrambling unfortunately do not apply on the tourist route. Instead these traditional skills must be replaced by others such as "overtaking" and coping with sickeningly friendly greetings from cheerful tourists on the path. After the horrendous path, it is no surprise to summit and find it packed with people in trainers.
Written by James Robertson on 23 Jul 2005:
I was actually presently surprised by this route. It wasn't as soul-destroying as I've heard although there was occasionally some litter that people had clearly left. To avoid the crowds, I would highly recommend a very early start. My dad and I began our climb at 3am and only saw one other party (doing the Three Peaks Challange) on the way up. A great day, even though the weather was a little grim!
Written by David Nichols on 10 Jun 2005:
Just a long boring slog but a very big sense of achievement
Written by Noel Geoghegan on 03 May 2005:
As a first timer I found this route soul-less, often tedious and without any real joys.It's more a mass production line to get people up and down ASAP without any real feel or respect for the mountain it deserves. Everyone esp Joe Public should take a compass as without it in poor visibility it would be easy to become disoriented from the plateau to the summit. I was amazed or rather dismayed at the ill prepared 'masses' going up in shorts trainers etc often with very small children through the low cloud snow. With a lot more experience I will try the advanced route via Carn Mor Dearg.
Disclaimer. The details provided above are an aid to planning an expedition, but all distances, altitudes and bearings must be considered approximate. You must navigate with the appropriate map, a compass, your navigation skills and common sense, MunroMagic.com accept no responsibility for your interpretation of our route information.
Privacy Policy Cookie Policy Contact Us