Stac Pollaidh, Assynt: A small mountain with big views
Stac Pollaidh is a corker of a mountain.
I’ll be honest, when my husband pointed at it on the horizon and said ‘we’re going up there’, I did fill up the swear just a little… it looks gnarly. It’s got a jaggedy summit. Our little boy has come to call it the ‘volcano mountain’… Beginning to get the picture? Ok, so it’s not quite as mean as Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings. In fact, at just 612m, it’s fair to say it’s not the highest, or nor is it the scariest, but on a clear day those views could rival the biggest of names.
The main track starts from opposite the car park and is easy to follow, up and through some gates. At this point you can chose which direction you want to do the circuit in. We’ve always tended to do it in an anti-clockwise direction for no other reason than it looks like a gentler descent to us, so we get to admire the scenery on the way back to the car without too much tripping up…that’s always been our hope anyway.
The uphill is soon over, the views are spectacular. The main path doesn’t take you to the true summit, but instead follows up and around along the bottom of the back of the most jagged top section. There are several smaller tracks heading up if you fancy a bit of scrambling at the very top.
Stac Pollaidh is one of those mountains that delivers big views across North Assynt, Auchiltibuie and the Summer Isles. It feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere and is simply a wonderful walk. It won’t take you all day to do the circuit, but you could easily spend all day on there. Definitely a walk we’ve loved doing with our son in the past (he was 6 months old when we first took him), and loved whiling away a day in the mountains and enjoying it as it comes.
- Location: North West Scotland
- Nearest town: Ullapool
- Length: 4.5km / 2.75 miles
- Elevation: 510m
- Level of difficulty: Good mountain track.
- What to wear: Sensible shoes and be prepared for any change in weather. No shade or shelter.
- Kid friendly: Easily done if using a back carrier. Not pushchair friendly. Care to be taken over rough track.
- Best time to visit: Any time. Clear days are spectacular. Summer allows early starts to avoid the crowds.
- Any tips: Small car park at the bottom, which fills up quickly during peak times. Take care driving along the single track road (with passing places). No facilities. Pack your own lunch.
***Please note: This is a blog that was previously published on another of our blogs Adventurous Little Legs, and linked to an online store we also had. We have closed these both down. All content and pictures remain those of Stacey and Keith at Adventurous Little Legs and An Outdoors Family.