It is only 2,008 feet high but Stac Pollaidh is an iconic summit which makes many daunted when looking up from below. Although steep, the way up is actually easy thanks to very good path work by Scottish Natural Heritage which helps walkers and the ecology of the area alike.
From the top, the view of the lochan-studded Inverpolly National Nature Reserve, with surrounding mountains and sea, provide a fantastic vista which you will want to spend quite a while enjoying – save this for a clear day, it is one of the best walks in Scotland.
DISTANCE: 2 miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED: 1,760ft.
TIME: 3 hours.
MAP: OS Landranger 15.
PARK: Ten miles north of Ullapool and turn right, off the A835 and onto the Achiltibuie road. The car park is on the left towards the end of Loch Lurgainn.
WALK: Go back across the road from the car park and head up a path through some bushes. Bear right where the path forks and go through a gate in the fence.
The path is quite steep here as it bears right, under the face of the mountain, but with the views opening up behind you it is worth taking plenty of breaks. The route becomes less steep as it starts to go round the east side of Stac Pollaidh and gives even more views, this time over Assynt.
Once on the north-east side of the mountain, look for a path going up steeply to the left. This takes you to the ridge and pillars of rock.
(Don’t worry about the steepness, take your time on the good path and you will get there a lot sooner than you might think when at the bottom.) The actual summit is on top of the pillars of rock and it is not a good idea to attempt to get there unless you are properly equipped.
The views on all sides are impressive, including the mountains of Assynt with the ‘sugarloaf’ of Suilven to the north and the Summer Isles to the south-west.
From the top go left and follow a gravel track around the base of some pinnacles. This takes you down and round the west side of Stac Pollaidh. Eventually you come back to the south side and drop down to the fence and a gate leading to the path down to the car park.