Climbing Ben Nevis – Map the Route
One of the most popular hikes in the country given its status as Britain’s highest peak, it is also surprisingly straightforward, even for hiking novices. The route described here is the most popular ‘tourist’ route and suitable for most ability and experience levels. Start at the visitor centre and begin by crossing the River Nevis and following the obvious trail. Although bare and bland in sections, there are some magnificent views looking back west and north as the ascent continues.
Mist is very common up top so keep your bearings and don’t drift from the route if visibility is poor. The most common base is the nearby town of Fort William but there are no shortage of accommodation providers in the area.
Please remember to leave no trace of your visit and take any rubbish (including fruit peelings, which take years to degrade) home with you. While you’re at it, check out my tips on keeping tourism in Scotland sustainable.
Height: 1345 metres (4411 feet).
Time Taken: Around 8 hours but take longer and have plenty of stops, including at the summit.
Difficulty: Moderate. Although there’s an obvious incline and this is a full day hike, the path is obvious making it a straightforward and rewarding walk. Kids do it, people in flip flops do it, you can do it. You’ll breeze it in proper climbing footwear.
Ben Nevis Walk
You can trace the full route in the interactive map below. The route is a clear and straightforward one and you’ll likely have plenty of company throughout. Zoom in and out as needed and, to help guide you further, this map is built with geolocation incorporated into it. That means when you are physically there, you can use your mobile device to see where you are in relation to the route. Please note that your real time location marker may not be exact 100% of the time and is at the mercy of Google geolocation. You will also need to allow Location Services on your device for it to work – same as you would for a Google Map. Therefore, a good, old-fashioned map is still advisable for all rural walking routes.
Climbing Ben Nevis and Using the Map
Take note of the icons running vertically on the left of the map. From top to bottom you can:
- Zoom in and out of the map.
- Make the map fullscreen on your device (the ‘broken square’ icon).
- See where you are by geolocation (the ‘pin’ icon). You can switch this on and off with one press. Note my above points about geolocation and that geolocation can never be 100% accurate.
- Return the map to its starting position (the ‘house’ icon).
The map format has been pre-set to Terrain so as to include helpful contour lines specifically. You can, though, change the map appearance via the icon in the top right eg. to Google roadmap.