The Arrochar Alps are a group of mountains that lie mainly within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, although they do extend into the Argyll Forest Park. They spread around the head of Loch Long, Loch Fyne and Loch Goil, near the villages of Arrochar and Lochgoilhead. Famous for their unique, craggy outline, these mountains are a hill walkers delight and are said to take their name from their likeness to the Alps in miniature – not only in looks but also from their changeable weather conditions.
There are many Munros, Corbetts, Grahams and more within this mountain range and the highest peak is Beinn Ime at 1011 metres. It is, however, not the most famous peak. That title is given to The Cobbler, which measures 884 metres high, making it not quite a Munro.
Some of the other well-known mountains within the Arrochar Alps are Beinn Narnain (926 m), Ben Vane (915 m) and Ben Vorlich (943 m). All of these Munros, Beinn Ime and The Cobbler, offer the most amazing 360-degree views from their summit.
This area has a bountiful supply of walking routes, hiking trails and climbs to suit every ability. The Falls of Falloch trail, for example, is a very popular and short walk (20 min) that leads you to a beautiful waterfall and idyllic picnic spot for you and all the family. If you would like something a bit more challenging, you could head up The Cobbler (Ben Arthur). There is a zig-zag path to begin, but once past this, the ascent is straightforward. It will take you between 4-6 hours to complete both peaks of The Cobbler and return via the central uneven path – or if you want to take it a little easier, you can return the same way you walked up.
If you want to bag the highest peak, Beinn Ime, then there are a number of routes to choose from. Although these mountains are all craggy and steep, beginning this hike from the south gives you a more even, grassy path that is well-trodden and clear to follow. The hike is around 14.2 km (9 miles) and is likely to take around 5-7 hours to complete. You can head down the other side once you reach the top, head back the way you came or complete the trail in conjunction with Beinn Narnain or even The Cobbler.
Whichever walk, hike or climb you choose to undertake, make sure you are well equipped and physically able to do the route. Be sure to stay hydrated and wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Remember, just like the Alps, the weather in these mountains can change in the blink of an eye, so always consider your safety first. That having been said, you are in for a truly magical experience – and who knows, perhaps you’ll get the bug and be back to bag the rest of the Munros.
What could be better than a day out in the hills taking in the incredible scenery and then heading back to us here at Knockderry Hotel to put your feet up with a well-deserved drink in your hand. We’re so lucky to be less than an hour’s drive to the mountains – why don’t you come and tell us about your adventures in the hills.