Buachaille Etive Beag

Buachaille Etive Beag

Bag a couple of Munros hiking this stunning ridge in Glencoe


5-6 hours

5 miles / 8km

What is a Munro and how many are there?

Munros are mountains in Scotland that are over 3,000ft (914.4m) high and take their name from Sir Hugh T Munro.

There are 282 Munros across Scotland and Ben Nevis is the highest of them. Munro bagging is extremely popular amongst walking enthusiasts and whether you are after breaking records or just working your way slowly but surely through the list you will find challenging walks with stunning scenery.

Where is Buachaille Etive Beag?

Buachaille Etive Beag is located in the Scottish highlands in the picturesque village of Glencoe about a twenty-minute drive from Fort William.

Glencoe is truly breathtaking and is home to the ‘Three Sisters’ as well as several other notable hiking routes.

What information do I need to know before hiking Buachaille Etive Beag?

Starting point

The start of this walk can be found in a small car park opposite the beehive cairn located on the A82 in Glencoe. There is a clear sign post indicating the route from the main road, however there is also a path leading from the car park.

Buachaille Etive Beag hike - Beehive cairn on A82 opposite the small car park
Beehive cairn on A82


There is a clear well-constructed rocky path leading from the car park, after a short while the path forks and you need to take the path to the left.

From there you hit a fairly steep ascent again the path is clear as you make your way up to the bealach with the assistance of some superb stone steps.

The ridge-walk to the summit is rocky but fairly simple and easy to manage.


The walk is fairly straight-forward so nothing special is required:

  • Walking boots/shoes (should always be worn-in prior to any walk).
  • Waterproofs – the weather can change quickly and dramatically ensure you are prepared.
  • First Aid Kit – should always be in any hikers pack and be relevant to the activity being done.
  • Food & Drink – ensure you have enough water/drink for the full walk as well as food sources that will provide plenty of energy.
  • Walking poles (optional) – these can be overlooked at times but can really assist on any hike especially on a descent.

Route description

Great views from the start

Setting off from the car park located off the A82 the path is clear and easy to follow. After a short walk the path forks, the Lairig Èilde route bears right here but you need to keep to the path to the left. The excellent path leads towards the ridge.

Looking towards your right there are already great views of Bidean nam Bian and the Aonach Eagach ridge.

Buachaille Etive Beag hike - Stunning scenery early on in the walk

Heading up to the bealach

Continuing along the path diagonally for awhile before the route takes a more direct approach uphill towards the Mam Buidhe which is the lowest point on the ridge.

Well-constructed rocky path leads the way up to the bealach

Aiming for Stob Dubh

Following the steep climb up the steps the path eases slightly on the approach towards the bealach – from here the path forks again and you need to keep right.

Continuing up the steep path you reach a cairn at just over 900m. Providing the weather is decent you can now get a great view along the ridge towards Stob Dubh.

After setting off towards Stob Dubh the ridge narrows a great deal offering a fine traverse before you hit the last final ascent to the summit cone of Stub Dubh.

A straight-forward rocky ridge walk

Stub Dubh summit and beyond

After a short, steep ascent to the summit of Stub Dubh there is the option to continue a short distance further to a second cairn. Doing so will reward you with stunning views (again weather dependant) into Glen Etive and Loch Etive.

Heading to the summit of Stub Dubh

One down, one to go

Once you’ve got your fill of the stunning views on offer now is the time to remember the hard work isn’t over just yet.

Head back down from the summit and back along the ridge-walk and arrive back at the bealach. The second Munro is now directly in front of you – Stob Coire Raineach. Although not as high this is another steep ascent but again will reward you with the views you came for. If the weather doesn’t allow the view just be encouraged by all of the hard work you’ve just put in over the past few hours.

A final descent

Once you’ve descended back down to the bealach, you can retrace your steps back down the rocky steps and well-constructed path back to the start of the walk.

As always if visibility is poor ensure you return via the path you ascended by – there are several variant paths that can lead you into trouble.


  • Mike Richardson

    Mike is a Mancunian who is usually found hiking the Mountains in the Lake District. He has a passion for the outdoors and loves a pint after a day in the Mountains.

Mike Richardson

Mike is a Mancunian who is usually found hiking the Mountains in the Lake District. He has a passion for the outdoors and loves a pint after a day in the Mountains.

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