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Loch Ossain to Staoineag Bothy

By Dave Roberts   

on September 11, 2011    No ratings yet.

Posted as a walk in –

Loch Ossain to Staoineag Bothy

Route Essentials

Route Summary

See the end of the article for local information about parking, public transport facilities, pubs and cafes.


19.76 km


308 m


Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Start Location


Hard Walk


Weather Forecast:

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Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need. 

Loch Ossain to Staoineag Bothy Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

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Loch Ossain to Staoineag Bothy

This route originally appeared on the Walk Eryri Blog a few years ago.

The weather forecast had been eagerly anticipated the previous night and it shaped the next day ‘s walk as it was anticipating not just foul weather, I can cope with that, but lightning. That I don‘t really fancy.

So Carn Dearg and a couple of other nearby Munros would wait till next time, and i‘d instead get a lower level walk done. Seeing as the original plan was to visit the bothies, it was only natural then to make one of these the target of a low level walk.

Meanach bothy was a bit too far, as was Lairig, so Staoineag was the logical choice. It was also the favoured bothy to Meanach on the original plans, so it all fell into place.

Route Start Loch Ossian YH OS Map Required Public Transport Train only
Route End Loch Ossian YH Difficulties? Distance Facilities Cafe in station and YH.


The road to Staoineag, for it is a road, is a bit of an eyesore. It used to be the ‘Road to the isles‘ but it is now a bulldozed track for the estate owners to be able to drive to Loch Treig to go sailing. That said, it was a lot easier underfoot than yesterday‘s walk and I was soon at Loch Treig. This was a bit disappointing at first as the water level was extremely low. Then i realised that you could see the stumps of the old forest in the mud, along with rivers streaming over vast areas of bare rock and I warmed to it. I could have visited the old lodge at the end of the lake, but the bridge wasn‘t as sturdy as the first one i‘d crossed and i took no chances!

From there, the 2 km to the bothy along a muddy path seemed to take ages! And it was muddy, but in a comforting way. You just knew that you weren’t going to go much deeper than the knee and that gave you confidence. The path follows the river Abhainn Rath and if you were staying in the bothy, there were plenty of opportunities to pick up deadwood for the fire. You also get a feel for the scale of the place. The river was very large, something that you would not be walking by in the hills in Eryri. Even the towering peak in front of me, Creag Ghuanach, was probably overlooked but would be on everyone‘s list if it were back home. Next time, i ‘ll climb it – i don‘t care if it‘s not a Munro or a Corbett, but I suspect it‘s a Marilyn. Whatever it was, it dominated this walk. Whether because it was a sheer 400m above me, or if the ‘real‘ mountains were obscured in cloud, who can tell.

I was glad to reach the bothy, the walk had been harder than i expected. It‘s a well looked after bothy, reasonably clean inside – but some had left some obvious items of junk there. I was in no position to carry them out, and they may have been left there by someone so I had to leave them. What had definately been left was a 2 hour log, a sort of instant fire! I was cold, and damp and morale was lifted with this little item. I‘ll just redress the bothy karma when i next visit Dulyn and i‘ll leave some there. Someone had also left some firelighters and some, essentially, matches. There was plenty of wood, and i’d found a couple of fallen branches too, which i left for someone else as they were too damp. So the next visitors would be able to light an emergency fire if needed. Someone had obviously been using the logbook as a firelighter, or something. I would have left a note, but i had no pen – so next time i visit a bothy i‘ll make a note of taking a pen and pencil and leaving them if they‘re absent from the bothy.

These 2 hour fire logs are quite impressive items. The heat thrown off was much higher than you‘d have expected. I dried off a treat. The only problem was that it was burning only too well! I had an hour at the bothy before i had to return. So I had to poke the log occasionally, upon which it‘d burn even hotter. Eventually, after i‘d finished my soup and the sun had come out, the fire was out.

Of course, the moment I left again the sun vanished and i had a bit more rain! This was all the way back to Loch Treig, and back up along the road to Corrour. And, it was uphill at the end of the day, straight into the strengthening wind. It was in this worsening weather that I passed some camping, looking quite uncomfortable. They enquired where i was staying and they were not far behind me getting into the warm hostel. Fortunately not before me as i needed to bagsy the clothes airer.

Still, it had been a satisfying yomp out. The whole trip had pleased. I‘d done a Munro, a Corbett and a Bothy; so something different every day. Better still is that there are so many hills around here that I‘ll have to come back in the spring as the hostel shuts till then, unless I can get a group together.

Info on Rentahostel https://www.syha.org.uk

Info on the Mountain Bothy Association. http://www.mountainbothies.org.uk/

The Station House has now closed but has reopened as the Corrour Station House YH – http://www.syha.org.uk/hostels/highlands/corrour_station_house.aspx



Local Information and Recommended Maps and Guidebooks

Route Summary:

Route Start Location:

19.76 km 308 m

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Check out the businesses nearby for more places to stay and drink.


Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking :

Public Transport:

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Weather Forecast:

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Recommended Maps


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Dave Roberts

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