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Vehicle access to Strathfarrar

Mountaineering Scotland members wishing to explore the hills around Strathfarrar can gain vehicular access to the 17-mile private road which leads up the glen under arrangements negotiated by Mountaineering Scotland with the estates. Responsible non-motorised access to the glen on foot, bicycle or horse is available at all times.

Winter access arrangements apply from 1st November 2019 to 31st March 2020

There is no vehicle access on 25th, 26th December 2019 and 1st and 2nd January 2020.

For access between 20th December and 6th January please contact Mountaineering Scotland by 19th December.


The Land Reform Scotland (2003) Act and Scottish Outdoor Access Code do not confer a right of vehicle access to the private road through Glen Strathfarrar. Mountaineering Scotland has negotiated an arrangement with the Glen Strathfarrar estates for vehicle access over the winter period (1 November 2019 to 31 March 2020 inclusive) which applies only to Mountaineering Scotland members. 

The winter vehicle access arrangements include conditions which apply to hillwalkers and climbers, and it should be obvious to members from what follows that there are significant sensitivities around ongoing provision, due in the main to the behaviour of some individuals who have previously ignored conditions. The arrangement will therefore be subject to a review for continuity in 2020 following this winter season.

It is important to strictly observe all the conditions below, otherwise the arrangement is jeopardised for other members of Mountaineering Scotland.

There are key points to observe, to maintain the vehicular access in winter:

  • The membership benefit of vehicular access is only for access to the hills and crags, not low-level walks in the glen.
  • All members of your party must have current membership of Mountaineering Scotland.
  • Please provide the requested details to the Mountaineering Scotland office in good time.
  • It is essential to keep to the agreed details, or if needing to change them do so well in advance of arrival.
  • Remember the padlock code, and scramble it after use.
  • Take de-icer with you as the padlock can get frozen.
  • It is in everyone’s interest to take care and not drag the chain of padlocks on the ground as they can get damaged.
  • Please park only at the designated locations and do not park overnight in the glen.
  • Please do not enter the glen by vehicle before 8am.
  • PLEASE DO NOT contact the gatehouse during your visit, nor telephone glen residents for any reason, unless in an emergency of life and limb.  A padlock that is stuck is not regarded as an emergency.

Members are asked to recognise that estate staff undertake extensive stalking during the winter vehicle access period. Hill walks taking in the four Munros on the north side of the glen, and climbs on the crags accessible from the parking location at the Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel are unlikely to disrupt stalks, but members should be prepared to take advice from estate staff, in accordance with the requirements of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, and note that that may be asked to change their plans.


Before you go:

Mountaineering Scotland members should email us at info@mountaineering.scot or call us on 01738 493942.  

To avoid inconvenience or disappointment, contact our office between 10.00am and 3pm, Monday to Thursday. If you contact us on a Friday or on the day of your intended visit, we may not be able to inform estate staff in time for your visit and vehicle access will not be allowed.

When you contact us, please provide the following details:

  • Your name, Mountaineering Scotland membership number and telephone number
  • Specific date of your intended visit and hillwalking or climbing objective for the day – note that a date “week commencing … “ is not acceptable to the estate
  • Vehicle registration number, or state 'hire car' if taking a rented vehicle
  • Names and number of other occupants of your vehicle, their Mountaineering Scotland membership numbers and telephone numbers

We will pass this information to estate staff. 

If you have to change the date of your visit, you must advise us of the change before you go, in order that we can inform estate staff. Similarly, if you change your vehicle or the members of your party change, please let us know.

Your visit to the glen:

The blue padlock has a 4-digit code (see photo). To operate the padlock:

  • Turn the dials to the correct combination, then 
  • Press the black button located on the bottom of the padlock to release. 
  • Please ensure you close and scramble the padlock code digits on both your entry in to the glen and on exit. 
  • Please do not let the locks drag along the ground as it damages them. 
  • There is a second gate part way up the glen. If it is locked, the same combination can be used again on an identical blue padlock.
  • Please do not pass the padlock code to any third party, as doing so without us being able to confirm vehicle details to the estate will jeopardise continuity of winter vehicle access.

The gatekeeper is not available to provide advice or assistance during the winter access period and you SHOULD NOT contact the gatehouse under any circumstances.

The private road is tarmac but is not gritted or cleared of snow and there may be areas of rough surface or potholes which could damage your vehicle if you do not exercise appropriate care. A related condition of the provision of winter vehicle access is that the estate will not accept any liability for damage to people or property caused in any way whatsoever by road or other conditions. 

Be aware that estate staff and residents are not able to provide assistance to drivers and there is no mobile phone signal in the glen at the time of writing (October 2019). 

As with any other visitor to the glen you are asked to take litter home.

Members are reminded that continuity of this arrangement relies on them not breaking the conditions stated on this website. Access by members' vehicles is monitored closely by us and the estate, and failure to follow the conditions will put the continuation of this arrangement at risk. We have worked closely with the estate to maintain these arrangements and in the event that their staff make a formal complaint about a member we will deal with the matter through the Mountaineering Scotland Complaints Policy, which may result in sanctions being applied.

Parking:

Winter vehicle access is conditional upon members parking in the following designated locations to walk or climb the following routes or crags...

Park at Mhullie Greens / Allt Coire Mhuillidh (grid ref: NH 283386) for:

  • Strathfarrar Munros: Sgurr na Ruaidhe, Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr a' Choire Ghlais and Sgurr Fhuar-thuill

Park at start of the Allt Toll a'Mhuic (grid ref: NH 223392) for:
  • Strathfarrar Munros: Sgurr na Ruaidhe, Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr a' Choire Ghlais and Sgurr Fhuar-thuill
  • Sgurr na Muice: GR: NH228416 (covers SE, E and NE faces)
  • South top of Sgurr na Fearstaig: GR: NH225426 (covers E and NE faces)
  • Sgurr Fhuar-thuill NE face GR: NH236438
  • Creag Ghorm a' Bhealaich N and NE faces GR: NH245434

Park at the Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel (grid ref: NH 183381) for:

  • Sgurr na Lapaich: GR: NH 162342 E and NE faces above the Garbh-choire GR:NH161349 E face
  • Sgurr nan Clachan Geala (the south top of Sgurr na Lapaich) GR:NH162343
  • Creagan Toll an Lochain N Face: GR NH143 -150347


Park below the dam at Grid Ref NH 203394 for:

  • Maoile Lunndaidh and An Sithean

It is within your access rights to access the glen using non-motorised (disabled transport excepted) at all times of day or night, including wild camping (away from road and buildings). Please camp responsibly under the guidance in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.  

Your access rights do not, however, extend to your car, and, overnight parking is not permitted in Strathfarrar. If you wish to stay in the glen overnight you should either walk in, bike in, or arrange for someone to drop you off in the glen and then drive the vehicle out of the glen. Abuse of this arrangement could result in access to the glen for vehicles being revoked by the estate.

Deer management takes place on the Strathfarrar estates and may have implications for your walking or climbing plans.

During the summer season (end of March to end of October) vehicle access is available to everyone, though controlled by a gate-keeper and subject to a number of conditions. You do not need to advise Mountaineering Scotland if you wish to visit the glen during the summer access period.

  • The glen is closed to vehicles all day Tuesday, and closed Wednesday until 1.30pm

  • Daily opening times are:

    April               9am - 6pm
    May                9am - 7pm
    June                9am - 8pm
    July                  9am - 8pm
    August            9am - 8pm
    September     9am - 7pm
    October          9am - 6pm

  • Last vehicle access is one hour before closing time. 

  • A maximum of 25 vehicles are permitted in the glen on a given day. 

  • Vehicles can be parked at Mhullie Greens, just past Deanie power station at NH283386.