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Ben More and Stob Binnein, Crianlarich: The Ultimate Guide

Ben More and Stob Binnein, Crianlarich: The Ultimate Guide

Ben More is a spectacular Munro overlooking the small village of Crianlarich in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Ben More and its neighbour Stob Binnein (another Munro), can both be summited during an awesome walk starting in Crianlarich. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Ben More and Stob Binnein Walk in Crianlarich.

A Loch Lomond cruise is a memorable thing to do in the national park. Make sure to do a Loch Lomond Cruise during your visit to the area.

How to Climb Ben More and Stob Binnein

There are two main routes for reaching Ben More and Stob Binnein. As mentioned, in this guide, we’re going to focus on the route starting from Crianlarich. By doing this route, you’ll first summit Ben More before climbing Stob Binnein. But, it’s also possible to reach Ben More and Stob Binnein from Inverlochlarig in the south. This route first summits Stob Coire and Lochain (a Munro top of Stob Binnein), then reaches Stob Binnein and then Ben More.

Admittedly, the route starting from Crianlarich tends to be the more well-known and popular route. This is the route that Beck and I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

FYI – Stob Coire and Lochain is not a Munro on its own.

Dan climbs Stob Binnein with Ben More in the background
Climbing Stob Binnein with Ben More in the background

About Ben More (Crianlarich)

At 1,174 metres above sea level, Ben More is the highest Munro in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. On top of that, Stob Binnein, at 1,165 metres above sea level, is the second-highest Munro in the national park. Certainly, Ben More, Stob Binnein and Ben Lui (the third-highest summit in the national park) are all mountains dominating the southern highlands of Scotland.

FYI – another Munro, with the same name, is on the Isle of Mull.

Beck and Dan enjoy views from Ben More
Views from Ben More

Where Is Ben More?

Ben More is located in the Crianlarich Hills in the Breadalbane region of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area.

A screenshot of a map showing the location of Ben More

Ben More and Stob Binnein Statistics

Below, you’ll find trail specs for the Ben More and Stob Binnein Walk in Crianlarich.

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 10.5km (6.5 miles)
  • Time: 6–8 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 1,315m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Crianlarich (A85 verge)

Ben More and Stob Binnein Route Maps

In terms of trail navigation, Beck and I used a GPS-guided map to help us navigate the route. Sure, the path from the trailhead to Ben More and onwards to Stob Beinnein is well-defined. But, the mountain pass descent taken around the southwest edge of Ben More is far less defined. Indeed, trail navigation during this part of the walk is much trickier. Although, thereafter, you’ll find a path along the river stream, which is well-defined and easy to follow.

A screenshot a map showing the Ben More and Stob Binnein walking route.

Ben More and Stob Binnein: Terrain and Profile

You’ll encounter a well-maintained yet steep path from the trailhead to Ben More. Indeed, the steepness feels unrelenting. From Ben More, you’ll encounter a rocky and steep descent, before reaching the bealach (Bealach Eadar da-Bheinn) – the pass between the two Munros. From Bealach Eadar da-Bheinn, you’ll follow a well-defined, steep and rocky trail to Stob Binnein.

After descending Stob Binnein and returning to Bealach Eadar da-Bheinn, you’ll take a less-defined mountain pass. Here, the terrain is boggy and steep in sections. Eventually, you’ll reach a wide and open path, which re-joins the initial trail to the trailhead.

Overall, the walk involves a staggering 1,315 metres of accumulated elevation gain. Safe to say, it’s a tough slog!

Elevation profile for the Ben More and Stob Binnein Walk, near Crianlarich.

Ben More and Stob Binnein: Walk Description

Below, we’ll briefly describe the Ben More and Stob Binnein Walk in Crianlarich. Here, our intention isn’t to describe the walk step-by-step. After all, you can simply use a map for trail navigation. Rather, our aim here is to provide a snappy overview with some awesome photos to show you the highlights of the walk.

Aerial views of Stob Binnein, near Ben Moe in Crianlarich
Aerial views of Stob Binnein

Where to Start: Crianlarich

The walk doesn’t start in the village of Crianlarich but just east of it. You’ll find the trailhead is conveniently marked on Google Maps as ‘Ben More Trail Head‘. When it comes to parking, you have two options. You’ll find roadside verge parking on A85, near the trailhead, here. This is certainly the most convenient place to park and closest to the trailhead. This isn’t an official parking area but there are no restrictions.

Your second option is parking here around 750 metres further east. There is a lane, parallel to A85, with plenty of parking spots. This is a sound backup option but obviously makes for a slightly longer walk.

From the trailhead at Benmore Farm, you’ll follow ascending zig-zagging farm lanes. Soon enough, you’ll reach a ‘Ben More’ sign, directing you up a steeper trail. From this point, you’ve got a tough uphill climb on your hands. Certainly, the walk up this Munro is fairly arduous and uncompromising.

Ben More: The First Munro

Eventually, after much hard work, you’ll reach the summit of Ben More. When Beck and I reached the summit, we encountered mist and limited visibility. Fortunately, though, after resting and eating some snacks, the wind swept away the mist, revealing sublime views all around us. From the summit, you’ll get a good look at the next Munro to climb – Stob Binnein. You’ll also enjoy stunning views of Ben Lui and even catch sight of Ben Lawers above Loch Tay.

Once you’ve enjoyed the sensational views, it’s time to descend the southern face of Ben More. The descent is fairly steep and rocky, so take care. Eventually, you’ll reach the flat bealach, which separates Ben More and Stob Binnein. After passing a large boulder, you’ll begin your second ascent of the day to summit Stob Binnein.

Dan atop Ben More before climbing Stob Binnein near Crianlarich

Stob Binnein: The Second Munro

Thankfully, the ascent of Stob Binnein isn’t as gruelling as the ascent of Ben More. Personally, we enjoyed improved visibility from this peak. So, we enjoyed much more sweeping views of the surrounding Scottish Highlands. Of course, you’ll also enjoy an awesome view of Ben More from Stob Binnein.

Dan atop Stob Binnein

After throwing down some more food to refuel, you’ll retrace your steps to return to Bealach Eadar da-Bheinn. You’ll then veer left, following a mountain pass that descends the southwest face of Ben More. As mentioned, you’ll likely encounter boggy and wet terrain. At times, the mountain pass is pathless. So, a map and some patience navigating are required.

It’s almost a relief when you see the wide and open track alongside the river stream. You’ll then enjoy a relatively easy undulating return walk to Benmore Farm to complete the walk.

Things to Know Before You Go

Before you set off to bag Ben More and Stob Binnein, there are some useful things to know. Below, we’ll cover some of the logistics to help plan your walk and trip to Crianlarich.

How to Get to Ben More, Crianlarich

The quickest and easiest way to get to the Crianlarich to do the walk is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, then we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars for reasonable prices. The website is user-friendly and booking online is super easy.

Public Transport

It’s possible to get public transport to Crianlarich. From Glasgow, the bus and train going to Oban passes through and stops at Crianlarich. We recommend using Google Maps and Trainline to help plan your journey using public transport.

From Crianlarich, it’s an approx. 3.4km (2.1 mile) walk to the trailhead. So, you might want to consider catching a taxi to the trailhead.

Accommodation​​

If you want to stay near Ben More, then we recommend staying in the charming village of Crianlarich. There are plenty of great accommodation options in Crianlarich. Below, we’ll look at the best budget, mid-range and luxurious accommodation options.

  • Budget – Crianlarich Youth Hostel: undoubtedly, the Crianlarich Youth Hostel is the most affordable option in Crianlarich. Although, there are also private rooms if you’d like privacy but also hostel vibes.
  • Mid-range Ewich House B&B: there are many highly-rated B&Bs in Crianlarich. Certainly, Ewich House B&B is one of the best-value B&Bs in the village.
  • Mid-range – Inverardran House B&B: one of the most popular bed and breakfasts is the well-renowned Inverardran House B&B.
  • Luxury – The Crianlarich Hotel: Best Western’s Crianlarich Hotel is the stand-out luxury option in the area. You’re guaranteed an unforgettable stay at the highly-rated three-star hotel.
Dan in Crianlarich

Other Epic Mountains Nearby in Scotland

There are plenty of other spectacular mountains in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Below, we’ll detail the other best mountains to climb in the area.

Read more: 26 Best Loch Lomond Walks Guide

Dan walks towards Ben Lui
Ben Lui

FAQs

Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about Ben More.

Dan descends a mountain
Descending Ben More

What Does Ben More Mean?

The meaning is derived from the Scottish Gaelic, Beinn Mhòr, which translates to ‘great mountain’.

Is Ben More a Munro?

Yes.

How Long Does It Take to Walk Ben More?

To do the walk described in this guide, it’ll take around 6–8 hours.

How Hard Is It to Climb Ben More?

We’ve rated the walk difficulty as moderate. That’s because the steep incline is physically demanding, while trail navigation during a short-ish section of the walk is challenging.

What Is the Best Time to Climb Ben More?

Typically, the best weather in Scotland is in May and June. So, most visitors head to Scotland in the middle of the year (April to October) to take advantage of the warmer weather and reduced chance of rainfall. But, after all, mountain weather can be unpredictable. For the latest Ben More weather forecast, check Mountain Forecast or the Met Office.

Is Ben More Dog Friendly?

Yes, but it’s best to keep doggo on a lead.

What to Wear and Take

Below, you’ll find our gear essentials for this walk.

For a longer hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a general list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • Avoid the bog: it’s possible to do an out and back walk to avoid the boggy and pathless mountain pass. Although, this means a lot more elevation gain as you’ll climb up and down Ben More twice!
  • Visit on a clear day: to take advantage of the tremendous views from either summit, time the walk during a time of good visibility.
  • Head to the Rod and Reel: after doing the walk, head to Crianlarich’s Rod and Reel. It’s surely the village’s best pub.

Please leave us a comment below.

Daniel Piggott

Physiotherapist turned travel blogger, Dan is a keen hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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