Ben Vorlich is an epic Munro located in the northeast corner of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in Scotland. From Loch Earn, you’ll enjoy a memorable mountain climb to reach the peak of Ben Vorlich, where, you’ll experience spectacular views. After bagging this Munro, you can simply retrace your steps to finish the walk, or, continue to another Munro – Stuc a’ Chroin. The Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Walk is a popular option for bagging two Munros. That’s exactly what Beck and I did.
In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about bagging both Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin from Loch Earn.
Table of Contents
How to Climb Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin
Walking up Ben Vorlich is one of the simplest Munros to bag in Scotland. Taking place in the southern highlands of Scotland in an area known as Breadalbane, the terrain and trail encountered during the walk is fairly straightforward to navigate.
Certainly, the Ben Vorlich Walk is considered a good route for beginner walkers wanting to bag Munros. From the shores of Loch Earn, you’ll simply follow a well-defined trail to the summit. Although, combining the Ben Vorlich Walk with the extension to Stuc a’ Chroin is more challenging, and, perhaps, not one for beginners.
In the Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin: Walk Description, we’ll go into a bit more detail about how to climb both Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin.
Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin: Statistics
Below, you’ll find trail specs for the Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Walk.
- Type: Out & Back with Loops
- Distance: 14.5km (9 miles)
- Time: 6–7 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 1,160m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Loch Earn
If you only want to summit Ben Vorlich, then please click here for trail specs and a map.
Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Maps (GPS and OS)
Personally, Beck and I used a GPS-guided map (linked below) to help us navigate the route.
- GPS-Guided Map with GPX File to download: AllTrails
- Ordnance Survey Map to buy: The Trossachs, Callander, Aberfoyle & Lochearnhead, Balquhidder & Strathyre OS Map
Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin: Terrain and Profile
The walk to Ben Vorlich involves simple, yet steep hillwalking. For those wanting to then summit Stuc a’ Chroin, you’ll have to negotiate steep and rocky terrain with some slight scrambling. Whilst, the mountain passes used to return to the main Ben Vorlich trail involve crossing boggy and eroded ground.
In total, the Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Walk involves an accumulated elevation gain of approx. 1,160 metres. In reaching Ben Vorlich, you’ll gain around 885 metres. Then, to climb Stuc a’ Chroin, you’ll descend roughly 230 metres, before climbing roughly 230 metres again.
Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin: Walk Description
Below, we’ll briefly describe how to do the sensational Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Walk. Here, our intention isn’t to describe the walk step-by-step. You can simply use one of the maps (links above) to assist with real-time trail navigation. Rather, our aim here is to give you a snappy overview of the walk. Whilst doing so, we’ll reveal highlights of the walk, showing you some awesome photos of the scenery on offer.
Where to Start: Loch Earn
The Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Walk starts from the breathtaking shores of Loch Earn. From the loch, you’ll briefly follow South Loch Earn Road, before taking a path that heads south over the Ardvorlich burn.
Loch Earn to Ben Vorlich: The First Munro
As you climb the Ardvorlich burn, you’ll also walk away from Loch Earn. Make sure to turn around to enjoy views of the loch. Simply put, you’ll continue to follow a well-defined inclined path that steers you to the top of Ben Vorlich. Eventually, you’ll reach a trig point at 985 metres above sea level, which means you’ve reached the summit. There, you’ll find an epic small ridge, that leads to a cairn, which sits slightly lower than the trig point.
From the trig point, cairn and along the ridge, you’ll enjoy stunning views of Loch Earn and the surrounding mountains in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and the West Highlands. You’ll also get a brilliant view of Stuc a’ Chroin – a second Munro that you can bag!
Stuc a’ Chroin: The Second Munro
From the summit of Ben Vorlich, you’ll descend the mountain’s southwest face. It’s a steep and slippery trail, so watch your footing.
Eventually, the trail flattens out as you reach the base of Stuc a’ Chroin. It’s now time for some mild scrambling! The scrambling route isn’t too complex or overly technical and is fairly easy to follow. It’s certainly a fun and thrilling way to make your way to Stuc a’ Chroin.
After completing the scramble, you’ll reach a false peak at around 950 metres above sea level. You’ll then continue south, gradually ascending a relatively short distance to reach the peak of Stuc a’ Chroin (975 metres). From Stuc a’ Chroin, you’ll enjoy some of the best views of Ben Vorlich.
After throwing down some lunch and flying our drone, Beck and I made the return journey back to Loch Earn. From Stuc a’ Chroin, you’ll follow another steep trail, down the northwest face of the mountain. Eventually, the trail flattens, and you’ll veer left, to bypass Ben Vorlich, following a sometimes boggy and less-defined mountain pass trail.
Soon enough, you’ll re-join the well-defined Ben Vorlich path. At that point, you’ll simply retrace your steps to complete the Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Walk.
Well done, that’s another two Munro notches that you can add to your belt!
How to Get to Ben Vorlich
To do this walk, you’ll need to get to Loch Earn. The quickest and easiest way to get to Loch Earn is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, 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.
Where to Park: Loch Earn
There is free unofficial unpaved parking on the verges of South Loch Earn Road along the south side of the loch. Personally, we found parking here near the trailhead.
Some of these verges along South Loch Earn Road are lay-by passing areas, where parking is prohibited. But, most people ignore the signs and park there anyway. There are some sections on the roadside that aren’t passing areas. We recommend trying to park at these points where parking is allowed.
There are no public transport options to get to the trailhead. If public transport is your only option, you’ll need to get a bus to either St Fillans or Lochearnhead – these are villages east and west of Loch Earn, respectively. From either of these towns, a taxi would be ideal as the walk from either village to the trailhead is around 6.5–7.2km (4–4.5 miles). To that end, we don’t recommend using public transport to do this walk.
If you want to stay nearby Ben Vorlich, then we recommend staying at either St Fillans or Lochearnhead. Both of these villages are small, so accommodation options are limited. But, it’s more about quality over quantity, as there are still some absolutely gorgeous places to stay in either village.
At Achray House, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of Loch Earn, whilst the hotel has fabulous decor and offers a mean full Scottish breakfast.
In Lochearnhead, the best accommodation option is the Clachan Cottage Hotel.
What to Do Nearby
What next, after hiking Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin? Even if you don’t plan on staying in the area, you should definitely spend some time at the picturesque Loch Earn. You’ll also want to visit the gorgeous villages of St Fillans and Lochearnhead.
Otherwise, not far from Loch Earn, you’ll find the scenic Loch Lubnaig. Beck and I visited Loch Lubnaig after doing the walk and highly recommend it.
Read more: Loch Lubnaig – The Ultimate Visitor’s Guide
The Other Best Loch Lomond Walks
There are plenty of awesome walks to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Below, we’ll detail the best Loch Lomond walks, all of which, we completed ourselves.
- Ben Lomond: of course, climbing Ben Lomond is an obvious first choice when it comes to the best walks in the area.
- Ben Arthur (The Cobbler): located in the Arrochar Alps, the hike to the famous Cobbler is perhaps the second most popular walk in the area.
- Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime: located near Ben Arthur, you can summit these two Munros during one epic hike.
- Ben Vane: a less popular but equally impressive Munro walk that’s also located in the Arrochar Alps.
- Falls of Falloch: the best waterfall in the area.
- Ben Lui and Beinn a’Chleibh: a challenging hike near Crianlarich in the northern part of the national park.
- Loch Ard and Rob Roy’s Cave: an easy walk around Loch Ard that passes Rob Roy’s Cave.
- Conic Hill: a famous short and easy walk starting from Balmaha.
- Ben A’an: a well-known short but steep mountain walk.
- Ben Venue: a Munro walk, offering great views of the surrounding lochs.
- Loch Katrine and Primrose Hill: a great circular walk exploring the famous Loch Katrine.
- Little Fawn Waterfall Trail: located in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, the short trail reaches an awesome waterfall.
- Bracklinn Falls Circuit Walk: a well-known waterfall located near Callander.
- Ben Ledi: a spectacular Munro walk starting near Loch Lubnaig.
- Ben More and Stob Binnein: one of the best mountain walks in the area.
Read more: 26 Best Loch Lomond Walks Guide
The Other Ben Vorlich (Loch Sloy)
Just to clarify, there is another Ben Vorlich, which is, confusingly, also located in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The other Ben Vorlich is located in the northern part of the Arrochar Alps. Located near Loch Lomond, you can do a walk to the other Ben Vorlich, from Loch Sloy Dam in Ardlui. Click here for more information about this alternate Ben Vorlich Walk.
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about Ben Vorlich.
How High Is Ben Vorlich?
It’s 985 metres above sea level.
Is Ben Vorlich a Munro?
How Long Does it Take to Climb Ben Vorlich?
The return walk to Ben Vorlich takes around 4–5 hours. Whilst, the Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Walk takes around 6–7 hours.
What Is the Best Time to Climb Ben Vorlich?
The best months for climbing Ben Vorlich are during summer or either side of summer (May to October). Specifically, the locals will tell you that the best weather in Scotland is in May and June. Indeed, the middle of the year brings with it long hours of daylight as well as warmer and dryer weather. But, this is Scotland, so anything is possible really. Additionally, summer brings with it more crowds.
With all that being said, it’s important to check the Ben Vorlich weather conditions before doing the walk. Mountain weather can be unpredictable. For the weather forecast, you can check the MET forecast here or alternatively, the mountain forecast here.
How Hard Is It to Climb Ben Vorlich?
The climb to Ben Vorlich is by no means easy; but, it’s certainly one of the easier Munros to bag. As mentioned, the walk to Stuc a’ Chroin from Ben Vorlich is more challenging with a mild scramble involved.
Is Ben Vorlich Dog Friendly?
Yes, but, as always, make sure to keep your pooch on a lead, especially during lambing season.
How Many Ben Vorlichs Are There?
Yes, there are two Ben Vorlichs. Read The Other Ben Vorlich (Loch Sloy) for more information.
What to Wear and Take
Below, you’ll find our gear essentials for the Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin Walk.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these are my favourite walking boots. They’re super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for walking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
- Ben Lawers: looking for another relatively easy hill walk? Ben Lawers is the highest Munro in the southern highlands of Scotland and is considered one of the easiest Munros to bag. This Munro is located just north of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
- Start early on the weekend: if the weather is favourable, then we recommend starting this walk early, to avoid the crowds on the weekends.
- It’s okay to bag just one Munro: for beginner walkers and those looking for an easier walk, perhaps just walking to Ben Vorlich is a better option.
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