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Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin: The Ultimate Walking Guide

Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin: The Ultimate Walking Guide

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.

A Loch Lomond cruise is a magical experience. Make sure to do a Loch Lomond Cruise during your visit to the national park.

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.

Dan looks at Ben Vorlich from Stuc a' Chroin
Views of Ben Vorlich from 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.

A screenshot of the Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin 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.

Elevation gain of the Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin Walk

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.

Dan walks away from Stuc a'Chroin
Walking away from Stuc a’ Chroin

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.

Read more: St Fillans on Loch Earn – The Complete Visitor’s Guide

Dan at Loch Earn
Loch Earn

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!

Dan looks at Stuc a' Chroin from Ben Vorlich
Views of Stuc a’ Chroin from Ben Vorlich

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.

Dan looks at Ben Vorlich from Stuc a' Chroin

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.

Public Transport

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.

Accommodation​​

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.

In St Fillans, the standout accommodation options are Achray House and The Four Seasons Hotel.

At Achray House, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of Loch Earn, whilst the hotel has fabulous decor and offers a mean full Scottish breakfast.

Beck at Achray House in St Fillans
Achray House, St Fillans

In Lochearnhead, the best accommodation option is the Clachan Cottage Hotel.

Clachan Cottage Hotel, Lochearnhead
Clachan Cottage Hotel, Lochearnhead

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

Loch Lubnaig
Loch Lubnaig

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.

Read more: 26 Best Loch Lomond Walks Guide

Dan walks towards Ben Lui
Ben Lui

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.

FAQs

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

Dan walks on the ridge at Ben Vorlich, near Stuc a' Chroin

How High Is Ben Vorlich?

It’s 985 metres above sea level.

Is Ben Vorlich a Munro?

Yes.

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.

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

  • 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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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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