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Devil's Staircase

Difficult

Trail

1.7 mile 2.7 kilometer point to point
55% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,908' 582 m
Descent: -46' -14 m
High: 2,816' 858 m
Low: 908' 277 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 22% (13°)
Max Grade: 78% (38°)

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Trail shared by Adam L

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A 2 mile climb to a pass with stunning views.

Adam L

Features Commonly Backpacked · River/Creek · Views

Description

The Devil's Staircase is part of the West Highland Way footpath. The easiest access is by
by A82 between Crianlarich and Fort William. The trail is marked with a green sign that reads, 'Public footpath to Kinlochleven by Devil's Staircase'. Follow the well-defined stone path up the side of the hill. Cross over the footbridge and continue upwards. After 500m, you'll pass two boulders to your right and the path bends to the left.

Eventually a stream crosses the trail, where there are three stone steps on the other side. Across the stream, the trail continues gradually to the left. The trail then meets a small but steep gully, and then bends to the right. The trail zig-zags upwards until it comes to a cairn built on the right-hand edge of the trail. Shortly after. you'll reach the top of the pass, where two cairns sit. Take in the beautiful views! The trip back down is a matter of retracing your steps to the parking lot.

At the top of the pass, the trail does continue down towards Kinlochleven. Another option would be an ascent of Stob Mhic Mhartuin via the trail to your left which rises another 150m. Return back along the same path.

The Devil's Staircase was first given its name by the soldiers who were part of General Wade's road building program. Moving building materials up this road was incredibly unpopular as you can well imagine after doing the trail yourself! The name was perpetuated when some of the workers building the Blackwater Dam chose to visit the nearest pub after receiving their pay. For the workers at Kinlochleven, the trip to the Kingshouse Hotel proved to be more difficult than one might think. The trek back was even worse as unsteady legs meant that many weren't able to manage the return journey and it was said that on cold winter nights, the devil often "claimed his own".

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#4

in Highlands

#2847

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#4

in Highlands

#2,847

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