Hiking Guide: Old Man of Storr, Scotland

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

This is one of the most famous hikes on the Isle of Skye and definitely the busiest, particularly during the summer months, but absolutely worth it. Try to tackle this one nice and early to have more of the path to yourself.


The Storr – the rocky mountainous landscape was created by a massive ancient landside leaving a number of monoliths rock structures jutting out from the hills. Scottish legend has it that Old Man of Storr was a giant who had lived in this area. When he died, he was buried with his fingers sticking out, creating the ridges we see today.





Overview

Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland

Type: Summit

Entrance fee: No

Altitude: 719 m

Trip duration: 1 hour to summit

Sweat O’Meter:


Before you go

Pack: Water, lunch is optional as there are plenty of restaurants a short drive away in nearby towns.

Wear: Layers of comfortable walking clothes; you will work up a bit of a sweat as the path increases in altitude but it can often be quite windy towards the summit.

Check the Weather: Weather changes quickly in Scotland therefore it’s always best to be prepared. Waterproof hiking boots are also a must – the trail is exceptionally muddy and wet and no one likes wet socks.



Getting to the starting point

The trail begins less than 15 minutes drive from Portree, just off the A855 main road which circles around the north of the Isle of Skye. There is a (usually full) car park right at the starting point.If you are travelling without a car, bus number 57 runs 4 times a day from Portree to the Storr car park. Also, Go Skye runs a shuttle service from May to September.



Getting onto the trail

The trail begins right at the car park – there is a few information boards and a main gate to take you onto the one and only path up to the summit.



The Hike

A well-maintained path takes you along the first 15 minutes of the hike, with great views of the Storr and rolling green hills around.After passing through a second gate the path becomes less maintained and muddier as you begin to climb the uneven rocky steps and ascend.The very last stage of the trail is quite steep and can become somewhat of a scramble up the steep rock steps and muddy trail.


You can venture off the worn path and explore the many knolls, ponds, and rocky structures around – because of the grassy and tree-less terrain, it is pretty impossible to get lost.


Be aware of rockfall and near steep drops around the pinnacles.The track can become muddy and slippery during and after heavy rain so try to find stable footing and try to take a path with more grass than mud for stability.







Reaching the destination

The summit is a flat rocky crop looking directly down on the path you just climbed and across to the Old Man of Storr.Take a while to sit here and enjoy the landscape, with views to the east of the Isles of Rona and Raasay with the Applecross peninsula behind.



Returning

Follow the same path back down to the carpark. Take extra care descending in the mud!




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