The Devil’s Staircase, Glen Coe


Total distance – 3.6 kilometres

Ascent – 250 metres

Walking conditions – Good footpath primarily with gravel and boulders underfoot. A relentless ascent but never gets steep enough to cause any difficulties

Time required – Around 2 to 3.5 hours

Nearest town – Ballachulish

Dangerous and exhausting are two things you might expect from a place in Glen Coe called The Devil’s Staircase. Surprisingly, The Devil’s Staircase is actually a safe and easy winding walk that offers some truly magnificent views over the West Highlands. It was named not by outdoor enthusiasts but by General Wade’s road building soldiers who were lugging materials up and down it all day. Evidently, they did not share our enthusiasm for this stretch of land.

The whole exercise is a straight-forward undertaking. It should take you well under one hour to reach the top of the Devil’s Staircase. Park at Altnafeadh on the A82, directly across from Buachaille Etive Mor. Take the West Highland Way footpath (travelling roughly NNW). You will find this path right next to the parking bay. Simply follow the footpath as it winds its way up the 250 metre ascent of The Devil’s Staircase. At the top of the Devil’s Staircase there is a bealach marked by two large cairns. This is an ideal picnic spot with a fantastic view of the Mamores. Take plenty of time to identify some of the best mountains in Scotland and at the same time cheer on the West Highland Way walkers, as to them, the Devil’s staircase was indeed aptly named by General Wade’s soldiers. Return by the same route.

Devil's Staircase


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