Total distance – 2.7 kilometres
Ascent – 150 metres
Walking conditions – Gravel Footpath. No difficulties.
Time required – Around 1.5 to 2.5 hours
Nearest town – Aviemore
Located on the northern slopes of the Cairngorms and at an altitude of 550 metres the Cairngorm Ski Centre is an ideal starting point for a stroll about the Cairngorms as it offers a network of paths and fantastic views. It also reminds me that I need to go snowboarding soon.
The Cairngorm Ski Centre is also next to the entrance to the Furnicular Railway which will take you to a height of 1097 metres and almost to the top of Cairngorm. At this ‘Top Station’ you will also find the Ptarmigan Restaurant as well as shops and a viewing terrace. Guided walks to the top of Cairngorm are also taken form here.
From the car park walk westwards, cross the footbridge and follow the path. A number of paths criss-cross which is ideal on a clear, sunny day when you can wander around to your hearts content whilst marvelling at the view. However, if visibility is poor or changeable navigation can be difficult so be careful as it’s not that hard to get lost. Our preferred route has been to walk in a 2.7 kilometre loop that initially travels west for a few hundred metres then veers north down the gentle slope. The path further curves around and takes you directly back to the car park.
Coming back from the ski centre, it is virtually impossible to drive past Loch Morlich without stopping. It’s one of Scotland’s great easily accessible beauty spots. If you park near to the Glenmore Visitor Centre you’ll find easy access to the visitor centre of course, and also to Loch Morlich’s sandy beach and a perfectly located café that features an expansive upper level terrace overlooking the loch.