Stuchd an Lochain

By Colin Hogarth

Glen Lyon is popularly described as 'the longest, loneliest and loveliest glen in Scotland' and one of the best vantage points from which to devour its lush beauty is the summit of Stuchd an Lochain.

This Munro sits well up the valley and viewed from the Giorra Dam below - the starting point for this walk - looks like a rather unexciting lump of grass and rock. However, its true splendour is hid well and it is only as you don boots and venture into this peaceful part of Perthshire that its majesty becomes apparent.

The drive in from Aberfeldy is a long one, along a winding single-track road, but it's wonderfully scenic with plenty to see during the journey.

The drive ends below the dam where there's space to park. Cross the bridge here - there's a locked gate which has to be climbed over - and follow the track as it loops up through small woodland plantations to reach the south end of the dam where the calm waters of Loch an Daimh lap peacefully on a stony beach.

The track skirts round the southern shore of the loch and a short way on look out for a small cairn on the left which marks the start of the Stuchd an Lochain path. This rises along the hillside for a way, crossing a handful of tiny burns, before curving left to climb more steeply through grass and heather, following a bubbling brook upstream. It's pretty wet and muddy underfoot and this remains the case until you reach an outcrop of brilliant white quartz much higher up.

Not long after this the path emerges on to a broad shoulder where it meets a line of rusty fence posts. Turn right here and follow the posts west on to the stony summit of Creag an Fheadain. This is the first point on the route where you can actually see the summit of Stuchd an Lochain and it's an impressive sight. The top is an almost perfect triangle, the steep grassy eastern face strewn with rocky crags. Nestling in the dark coire below is Lochan nan Cat and the name Stuchd an Lochain translates from Gaelic as peak of the little loch.

The top of Creag an Fheadain is a fine spot for views east down Glen Lyon and to the Lawers ridge, eight miles away as the crow flies.

The fence posts remain your guide as they lead south down into the col and then up on to Sron Chona Choirein. You may spot herds of red deer lurking in the coires on either side. The path curves right as you ascend and the gradient eases off significantly to offer a fairly level walk west towards Stuchd an Lochain. A final short pull brings you up on to the summit where there's a cairn waiting to greet you.

From this vantage point there are views west over Rannoch Moor and the mountains of Glencoe beyond can be spied in the distance on a clear day.
To finish the walk, retrace your steps back down to the dam.


Distance 6 miles/10km (there and back).
Map OS Landranger 1:50,000 sheet 51.
Start/parking Giorra Dam at the head of Loch an Daimh (grid ref 510464).
Grading A straightforward enough Munro for fairly experienced hillwalkers. Deer stalking takes place on this estate from August through to February and during this time walkers should stick to established paths and ridges. There is, however, no stalking on Sundays. Dogs will have to go on lead throughout due to sheep grazing.