Muckish Mountain - Grotto Ascent
Access: There are 2 main ways of climbing Muckish, the above image highlights the route from the Grotto (Located on R256 from Glenveagh to Falcarragh) (OSI Map 2, grid ref: B998 268)
Difficulty level: Good level of fitness required, appropriate footwear and hiking equipment should be worn.
Total distance: 4.9km
Estimated time to climb & return to car park: Allow for 3.5hrs, dependent on fitness levels and weather.
Total climb ascent: 430m
Notable features: There is no defined pathway so the route taken will be dependent on the individual themselves. The route shown above avoids steep inclines and is for reference purposes only. Muckish has a flat stoney summit and offers spectacular views on a clear day. There is a cairn and standing cross on the summit that are notable features. When descending, great care should be taken as it easy to find yourself on very steep/dangerous terrain if the wrong route is chosen. The summit of Muckish is partial to low cloud cover at times and visibility can become poor very quickly. It is recommended to be aware of weather forecasts and plan your climb in advance.
Miner's Path Route
Up until the mid 1950’s, sand was mined from the north side of Muckish and used in the process of glass making. Today the remnants of this mining process can still be found on the hill and the path once taken by the miners has become a popular route for climbing to the summit of Muckish.
Access: A small parking area is available on the north side of Muckish close to the beginning of the miners path (stop about 200m short of the path as the road becomes very poor). This road can be accessed via the Creeslough to Dunfanaghy road (N56). Take the left opposite the cemetary and follow the road until its end (the road becomes very narrow and expect a few small potholes…)
(OSI Map 2, grid ref: B998 292)
Difficulty level: Very steep ground in parts, Good level of fitness required, appropriate footwear and hiking equipment should be worn, not suitable for young children
Total distance: 3.4km
Estimated time to climb & return to car: Allow for 3hrs, dependent on fitness levels and weather.
Total climb ascent: 396m
Notable features: This route will take you up to the summit following in the footsteps of the miners that once worked there. Remnants of the mine can be found as you ascend, however the path can become narrow in parts and very steep at stages. It is marked with faintly painted arrows, however it is easy to miss a turn and end up in an isolated area so care should be taken. Once you summit, you should take note of the point where you did. This will allow you to safely navigate your way back down as the terrain can be very steep on the north side of the mountain.