Hiking Ben Nevis
If you’re a hiker in the UK, you’re sure to have heard of Ben Nevis Mountain.
After all, Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain found within the UK.
And the hike up to the summit is an amazing trail that surrounds you with great views all the way up.
When the weather is good, the summit offers you the most incredible views that stretch out over miles.
In fact, you could even see Scotland sprawling out from the summit.
Ben Nevis is an incredible hike.
However, being the tallest mountain in the UK, it certainly isn’t a cakewalk.
For example, the total ascension is over 1000m and this can be hard for some.
The climate changes the higher you climb and you might even see snow at the summit.
However, this does not mean that it is impossible to climb.
Instead, with some determination, it is completely possible for many to reach the summit.
The total distance up and down Ben Nevis is about ten over miles and this can take six to eight hours to complete.
This distance is the hardest part of climbing Ben Nevis as it requires a fair amount of endurance to complete.
There are clearly marked signs heading all the way up to the summit, therefore, hikers of all ages are capable of making this climb.
There are also no steep drops and this makes it much safer too.
However, children or beginner hikers should only climb Ben Nevis in the months from May to September.
This is because the weather then is the best.
Anytime outside that window is more suitable for more experienced climbers as more technical skills will be needed.
The best track for climbing Ben Nevis is the Mountain Track.
This is the most popular hiking route and it is rather easy all the way around.
The only challenge of this track is that it is pretty long and takes more than seven hours to complete.
The Mountain Track can be easily accessed from three different places in Glen Nevis.
They are the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre, Ben Nevis Inn and Glen Nevis Youth Hostel.
These three locations have different amenities available but they all lead you to a path up the mountain.
If you’re planning to stay for a few days, the Ben Nevis Inn and Glen Nevis Youth Hostel offer accommodation and parking.
The parking is limited for both; however, the Ben Nevis Inn’s parking is free.
If you’re unable to find parking at those places, the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre has more parking spots.
They also have a public toilet if you are in need of it.
Getting To Ben Nevis
There are a variety of ways to get to Ben Nevis – by car, by train or by bus.
If you’re game, you can even cycle here!
However, always be mindful of the carbon footprint you’re creating too.
Driving by car might be the easiest option.
However, you should consider the train or bus too as this would greatly reduce carbon emissions.
Alternatively, you can also share your plans on adventure or hiking sites and seek for fellow hikers that may need a hitch.
Often, these hikers would be willing to split gas fees and this could lower your overall cost too.
If you’re travelling by car, you’d want to head to the closest town, Fort Williams.
This is easily accessible via the A82.
From here, you’ll be able to easily get to Glen Nevis which allows you access to trailheads up to Ben Nevis.
As mentioned, there’s a town nearby – Fort Williams.
There’s a train station here and there are trains coming in from Glasgow and other nearby cities.
From this station, you’ll be able to take either the N41 or N42 bus to get to Ben Nevis.
Alternatively, you can even walk to Ben Nevis as it’s a mere two-mile walk.
You could also cycle from wherever you are to the train station that would take you to Fort Williams.
After all, you are able to bring your bike onto the train.
Just remember to make a reservation for your bike on the train as there are specific spaces left on trains for that.
However, this may not be allowed for all train stations, therefore, check first if your nearby train station allows for it.
From the Fort Williams train station, you can go west and cycle towards C1162/Glen Nevis and then turn right to get onto it.
When you reach the roundabout, you should take the second exit to get onto Belford Road A82.
Then, you’ll have to turn left onto Middle Street, where you’ll be able to see the visitor centre
Accommodations and Amenities Around Ben Nevis
There are tons of accommodations available in Fort Williams.
You can easily find one by using Airbnb to find a place to stay. Alternatively, there are also camping options around.
For example, there’s the Glen Nevis Campsite. One of my favourite campsites in the whole of the UK.
These are all good options for your stay in Fort Williams.
Fort Williams also has supermarkets, pubs and even an awesome Indian restaurant to feast at.
Therefore, you do not have to worry about packing food for your hike.
You could easily get food supplies at Fort Williams itself.
Packing For Your Hike
At the end of the day, Ben Nevis is in Scotland.
Therefore, you should always be prepared for sudden changes in weather.
As such, you’ll definitely need to pack extra layers for warmth.
You should also pack waterproof jackets and pants to keep yourself dry in case it rains.
Aside from that, you should also be bringing a medkit and safety equipment.
It’s best if you never get the chance to use it, but you’ll be thankful to have it in case something happens.
Aside from that, you’ll want to pack normal hiking equipment that you’d usually use.
This includes stuff like:
- Snacks for your hike
- Water (at least a few litres)
- Sun Protection
- Compass and map
Ben Nevis is one of the most iconic and incredible hikes that you can go on within the UK.
It’s definitely a hike that I suggest for anyone who’s interested in a challenge and some awesome views.
We hope that this article gives you a quick understanding of hiking Ben Nevis.
Hi, I am Amy I have two loves in my life camping and writing. When I am not writing for The Expert Camper, I am usually camping. Lake District is one of my favourite spots, but really anywhere in the UK under canvas I am happy.