Ben Lawers (SW #167) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

1.7
FIETS
4.4 mi
DISTANCE
1,140 ft
GAINED
4.9 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

Before our second extended trip to the UK to document epic and challenging climbs here, Simon Warren was kind enough to provide us his opinions as to the hardest and the most epic hill climbs in England, Wales, Scotland as well as the UK's top 10's in those 2 categories.  Simon ranks Ben Lawers the 8th Most Epic Hill Climb in Scotland - here is his full list:  (1) Bealach na Ba, (2) Maovally, (3) The Wall of Talla, (4) The Lecht, (5) Mull of Kintyre, (6) The String, (7)  Nick of the Balloch, (8) Ben Lawers, (9) Quiraing and (10) Lowther Hill.  Simon Warren's exceptional treatises on climbing by bike in Britain are found at  100climbs.co.uk/books 

Visit our Top 10 Most Epic UK and also our Top 10 Most Epic Scottish hill climbs pages for photos, summaries and statistics for their respective top epic hill climbs. 

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CLIMB SUMMARY

panoramic view of lush green hillside, small waterfall

Cycling Ben Lawers, Scotland

Ride 4.4 miles gaining 1,140’ at 5% average grade.

Simon Warren ranks this as one of the most epic bike climbs in Scotland.  We are thankful to Simon for directing us to this remote treasure - we agree, it is truly epic and a climb worth making time to travel to and ride. While in the area, do be sure to ride another Top 10 Most Epic and also a Top 10 Hardest - Kenmore Hill (ranked Scotland’s seventh hardest hill climb by Simon Warren) and Quiraing (ninth most epic).

photo collage highlights lush green landscape of the Ben Lawers climb; bike parked next to wooden National Nature Reserve sign for Ben Lawers

The Ben Lawers climb could easily be the crown jewel climb of any typical region, but Scotland has such stiff competition. So, Ben Lawers is “just” another epic climb in Scotland. A very narrow farming road takes you to the start coordinates which are at a very notable old stone bridge. There is one small cafe just before the start point of our climb, but other than that the area looks to be solely made up of small farms. Fairly easy gradients and an ever-winding road takes you up the mountain pass alongside a river. The road is freshly paved, very freshly paved - one of the smoothest roads I have ridden in all of Scotland. This area is popular for hikers who mainly seemed to congregate at the lake near the summit of our climb. In good weather, there are few climbs better than Ben Lawers.

informational sign next to red phone booth

Meggernie Estate and Castle access are just before the start of our climb - one can stay there while exploring the area.  

photo collage shows views of Bridge of Balgie, beautiful old stone bridge crossing rocky river below

Bridge of Balgie over the River Lyon is where this climb begins. 

We ride past the Glenlyon Post Office, Shop, and Tea Room just before reaching Bridge of Balgie and beginning our climb. At the tea room, you are likely to see hikers and cyclists returning from or preparing for their epic adventure in this gorgeous area.

photo collage shows aerial drone view of PJAMM Cyclist crossing Bridge of Balgie

This is such a magnificent old bridge, you’ll surely want to ride over it a few times and spend time standing and looking out from it’s span over the River Lyon.

photo collage shows sweeping views of green pastureland, road signs warning that this is a passing place

Some sweeping views before entering the gorge.

photo collage shows gorgeous green pastureland, bright pink foxglove flowers

These are the magnificent and predominant views throughout the climb.

Aerial drone view shows road cutting through center of gorge, surrounded by green hillsides

We run through a gorge nearly the entire climb with lush hillside bordering us left at right to the end.

aerial drone view of green hillsides

Dense green foliage covers the hillsides as we climb towards Lochan na Lairige just past the summit of our climb.

bike parked at climb's finish against wooden sign for Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve

The finish of this climb is at the sign for Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve. This National treasure is nearly 4,500 hectares and boasts all manner of flora and fauna, including rare arctic-alpine plants and over 600 different types of lichen. There is also a wealth of wildlife in the reserve, ranging from from red deer to many species of birds.

aerial drone view shows Ben Lawers Dam and Lochan na Lairige

Lochan na Lairige and Ben Lawers Dam is just about a half mile downhill from the summit of our climb.

roadway leading up to Ben Lawers Dam

Ben Lawers Dam.

aerial drone view of PJAMM Cyclist standing with bike on roadside in green grass next to small lake

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