Bealach na Ba (SW #69) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Bealach na Ba (SW #69)

United Kingdom

Top bike climb in Scotland

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Climb Summary

Cycling Bealach na Ba - road sign, loch and road

Serious climbing starts here - 1 km        


Bealach na Ba is one of the most scenic, challenging and exceptional climbing experiences in the UK.  This road is one the farthest outlier of all Britain’s 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, situated in the far northwestern Highland Council Area of Scotland.  Perhaps the greatest testament to Bealach na Ba is that is is the only climb in the United Kingdom  listed in Daniel Friebe’s exceptional climbing books, Mountain High and Mountain Higher (pages 28-31 of Mountain Higher).  This is a bucket-list climb, a chore to get to, but well worth the effort.


Bealach na Ba the #2 most difficult climb if the Britain’s top 100 GCC and the 6th longest, is a scenic jewel.  It is one of the more popular with 6,300 Strava members recording the route as of October, 2018 despite its geographic isolation. The climb is 9.2 kilometers and averages 6.8% grade.


Near the start of 2.6 km 10.5% segment.

Simon Warren awards this “the Holy Grail, the toughest and wildest climb in Britain.” and gives it the only 11/10 in the book (100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britain’s Hills).  The climb can be done both ways but he favors heading northwest on the road from Tornapress.

The climb begins at the mouth of River Kishorn where it flows into Loch Kishorn (a sea loch in the northwest Scottish Highlands).

Bicycle ride Bealach na Ba - Loch Kishorn 

River Kishorn just north of Loch Kshorn.

Steepest ½ km begins at km 7.2 (13.9%)

UK’s internet cycling magazine, Cyclist, December, 2016 compares Bealach na Ba on the western coast of the Scottish Highlands to the ascent of the Col du Galibier. “It’s not my lungs, on the verge of collapse, or my screaming quads that have prompted the comparison. It’s the view before me that’s sending memories flooding back.”   Article by Stu Bowers -

Cycling Uphill calculates that Bealach-Na-Ba with its steepest gradient of 20%, can accommodate an “everesting” challenge in 14.1 times to reach 8,848 meters.