Hill: An Sidhean
Date: Friday 10th April 2009
Company: Just me
Time: 4hrs 45mins
Dog friendly: Yes

The following Inchmore gate opening times may be useful for anyone wishing to venture into Glen Strathfarrar.

Inchmore Gate Opening Times:
April 9.00 – 18.00
May 9.00 – 19.00
June 9.00 – 20.00
July 9.00 – 20.00
August 09.00 – 20.00
September 09.00 – 19.00
October 09.00 – 18:00
Closed all day Tuesday and Wednesday until 13.30

I arrived 45mins early at the gate. The woman wasn’t happy! Thankfully a works van arrived behind me, and then a tractor, so she had no option but to let me through. If planning a big day, you will need to remember to allow half-an-hour each way for the drive between Inchmore and Monar Dam. There is room for perhaps 8 cars at Monar Dam.

Parking at Monar Dam:

Monar Dam:

First views of Loch Monar and a distant Maoile Lunndaidh:

After passing the dam, follow the tarmac road for 1km to Monar Lodge.

Deer near Monar Lodge:

Loch Monar and the surrounding hills are quite stunning. The further along the loch you go the better the views get.

Loch Monar and Achnashellach Munros:

Approaching Monar Lodge:

At Monar Lodge there is a “Footpath” sign to the right. You need to go through two gates and then follow the track alongside the loch. (Note: to open the first one you may need some Spinach with you)

Looking back towards Monar Dam:

Circa 0.5km after Monar Lodge you need to head inland between a knoll and Creag a’Chaobh.

Skirting the knoll near Creag a’Chaobh:

The path then follows the shore of Loch Monar for just over 2km. There are a few ups and downs as you follow the path with bridges over the ravines of Allt a’Choire Dhomain and Allt na Cois.

View towards Lurg Mhor, Bidean a’Choire Sheasgaich and the impressive Bidean an Eoin Deirg:

Meall Dubh na Caoidhe:

Lots of dead wood at the shore of Loch Monar:

Loch Monar:

After crossing the Allt na Cois there is apparently a good stalker’s path which you follow to around 500m. I was too busy admiring the views and somehow missed the turn-off. I continued on following the shore path and after 0.5km headed directly up the hillside. I found the missed stalker’s path at around 450m.

Looking across to Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr na Lapaich and An Riabhachan:

Maoile Lunndaidh is quite close to An Sidhean. It would make a good walk to combine Maoile Lunndaidh with An Sidhean that is providing you can do the walk and get out before the gate at Inchmore closes.

Maoile Lunndaidh from lower slopes of An Sidhean:

A distant An Geal Loch and Loch an Tachdaich beyond Loch Monar:

The ascent of An Sidhean from lower slopes to summit is up grassy slopes.

Ascending lower slopes of An Sidhean:

Maoile Lunndaidh:

Looking across to Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr na Lapaich and An Riabhachan:

An Sidhean:

Lurg Mhor, Bidean a’Choire Sheasgaich, Beinn Tarsuinn and Bidean an Eoin Deirg:

Distant lochans and Glen Elchaig hills (zoomed):

Lurg Mhor and Bidean a’Choire Sheasgaich (zoomed):

On reaching 650m the gradient gets easier, however, the summit is still nearly 2km away.

Distant summit cairn of An Sidhean:

I didn’t hang around for long at the summit. I didn’t have a watch with me and was conscious of the gate time restrictions.

Summit of An Sidhean:

I returned to the car pretty-much as per the outbound route. Couldn’t resist another photo of Bidean an Eoin Deirg:

On reaching Monar Dam, I estimated the time to be 15:00. On looking at the car clock it was only 13:30. While An Sidhean is certainly not the most-exciting of hills, Loch Monar and the views of surrounding hills more than make up for it.