Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh: Bridge of Orchy Munros
Dorain is perhaps most famous for being a part of Duncan Ban Macintyre’s Gaelic poem, ‘In Praise of Ben Doran’.
If you’re feeling adventurous then you could combine these two with the neighbouring Beinn Mhanach, Beinn a’Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair but that will make for a very long day out in the hills!
- Munros Climbed
- Getting There
- Duration & Length
- Where To Stay
- The Hike
- Alternative Routes
- Nearby Munros
- To Conclude
- Beinn Dorain – 1076 metres (3530 ft) – pronounced BAYN-DORIN
- Beinn an Dothaidh – 1004 metres (3294 ft) – BAY-AN-DORICH
Here you can read more about Scotland’s mountains and classifications.
You’ll park up in the hamlet of Bridge of Orchy which is on the south side of Glencoe. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Glasgow. Coming from the south, follow the A82 past Loch Lomond and through the touristy Tyndrum. Bridge of Orchy is 6.5 miles beyond Tyndrum.
From the north, follow the A82 all the way through Glencoe’s spectacular scenery until you reach Bridge of Orchy. It’s 40 miles (64 km) beyond Fort William.
The car park is right next to the Bridge of Orchy hotel and can’t be missed!
If you’re doing both Munros (which most people do because they’re so easily linked) then you’re in for quite a long walk but it’s still relatively straightforward. There is a rough path all the way up the mountainside and connecting both summits.
There are a couple of rocky and steep sections, especially up Beinn an Dothaidh but it’s a relatively steady hike overall with a few tricky parts. These peaks will be a lot harder to navigate in with low visibility but if you stick to the path then there shouldn’t be any problems.
Obviously, this will be slightly less if you choose to do just one of the Munros but once you’re up it would feel a shame not to tackle both.
Where To Stay
There are plenty of tourists around these parts in the summer so you can well imagine there is no shortage of accommodation.
- Crianlarich Youth Hostel – 11 miles from hike starting point.
- Ben More Lodge (Crianlarich) – 11.5 miles from hike starting point.
- Inverardran House B&B (Crianlarich) – 11.7 miles from hike starting point.
- Bridge of Orchy hotel – 0 miles from hike starting point!
The most convenient option would be the Bridge of Orchy hotel which is at the foot of these mountains, but this is very expensive.
- By The Way Hostel and Campsite (Tyndrum) – 6.6 miles from starting point.
From the Bridge of Orchy car park, the route starts off quite self-explanatory. You cross the road and head up the road towards the train station. Head through the railway underpass and through the gate ahead. This is part of the West Highland Way route but you don’t follow it for long. Head onto the path going up the hill past the big mast on your right.
We decided to take a right and head up Beinn Dorain first. It was still quite foggy with poor visibility at this point but the sun was trying so hard to force its way through. We went up in the hope that it would clear by the time we reached the summit!
The initial path up Beinn Dorain is quite rocky and you need to watch your footing, sometimes using your hands to get over some of the larger slabs. This doesn’t last for long and you’ll soon end up on a grassy ridge.
There’s a large cairn further along the ridge and it’s very easy to think this is the summit, especially if it’s foggy! For us there was still very low visibility at this point and the GPS was a bit of a lifesaver. We passed a couple of guys on our way along the ridge but never saw them at the summit, I hink the poor guys mistook this cairn for the summit!
I always like to try and incorporate some kind of loop if possible so we decided to follow the path northeast. Initially the path is clear and easy to follow but eventually merges into the hillside as you climb up the Coire Reidh.
The views from the top are spectacular, we were lucky with the weather because little pockets of cloud were giving way for us. You look right across Rannoch Moor and can even catch a glimpse of Ben Nevis in the distance.
For even more of the epic views, head west over to another cairn which overlooks Loch Tulla and its mountains directly behind. We were greeted with a stunning rainbow in the distance. The moment was fleeting however as the clouds decided to quickly descend and ruin it!
The above is definitely the most common route for bagging these two Munros. You can do one at a time if you’re just getting into hiking but in all honesty, it would feel like a shame to go up and only tick off the one, the second is so close and it adds on very little to your total hike time.
For the very adventurous out there another option is to take on a 5-Munro circuit. Once you reach the summit of Beinn Dorain, head northeast and summit Beinn Mhanach. From here you return down to the bealach and then go northeast to Beinn a’ Chreachain where the ground is rocky and uneven.
Now it’s over to Beinn Achaladair with an initial steep climb which steadily evens out towards the summit. From here you head directly south until the path starts to head southwest towards the top of Beinn an Dothaidh.
The three closest Munros are the ones mentioned in the extended route above, Beinn Mhanach, Beinn a’Chreachain and Beinn Achaladair.
The beauty about this part of Scotland is the fact that the A82 passes by dozens of Munros so you’re never far away from another hike.
Easily accessible from Glasgow and the south, this hike is great for beginners or those just getting started climbing the Munros. The majority of the route follows a clear path and is steady walking. As always, the views are excellent on a clear day and if you’re keen on doing some more mountains on the same day then I recommend combining the ones I explained on alternative routes. It’s also aptly located for a post-hike pint in the Bridge of Orchy hotel!
As always, thanks a lot for reading and please leave anything you have to add in the comments box below! 🙂