Ben Chonzie - Hiking Report

Ben Chonzie - Hiking Report

Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Total Distance: 14km

Total Elevation Gain: 748m

Ben Chonzie Height: 931m

OSMaps - https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/10006297/Ben-Chonzie

Ben Chonzie or the Mossy Mountain as its Gaelic name translates to, starts off in a fairly spacious car park that looks across to Balnacoul Castle which looked incredibly impressive in the morning light!

In terms of difficulty, it's not too technically challenging, and with it only being an hour and a half from Glasgow, it's a decent mountain to attempt for your first Munro.

The path is laid well laid out pretty much all the way to the top so the likelihood of getting lost is minimal, however, I will always recommend that whenever you are in the mountains, you should wear appropriate hiking shoes/boots and bring a warm layer and a waterproof!

Balnacoul Castle from the carpark

Stage 1 - The Carpark

From the car park, there is a very well-maintained path heading towards the two farmhouses. When you get to the farmhouses, you take an immediate right towards a gate which you go through to start the hike up to Ben Chonzie.  

The path on the way up is very well kept and provides a straightforward route all the way up the side of Ben Chonzie.

Dog Owners - There are grouse, sheep and mountain hares scattered along the path upwards. After going through a gate, you'll need to keep the dogs on a lead for most of the hike.
Past the gate starting the hike up.

The path winds up the mountain and there are a few loose stones to take care with, but nothing too technical at this point. Looking back down the path, you should start to get some impressive views of Balnacoul Castle as well as the surrounding mountain range and valley.

Balnacoul Castle looking back from the path

You should also get some visibility towards the summit of Ben Chonzie depending on the weather!

The summit of Ben Chonzie in the clouds

As you ascend higher, visibility down into the valley will improve. If you are bringing photography gear, I recommend a nice wide lens to try and capture the whole valley.

Balnacoul Castle with some dramatic light

The path to the summit

The path continues up the mountain until you reach a cairn. You should then split off to the left of the cairn and follow the somewhat boggy path up the mountain.

Visibility was poor at the top on the day we were climbing, but you will eventually reach the remains of a fence which you should follow North. Follow the fence all the way to the summit of the hill. It should turn at a 90-degree angle at some point but just keep on following it.

As you head towards the summit, you should hopefully be treated to some fairly spectacular views down towards Loch Turret and the surrounding valleys.

If you go slightly off-path at the top you might see a few mountain hares basking in the sun on the summit.  

Taking the path back down

On the right-hand side of the path, you'll be looking back over to Dundornie in the middle and Càrn Buidhe to the left of the photo.  

Conclusion

Ben Chonzie was a fantastic hill to climb and definitely a great candidate for your first Munro. It's located in an incredibly beautiful part of the world that you can get to from Glasgow in around an hour and 30 minutes.

Note - if you are unsure what to bring on your first munro, feel free to checkout my guide - A Beginner's Guide to Munro Bagging - From a Beginner