If looking for a tough and sustained MTB ride in true west highland wilderness country, this approx 41km (7.5hour – maybe 5 if you are mega fit) loop that starts and finishes in Kinlochleven offers technical riding and fantastic wild scenery in spades.  You need to cross the Abhainn Rath river at Luibeilt so best avoid this ride after prolonged rain.  In parts you are a long way from any help so pack accordingly – and don’t forget the jelly babies! Recommend the coffee in Ice Factor at finish!

After big climb from Kinlochleven, look west down Loch Leven

Looking west down Loch Leven from the SW flank of Na Gruagaichean (Mamores)

Mountains of Glencoe on horizon – Loch Chiarain in view!

After some brutal climbing from Loch Treig the single track is mostly rideable with awesome views towards Glencoe.

Dubh Lochan on the Ciaran Path that winds right to the trees

Ok the top section of the Ciaran Path is flowy and fun with great views too. From this point you may want to drop the seat post! Enjoy!

Luibeilt – no chance of a coffee then!

The past 12km have included a steep climb but all on rough Land Rover track. At Luibeilt the terrain changes to natural single track - and you first need to cross the Abhainn Rath - don't cross if it's in spate!

Time to cross the Abhainn Rath (foreground) and head east

Carefully pick your spot to cross the Abhainn Rath (I opted for 30m downstream and was glad of my 5Ten shoes and SealSkinz socks - ok they still got wet! Then it's 6km east down the glen in the picture until you reach Creaguaineach Lodge. Track is mixed - bit of hike a bike next section but beautiful scenery

Wise words!

No matter how experienced you are on the bike - make sure you've come prepared with all the essentials for a wilderness ride. The next 14km serve up tough climbing (and hike a bike!) before some great single track to the bothy at Loch Chairain.

NW corner of Blackwater Reservoir with view across dam

It's been tough going to this point but finally you are ready for an awesome and technical descent to Kinlochleven via the Ciaran Path. It's boulder strewn in places and it's a track that promises to keep you really focused throughout the 6km descent.

Quick brew in trees at Creaguaineach Lodge

Bridge in background is now crossed to join rough land Rover track for 1km around southern shores of Loch Treig. Next section is a serious slog!

Mountain biking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk

©TrailScotland - 2020


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