The Quiraing on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Quiraing is a beautiful hike along part of the Trotternish Ridge on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The Isle of Skye is located on the northwest corner of Scotland, and it is accessible by car thanks to a bridge that connects the island to the mainland. This post gives you all the information you need to know to complete the hike 🙂

Length: 4 mile loop

Time to complete: 2-4 hours (we did it in 2.5 hours.. sign says 3-4 hours)

Parking: The Quiraing Car Park. Cost is £3/3 hours or £6/6 hours. Click here for parking location on google maps

Terrain: the bottom half the loop is a relatively flat and an easy to follow trail on the side of mountain, but it is narrow and rocky in parts with some steep drop offs.. the top half of the loop is a large open area, with grass, sheep, and beautiful views, but you sort of make your own route.

Step by Step Hike Information:

  1. The trail begins across the street from the parking lot. Look for the sign pictured below. It shows the trail in yellow. The second picture shows the loop of the trail in red.

2. Shortly after the trailhead sign, the trail will split into the loop. You can go either direction but I recommend going right, which is the lower half of the loop first. If you go left, it will be a steep uphill. (I went right so that’s how I will explain it in this blog). If you go right, it is easy to follow along the side of the steep slope, although a bit rocky in some places. You will gain slight height as you walk, but generally it will feel relatively flat. There are fabulous views both ahead of you, and looking back behind you, so be sure to stop and take in the views.

3. After about a mile you will see a portion of the old rocky landslips where “the needle” is located. You can go left up to these rock formations but must return back down to the main trail afterward. Stay on the main trail on the side of the slope. It will go around a corner and once around the corner there will be stile. Go over the stile and continue on the path.

4. The middle part of the trail is easy walking through a rocky valley. Here there are a lot of Scottish thistle plants scattered about in the summertime. You will cross through an old drystane wall and a small cairn. The path forks off in once spot, be sure to stay to the left. Toward the end of this valley you will see Sròn Vourlin ridgeline directly ahead of you. As you approach that ridgeline (which is well above you), the path will go slightly left and up steep to meet the ridgeline.

5. Once you are up on the ridgeline, you can take an optional there-and-back detour to the right, to walk out onto the Sròn Vourlin ridge. If you do not want to walk any extra mileage, keep to the Quiraing loop by going left upwards along the edge. The ascent is steady but long. It can have renlentless wind, but has stunning views on a clear day. The higher you go, the better the views get. The highest point of the cliff edge has views of the sea, mountains, and islands.

6. Once at the highest point on the cliff, it is here the path becomes less clear. It turns into a large grassy area. You descend down through this large, slightly wet, grassy slope. Keep slightly to the left, and you will eventually see a gate in a fence. Walk toward that gate however you wish, and go through the gate. You will see the same views you saw at the start of the hike at this point, only from much higher up.

7. After the gate, the rest of the trail has become quite eroded and the descent downward requires good footwork and paying attention to where you’re walking. The final descent is very steep and eroded but eventually connects back to the beginning of the loop where you started.

man pictured in bottom left of image is nearing bottom of final descent back to parking lot (seen in distance). final descent of trail is very eroded.

Hope this guide helps you successfully complete the 4 mile Quiraing loop hike. Please remember to stay away from cliff edges and be aware of the strong winds that are often present in this area.

Most of all, ENJOY your hike! 🙂

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