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Thread: Arkaig, Loch

  1. #1

    Default Arkaig, Loch

    Loch Arkaig is a body of water in Lochaber, Scotland, to the west of the Great Glen. It is approximately 12 miles in length and lies 140 feet above sea level, the maximum depth is some 300 feet.

    The main tributaries are the Dessarry and the Pean which flow through the glens of the same names, falling into the loch at the extreme west end, by the settlement of Kinlocharkaig. The mountains of Lochaber lie to the north, and the Forest of Locheil to the south. The outflow is through the River Arkaig at the extreme east of the loch, which flows eastwards into Loch Lochy, passing Achnacarry.

    Two small islands lie at the eastern end of the loch, the larger of which, Eilean a Ghiubais, is the site of a ruined chapel and is the former burial ground of the Camerons of Locheil. The road from the Great Glen to Knoydart follows the north shore of the loch.

    In 1746, Jacobite funds were said to have been hidden here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Blairgowrie, east Perthshire

    Default More on Loch Arkaig

    Loch Arkaig is quite unusual among the larger west Highland lochs in being entirely natural with no hydro-electric dam. This means the road along the north side is an only slightly reconstructed pony track: single track, twisty and bumpy. Allow plenty of time particularly if driving with a trailer. There are many access points including an excellent launching/camping beach at 991917 where the road to Strathan bends away from the loch at the west end. Near the eastern end, on a section of road marked as liable to floods, is a fishermen’s parking area with boat launching ramp. There are some permanent caravans on the lochside (in numbered pitches, licensed by the estate) and in addition many campers on summer weekends.
    Sgurr Thuilm, 963m, is about 6km SW of the end of the loch but is more usually climbed from Glenfinnan. Sgurr Mhurlagain, 880m, is a good walk from Strathan and gives fine views of the Knoydart peaks.
    The western half of the southern shore is very wild with remnants of Caledonian pine forest. Elsewhere coniferous plantations have rather spoiled the atmosphere.
    Eilean Loch Airceig or Island Columbkill (160889) contains vitrified rocks and the remains of an old chapel dedicated to St Columba. Near Strathan at 982914 Tigh nan Saighdearan (The Soldiers' House) is the ruins of old barracks built by the Government at the time of the Jacobite Rebellion, 1745: a simple rubble-walled building measuring 9 x 4m built into the shoulder of a hill.
    There is a small salmon farm based at Achnasaul.

  3. #3

    Default Wedding Ring under Arkaig Bridge

    Whilst polling up the Arkaig I lost my wedding ring on 15th April 2010. On river right just under the bridge I searched on the ledge under the bridge for several hours but I feel it must have washed into the pool below or on to shingle rapids beond. I will offer a reward if found. Happy Boating JP

  4. #4


    Hi. I was looking at making a through trip of Lock Arkaig to Morar. The OS map shows a track to the north of L. Arkaig which runs part way into Glen Pean, then a footpath to a bothy. Then nothing else is shown. I wondered if anybody has ventured through here and if so are there paths and would a trolley cope with the terrain? Is wading up the stream feasible? Is the bothy still usable? All help gratefully received. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008



    You've plumped on one of the toughest portages in Britain, normally (but rarely!) done the other way around. There is a track until a bit short of the bothy, then a very muddy path, after that it is trackless, and some of the toughest terrain in Scotland, with no chance of using a trolley. You might be able to line the canoe for some parts of the river, but overall this is a very challenging trip.

    To give you an idea, have a look at this blog, day 3 in particular. And not that these guys are two of the very most experienced canoe trippers in Britain.

    Don't want to put you off, just know what you're getting in to. Its an amazing part of the country, and on my list once I convince myself I'm stupid enough to try it, having walked parts without a canoe, which was hard enough!

    Glen Pean bothy is most definitely usable, as is Oban at the Morar end.

    More blogs:
    Last edited by Mal Grey; 12th-February-2016 at 10:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bala area


    You will get to Glen Pean bothy with a trolley but I doubt much further. Bothy is good. After that I think, other than the small loch, it will be carry or drag.

    My account of going the other way:


    Paddling a Venture Prospector (in CoreLite X) using Downcreek Paddles

  7. #7


    Wow, thank you Gentlemen, what a font of knowledge. I am delighted to get your help. My rough idea now needs serious reconsideration. I will need to review my packing list for sure. And my boat and direction of travel. Thank you very much. I will keep you posted. Bfn

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