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Hike Scaffel Pike via Styhead Tarn

Cumbria, United Kingdom



9.2 miles

Elevation Gain

2949 ft

Route Type



Added by Jenna Mulligan

This is known as the "Corridor Route" approach to England's highest peak, tagging on several alpine lakes and a more moderate incline for the majority of the hike.

This route begins in Seathwaite, which is mostly characterized by a car park and the Seathwaite farmyard, which you will cross through (on the road) to reach the start of the dirt trail. Walk the road south-bound through the valley for 0.8 miles, and cross the stone footbridge here - Stockley Bridge. The river you've just crossed is the River Derwent.

The path rises steadily here and arcs above a hidden waterfall and a bit of a ravine on the right side during the ascent. After just under a mile, the trail evens out and a third of a mile later, you've reached Styhead Tarn, an alpine lake with grassy shoreline. This is an excellent place for backpackers to set up tents.

On the southwest side of the lake is a trail intersection and a large supply box marked "Stretcher Box". Bear left here, now walking towards the southeast, and cross through a bit of tall grass and stepping stones before climbing the hill. The trail gets spotted here, but you'll soon soon see it to the right side of the hill you've climbed. You'll be approaching a rocky, dark-red patch of earth and the next mile will lead you over several small climbs.

Stay level in this traverse of the hillside, and enjoy dramatic views of the ravine around you! You are on the Northwest face of what's called the Great End. You'll reach a long series of rock steps - keep left after this section to keep ascending to the south.

For the last half mile of the trail, you'll connect with other approaches of Scaffel Pike and the trail will become much more busy. At the same time, the terrain is mostly loose scree, making this last section steep, challenging, and slow-moving. Cairns along this section should be followed closely.

At 3,210 feet, the summit is marked clearly with a stone shelter.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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