Hike to the Old Man of Storr

The Storr Trailhead, Highland, United Kingdom

  • Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2099.7 Feet

Easy Parking
Scenic

The Old Man of Storr is a beautiful place to visit positioned in the Trotternish Ridge on Isle of Skye, Scotland. Located just a short ride north of the main town of Portree, this hike can be reached by public transport. This gorgeous trail leads to stunning rock formations at the summit and one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.

You can reach the Storr car park at the base of the mountain on public transport (Bus 57, running 4 times a day from Portree), or leave a personal vehicle in the parking area on the left side of the A855 heading north from Portree. Still, the most brave hikers may walk from Portree up the coast parallel to the roadway to reach the Storr.

The 5 mile out and back trail, with 640m (2100ft) of elevation change begins at the back of the parking area. The trail is well established and marked at lower elevations, but as you climb the trail branches out and at times it can be difficult to discern a hiking trail from a sheep-worn path. No matter though, as the giant pinnacle of rock known as the Old Man of Storr can be reached from a number of different routes. The vistas on this hike only get better with increasing elevation, and from the summit the enchanting views include the surrounding Isles such as Raasay and Rona, with stunning peaks on the mainland beyond. To the south are the famous Cuillin Mountains, and much of Skye including Portree. Although this hike could be completed in just a few hours, I stayed all day...and all night to really take it in. A lot of time can be spent exploring the neighboring rock formations at the summit, picking out a good spot to have a packed meal, and watching as the weather and the light changes on the landscape.

I camped off trail on a ridge behind the Old Man, and being that it was July on the Northern portion of Skye I was able to watch the sunset fade until 01:00 and later, a truly magical experience. If you do spend the night, be sure to wake up early to see the beautiful morning sun illuminate the rock face on your return hike.

As with most hiking in Scotland, be prepared for rainy and windy conditions, just in case.

Pack List

  • Sufficient Water
  • Camera and Tripod
  • Topography Map (OS 23)
  • Snacks and Lunch
  • Camping gear (Tent, sleeping bag if you're spending the night)
  • Pants and long sleeves recommended
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Bug spray (The highlands are notorious for midges!)
  • Bus ticket: www.travelinescotland.com/welcome.do
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This is THE hike to do on Skye. If you're on Skye and you don't do it, you've missed out. Yeah it can get crowded, but go early or late, or just go - it is so worth it.

6 months ago
6 months ago

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