The Best Munros For Beginners

The Best Munros For Beginners

Elliot Forbes

Welcome folks! This guide is for those of you whom are just starting out on your Munro bagging journey and are looking for some of the best munros to start with.

We’ll be covering some of the essential things you’ll need to know before you tackle munros, as well as a list of some of the best munros that beginner hikers should consider.

Munro bagging has become hugely popular over the last few years, with thousands of us heading out into the Scottish Highlands to explore the beauty that the mountains has to offer. This comes with its own set of challenges, but with the right preparation and planning, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

What Is A Munro?

A Munro is a mountain in Scotland that is over 3000ft (914.4m) in height. There are currently 282 Munros in Scotland and they are a popular challenge for hikers and climbers alike.

Why Should You Start With These Munros?

When you’re just starting out on your Munro bagging journey, it’s important to pick the right mountains to start with. You want to pick mountains that are relatively easy to climb, have good paths, and are not too exposed.

This will help build up both your confidence and your fitness levels, as well as give you a good idea of what to expect when you tackle some of the more challenging Munros.

As with any hobby, it’s important to start off easy and build up to the more challenging stuff.

What Makes A Munro Good For Beginners?

There are a number of different factors to consider when picking a Munro to start with:

  • Distance - Some Munros have longer approaches than others, this can mean you’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet before you even start the climb and can feel like a slog on the way back to the car.

  • Ascent - The amount of ascent on a Munro can vary greatly. Some Munros have a gentle gradient all the way to the top, while others have steep sections that can be quite challenging. Looking at the elevation profiles of the Munros you’re considering can give you a good idea of what to expect.

  • Exposure - Some Munros are more exposed than others, meaning that you’ll be more exposed to the elements and the terrain. This can be quite daunting for beginner hikers, so it’s worth considering how comfortable you are with exposure before you tackle a Munro. In the summer months, make sure you’re prepared for the sun and bring plenty of water and suncream. I’d strongly recommend avoiding trying to tackle any Munros in the winter months until you’ve built up some experience and skills in winter hiking.

  • Navigation - Some Munros are easier to navigate than others. Some have well-defined paths all the way to the top, while others require some route finding skills. If you’re just starting out, it’s worth picking a Munro that has a well-defined path to the top to help build up your confidence in navigation.

  • Weather - The weather in the Scottish Highlands can be extremely changeable, so it’s important to check the forecast before you head out. Make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities and have the right gear with you.

The Top Munros For Beginners

Now that we’ve covered some of the key things to consider when picking a Munro to start with, let’s take a look at some of the best Munros for beginners:

1. Ben Lomond - 974m

Hike Report - Ben Lomond Hike Report

Ben Lomond is potentially one of the most popular Munros in Scotland, and for good reason. It’s a relatively easy climb with a well-defined path all the way to the top. The views from the summit are absolutely stunning, with panoramic views of Loch Lomond and the surrounding area.

2. The Cairnwell Munros - Carn Aosda, Carn a’Gheoidh, and The Cairnwell

Hike Report - The Cairnwell Munros Hike Report

The Cairnwell Munros are fantastic for those looking for a slightly longer day out in the mountains. The route is mostly well marked in places and offers the opportunity to bag multiple Munros in a single day without being too strenuous.

3. Ben Chonzie - 931m

Hike Report - Ben Chonzie Hike Report

Ben Chonzie is a great Munro for beginners, with a well-defined path all the way to the top. The views from the summit are fantastic, with panoramic views of the surrounding area. It’s a relatively easy climb, but can be quite boggy in places so make sure you’re prepared for wet feet!

Gear Checklist

Always remember to take the right gear with you, being caught out at the top of a Munro in jeans and a t-shirt when the weather turns can be a truly dangerous situation to be in.

I’ve put together an interactive Munro gear checklist that you can use to make sure you’ve got everything you need for your hike. You can find it here.

Extending Your Munro Bagging Journey

Once you’ve had a chance to tackle some of these Munros, you might be looking to extend your Munro bagging journey. There are plenty of resources out there to help you plan your next adventure, including the Walk Highlands website, which has detailed route descriptions, maps, and advice on hiking in Scotland.

Respect The Mountains

Finally, it’s important to remember to respect the mountains and the environment when you’re out hiking. Leave no trace, take all your rubbish with you, and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Scottish Highlands Munro Bagging