Hidden lochs and peaks in Galloway

Grahams: Craignaw
Donalds: Craignaw, Dungeon Hill

Date walked: 05/01/2022

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 17.9km

A carefully planned day of hill bagging turned into a day of casual exploring and stumbling (literally in some cases) on some hidden gems. I had originally planned to summit three hills in the Merrick range; Craignaw, Dungeon Hill and Mullwharcher.

The day was a glorious one, the perfect day for hillwalking. Cold, sunny and cloudless. I started out from Bruce’s stone car park around 9am, only 2 other cars there. Heading up the forestry commission signposted Gairland burn, the terrain is fairly steep and tussocky (a characteristic consistent with the entire walk). There is a faint path running parallel with the burn which makes the going easier and the walk through the Glen to the first Loch (Loch Valley) is beautiful.

Fording the river by an old sheepfold, the going becomes steeper and craggier, with only sheep paths and instinct to guide you. The ascent to Craignaw is hard going but the reward is a stunning panoramic view over the Galloway hills. I wouldn’t attempt this in low cloud as navigation was difficult in clear weather.

Craignaw summit

To reach Dungeon hill, a steep descent is needed over rough and sometimes boggy ground before climbing once again. This is a very good leg workout! Whilst not maybe having the drama of Craignaw, the view from Dungeon hill is still beautiful with a good perspective of Corserine and the Rhinns of Kells.

I stopped for lunch here and considered my options; whether to persevere to Mullwharcher or down onto the shores of Loch Enoch before circling back to the car.

With light fading I decided to go to Loch Enoch, feeling I would return another day for Mullwharcher. Loch Enoch didn’t disappoint, it was the highlight of the day. Crystal clear mountain water, stunning backdrop of Merrick, remote and even sandy beaches. I spent a long time ambling along these shores, using all the space of my memory card with the ever changing light and scenery.

Loch Enoch

Loch Enoch beach

Reluctantly I started the return home through tussocks, faint paths and bogs until I linked up with the path alongside Gairland Burn. It was tough going on the return but I was salved by the beautiful and vast scenery of hill and Loch.

Loch Neldricken and Merrick

Return route along the Gairland burn

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Comments: 4

Munro counter ticking again...

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Ìme, Beinn Narnain
Date walked: 11/09/2021
Distance: 13.03km
Ascent: 1325m
Views: 344

The Ridge of Glen Trool

Attachment(s) Grahams: Lamachan Hill
Donalds: Curleywee, Lamachan Hill
Date walked: 30/04/2021
Distance: 18.1km
Ascent: 1023m
Views: 621

Going further on the Grey Mares Tail

Attachment(s) Corbetts: White Coomb
Donalds: Lochcraig Head , White Coomb
Date walked: 05/04/2021
Distance: 11km
Ascent: 850m
Comments: 2
Views: 691

Blaven at last...

Attachment(s) Munros: Blà Bheinn
Date walked: 03/08/2020
Distance: 7.82km
Ascent: 990m
Views: 692

The Storr, a new perspective

Attachment(s) Grahams: Hartaval, The Storr
Date walked: 01/08/2020
Distance: 12.2km
Ascent: 950m
Views: 698

Blowing away lockdown cobwebs on Corserine and Carlins Cairn

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Corserine
Donalds: Carlin's Cairn, Corserine
Date walked: 12/07/2020
Distance: 16.6km
Ascent: 889m
Views: 762


User avatar
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Seamus' Bar, Sligachan
Mountain: Bruach na Frithe
Place: The Isle of Skye
Gear: Buff
Member: The National Trust, National Trust for Scotland
Ideal day out: A walk that encompasses a beach, a mountain, a loch and terrific views. Somewhere I can have a brew with a view
Ambition: All the Munroes

Munros: 9
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 9
Donalds: 13
Wainwrights: 11
Hewitts: 12
Sub 2000: 14
Islands: 20
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   

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Trips: 1
Distance: 17.9 km
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 1


Trips: 3
Distance: 42.13 km
Ascent: 3198m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 3


Trips: 3
Distance: 36.62 km
Ascent: 2829m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 2

Joined: Jan 29, 2014
Last visited: May 20, 2022
Total posts: 7 | Search posts