Carn Fiaclach and the White, Red and Yellow Dog Falls paths

Sub 2000s: Càrn Fiaclach

Date walked: 20/01/2022

Time taken: 2.6 hours

Distance: 8km

Ascent: 400m

Haven't had much chance to do anything in the way of Highland hill walking recently, but I had a day off on a day where the forecast wasn't looking too bad for lower hills so I headed to Affric for the afternoon. My vague intention was to do a couple of separate walks up small hills, but I ended up just doing Carn Fiaclach from the Dog Falls car park, extending the walk by going round the marked trails instead. A short walk with extreme contrasts of terrain - the nice easy stroll around clearly waymarked tracks and paths a world away from the steep, rough pathless haul up Carn Fiaclach!
Affric on a January Thursday afternoon has the benefits of the single road down it being lovely and quiet, and the car parks being almost empty - and free (pay and display machines covered and out of use for the winter). One end of the car park was cordoned off with equipment and vans there; work obviously being done somewhere nearby. When I set off, I was expecting just to go up and down the hill, so I didn't take a proper look at the info signs showing the trails (probably should have!)

Left the car park by heading over the bridge; this the view down the river.

The first part of the forestry track was obviously the route the vehicles were taking to get to their work site.

Heading up the track I reached where the diggers and workmen were, laying drainage I think. It was around the place I was intending to leave the track and head up into the woods, but as they'd stopped all movements to let me pass safely, I did pass them and continued on a bit (this looking back). This initial part of the walk was the white marked short trail from the car park to a viewpoint (and therefore named Viewpoint Trail as I found out when back at the car park)

By that point I was so near to the viewpoint that I decided just to continue on the white trail to the viewpoint at its end (as marked by the post here)

Other than the work vehicles, there had been only been 1 other vehicle parked in the car park, and I assume it was the families from that minivan which were at the viewpoint. Didn't want to get in their way as they were trying to get nice instagrammable shots with Affric as the backdrop to their toddlers -and a grungy hiker would spoil the picture - so I retraced my steps a short distance down the track

From what I knew of Carn Fiaclach (which wasn't much), there was no path up and it was a steep, tough slog through the trees... so just before reaching the diggers again, I left the track and headed up here. I wasn't using GPS and didn't get my map out, so have no idea if I took a good line or not. It didn't feel like it! It was very, very steep, and involved a lot of hauling myself up by grabbing branches or heather. I suppose it was quite fun with hindsight?! Thank god it's not a high hill and the assault course does come to an end after a while.

There were some bits of blue sky around when I got to the summit - a surveying pole on a rock on the right, but the big rock on the left of this picture is the true summit apparently.

View down Glen Affric (Loch Beinn a'Mheadhoin)

Towards Loch Innis Gheamhraidh and Tomich

Carn Fiaclach summit

...though this looks like it should be the summit?!

Starting to head down from the summit. I decided to go a bit further along to the north as the slopes looked like they might be less punishing.

The descent was still steep and again in places involved holding on to whatever vegetation seemed most likely to be secure. I thought I'd come out on the forestry track on the car park side of the diggers but after a few metres I did realise that the track wasn't as churned up as I'd seen on my way up and I'd actually landed on another branch of the track on the red waymarked trail. It was easy enough to turn and head back along to the junction with the white trail to take the quick route back to the car, but I decided the red route would take me there anyway without retracing my steps, so continued (east-ish) along it.

My plans changed further when I came to the junction marked by this sign - I could have gone down the hill on the red Dog Falls track to get to the falls and then back to the car, but the yellow loop was marked to Coire Loch ... and I decided that while I was here, I might as well do that trail as well and abandon any plans to do another hill.

Coire Loch; one of the best places in the country to see dragonflies apparently (...just not at this time of year...). Carn Fiaclach also in sight.

The path continued uphill a bit - this looking back down on Coire Loch, and I think that's Carn nam Bad? (It had been one of my other possible targets today, but would have been a repeat whereas this was my first time on Carn Fiaclach and these trails). I continued on the yellow trail, but then came to a 3 way junction with red/yellow markers .... initially I took the branch which went uphill to see where it went and get a few more metres of ascent (turned out to be the path up to the signpost in my earlier photo), so then I came back down and just took the route over the bridge.

Looking up the river (in the direction of Dog Falls) from the footbridge. The path then crosses the road and continues through the woods parallel to the road.

A signed spur then goes back across the road to the Dog Falls viewpoint; this view looking back down the river towards the bridge where the last photo was taken.

Dog Falls. From the viewpoint, I just returned back up to the path and followed it along to the car park.

NOW I looked at the information sign ...! Nice to see the trails I'd done retrospectively at least (white is Viewpoint Trail, red is Dog Falls trail, yellow is Coire Loch Trail, all clearly waymarked, so it was an easy afternoon other than the up and down of Carn Fiaclach!)

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I didn't have enough time left to do another walk of any distance or go up another hill, but on the road between Cannich and Drumnadrochit there's a sign to Corrimony Chambered Cairn which I always pass and intend to visit but just never have for some reason. So I visited that as a short detour on my drive back - I actually parked just off the main road where there's a sort of layby/ tarmac area, just so I could walk the half mile along the single track road to it (not included in the walk distance for this report), but there is a parking area by the cairn (no-one there today). Late in the afternoon, but just enough time for me to get back from the cairn to the car while I was still in daylight, rounding off a pleasant afternoon.
Corrimony Cairn. It's a bit like a smaller version of the Clava Cairns, but without all the Outlander fans thronging it.

Corrimony cairn - the passage to the inner chamber is not for the larger person.

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Hewitts: Hopegill Head, Whiteside
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Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Mellbreak
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Location: Inverness

Munros: 157
Corbetts: 64
Grahams: 54
Donalds: 10
Wainwrights: 68
Hewitts: 45
Sub 2000: 76
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Long Distance routes: Dava Way    Great Glen Way    Moray Coastal Trail    Loch Ness 360   

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Trips: 6
Distance: 49.9 km
Ascent: 2870m
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 4
Hewitts: 2
Wainwrights 2


Trips: 80
Distance: 1524.38 km
Ascent: 63341m
Munros: 35
Corbetts: 20
Grahams: 19
Donalds: 4
Sub2000s: 19
Hewitts: 17
Wainwrights 37


Trips: 58
Distance: 997.35 km
Ascent: 39174m
Munros: 15
Corbetts: 8
Grahams: 18
Donalds: 4
Sub2000s: 23


Trips: 65
Distance: 945.9 km
Ascent: 43732m
Munros: 23
Corbetts: 12
Grahams: 11
Sub2000s: 22
Hewitts: 2
Wainwrights 7


Trips: 66
Distance: 965.05 km
Ascent: 55230m
Munros: 72
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 7
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 3
Wainwrights 4


Trips: 17
Distance: 248.5 km
Ascent: 14715m
Munros: 16
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 1


Trips: 13
Distance: 168.25 km
Ascent: 9706m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 1

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Last visited: Jan 25, 2022
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