Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in the UK, and offers one of the best views of all the hill walks that are available across the country. This is due to the fact that the area offers a wide range of geographical features from ancient pinewoods to arctic tundra complete with 10,000 year old glaciers to high mountains.
Often called the roof of Scotland, The Cairngorms is host to a large selection of hill walking trails across the sub-arctic ecosystem atop a high plateau. Each of the hill walking trails offers great cliffs that are up against deep corries and glens that each offers a dramatic view.
One of the smaller hill walking trails perfect for those new to the trade is the Glen Cuinep Carn an Tuirc trail that is a length of 5.5kms with a height gain of 520m. The estimated time it takes to descend from the Glen Clunie down the Carn an Tuirc is about two and a quarter hours.
For those with experience, the Lairig Ghru Southwards trail is a suitable challenge with both parts taking nine hours and covering a complete distance of 32km each. The second part of the trail is more of a challenge however, as it has a height gain of 595m while the first part alone includes a height gain of 455m.
For those that are not quite up to the long distance challenge, the Sgor Gaoith from Glen Feshie trail goes down the side of the Glen Feshie in a straight forward fashion and takes only six hours to cover the 16kms. The trail can still be challenging since it covers a height gain of 880m.
Another scenic trail is the Meall a’ Bhuachaille, which gives hill walkers an excellent view of the Northern Cairngorms from a smaller hill when compared to the rest of the mountainside. With a total height gain of only 500m it is a more moderate challenge and only takes about four hours to cover 8kms.
For those who want to fit in a quick hill walk or for beginners the Braes Heritage Trail also known as the Scalan and Tom Trumper is an excellent choice due to the fact it allows hikers to take in the views of the Braes of Glenlivet, and only takes about two hours as it covers the short distance of 6.6km.
Of course, The Cairngorms also offer many challenging hill walks which include the nine hour trail Ben Macdui, which takes walkers up to the second highest summit in Scotland. Getting there is a challenge however, as it poses a significant height gain of 950m and a total distance of 24km.
Finally, the most challenging trek for hill walkers on The Cairngorms is Braeriach via the Chalamain Gap, which is a ten hour trek across 20km to the third highest mountain in Scotland. By the time you reach the top of the summit you will have mastered a height gain of 1250m.