The Falls of Kirkaig

Falls of Kirkaig
Name of Falls: Falls of Kirkaig
Map Reference: OS Sheet 15; NC 113177
Our Visits: August 1991


The River Kirkaig drains the extensive water systems of Fionn Loch and Loch Veyatie and usually carries a large volume of water. The falls are 18m high and given the remote setting are considered one of the finest in Scotland. If you study the map you will see that the two lochs feeding the falls would be expected to drain to the north west through Loch Bad na Muirichin to Badnaban. The current course has been running since glacial times and has eroded a long narrow shallow gorge - a process that is continuing today. The falls sit at the head of the gorge 1km short of the outflow from Fionn Loch.

The Walk

This start of the walk is 4km south of Lochinver on the minor road that runs south to Achiltilbuie, on the district boundary between Ross and Cromarty and Sutherland. There is a small car park near the road bridge over the River Kirkaig and. The path sets off on the 4km walk on the north side of the river. This is also the start of the longer walk to climb Suilven, the path skirting behind Fionn Loch before climbing the steep slopes to the ridge. There is a nearby cafe and bookshop providing an opportunity for refreshments and to browse an extensive range of reading material.

After leaving the trees the path climbs away from the river and onto the moor to avoid the steep banks, after 3km the fork that takes you to the falls is clear. You can climb down into the gorge and, with care, descend to the level of the plunge pool by use of a secured rope; this is used by anglers fishing for salmon. We visited the falls after a period of prolonged rain and the lochs were at least a foot above their normal level - the volume of water passing over the waterfall was thunderous.

Anyone visiting the falls should return to the path and continue east the short distance to view Suilven over Fionn Loch - one of the classic views of the highlands. Anyone aiming to climb the mountain itself will leave the river some 500m before the loch to circle around its west end to reach the far side - a route we have not tried.


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