Walk 8 Loch Lurgainn To Loch Sionascaig
Drive towards Ullapool, and half way along Loch Lugainn, shortly after passing the cottage of Linneraineach, you will see a cairned path striking up through the Scots Pine trees to the left. Park the car where the road widens into a large passing place.
Follow the steep but well made path up and over the pass between Stac Pollaidh and Cul Beag with Lochan Fionnlaidh at the watershed. A desolate moorland stretches away to the left while to the right the crags of Cul Beag tower above the path that is easy to follow. Half a mile beyond the Lochan the path divides and you should take the left fork over the style. This leads to Loch an Doire Dhuidh, the loch of the Dark Wood, with its beaches of red brown sand, and beyond Lochan Gainmheich, you reach a precarious plank bridge over the placid river, which flows down to Loch Sionascaig from Gleann Laoigh, the Glen of the Calf. Across the river, Cul Mor rises steeply, its main peak hidden, and spectacular gullies and stone-shoots gives access to its summit plateau. You may either retrace your steps from there, having explored the southern end of Loch Sionascaig, or continue across the bridge and make your way south east past a cabin and through light woodland. Beyond the end of Lochan Gainmheicch, meadows between the buttresses of Cul Mor and the river flowing down the glen from Lochan Dearg are unexpectedly lush. In about a mile from the bridge ford the river – this might be quite an exciting undertaking after sustained wet weather – and pick up a path leading over a low ridge and down to Loch an Doire Dhuibh. Beyond the sandy head of the loch, the route passes along the edge and later rises through the Dark Wood, and round the northern shoulder of Cul Beag to join the outward route at the fork below Lochan Fhionnlaidh.
As the path descends towards Loch Lurgainn, the view ahead to Beinn an Eoin and the ridges of Ben More Coigach are superb.
DISTANCE: 5 ½ or 6 ½ miles
GOING: Rough going particularly on the longer route, and wet in parts.