Steall Waterfall

Steall Falls is the location to see and experience on your visit to Fort William and the surrounding area. The waterfall is 120 metres high and is the second highest in Scotland.

The falls are an incredible location at any time of the year and in any weather. The views are especially great after heavy rain. As you would expect from an area so near to Fort William which gets 2 Metres of rain on average each year!

Probably the best short walk anywhere in Scotland! It’s a great wee hike to bring your kids along and share as a family.

It’s also possible to bring well behaved dogs along.

The guided walk  will be around 3hrs at a very leisurely pace.

Distance-wise we will cover around 3.5 km or 2.5 miles on this hike. We will have around 230 metres of ascent on our walk. If you are looking for something a little bit longer in the area you might want to consider my Steall Waterfall Eco Trip. The time for this route is around 7 hours and 13km and starts from the Lower Falls in Glen Nevis.

Getting there

The guided walk to Steall Falls begins at the very end point of the single track road in Glen Nevis. This location is a 15 minute drive from Fort William.

To reduce environmental, traffic, and parking impact in the Glen Nevis area. I have teamed up with Scott Eason of Elecar who offers the only electric taxi in the Highlands.

You will have Scott come and pick you up at your accommodation to start our walking experience together. He will also drop you off at the end of the day.

It is also possible to meet at the parking and bring your own car.The walk is very popular so in busy periods we may have to park further down the glen.Increasing the time and distance walking.

For this walk you will need

  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket and overtrousers
  • Hat and Gloves 
  • Warm layer
  • Snack and bottle of water

About the Guided Walk

Our guided walk  to Steall waterfall starts off at the car park in Glen Nevis at the end of the road in spectacular surroundings. 

High above the car park a beautiful waterfall locally called the Waterslide.It cascades its way down to the Water of Nevis from the slopes of Ben Nevis.

Indeed many people often mistake this for Steall Falls itself on their visit.

On the opposite side of Glen Nevis the mountain Sgur a Mhaim with its shattered white quartzite summit. It is one of four Munro summits on a classic route called the Ring of Steall. Its slopes are adorned with rocky outcrops and native woodland. 

As we leave the car park for our hike we pass a info board to take a look at.Placed there by the John Muir Trust who own and manage conservation on Ben Nevis and in the Glen Nevis area. The John Muir Trust with the volunteers of the Friends of Nevis do a fantastic job in caring for this popular area and our highest mountain.

The path is good walking as it winds its way through the woods with the birds singing in the trees. The noise of the river roars its accompaniment from the valley far below. 

After a short distance we cross a short step of beautiful pink granite where you might like a wee bit help depending on your confidence. 

The path on our hike is easy for a short distance before becoming rockier and narrower as we progress through the gorge. 

Steall Gorge

The steep drops on our right are to be avoided and care is required.It’s definitely not the place for a trip! The scenery here is captivating.Its easy to see why this is one of the most beautiful short walks to take anywhere in Scotland!

With views to the high mountains well above us and the Caledonian Pines and woodland clinging to the side of the gorge seemingly defying gravity. The river below us in the gorge tumbles down towards the sea in a series of falls and pools.

In the wettest days the river is a frothy mass of white foam and dark peaty waters. 

The path descends its way down some rock stairs to a small stream. We then cross a band of rock to easier ground and walking.

The noise of the water racing down the valley on its journey to Loch Linnhe and the sea fills the air. The noise is incredible here especially after lots of rain. 

Gigantic boulders strewn with moss tumbled from the hillsides above wedged seemingly for all time in the gorge add to the rocky grandeur of the scenery.

Steall Waterfall

The best part of the trip is yet to come though. As we leave the shadow of the gorge and woodland we open up into the brightness of Steall meadow.If you like Harry Potter you may recognise our location. Steall Waterfall was used as a backdrop in the first Harry Potter movie.

There with the mountains around us including Ben Nevis(the UK’s highest mountain) at 1345 metres we get our first proper clear look on our hike, of Steall waterfall in all its glory. It is the second highest waterfall in Scotland with its vertical drop of 120 metres.

The closer we get to the waterfall as we cross the meadow the easier it is to see how it came by its gaelic name of An Steall (The Spout) 

Its also hard to believe that in a good cold winter the waterfall freezes solid. Ice climbers ascend its frozen waters like climbing a giant icicle.

Crossing the wire bridge

If folk are feeling brave and would like. We may make a crossing of the wire bridge to get right under the falls. The wire bridge is a good place to get your photo taken with the dramatic backdrop of the waterfall behind you. However the wire bridge is an optional part of the route.

Optional Explore

We can do some further exploration of the now more open glen to another bridge and waterfall at Steall ruin.  It’s much quieter here with less tourists to share with.

We will then make our way back to the start and our car.

Coronavirus Precautions And Information

All trips will be subject to the government rules in place at the time of your holiday.

We will have to cancel or reschedule our trip if you are coming from a higher tier area than the location of your guided walk.This is necessary to protect ourselves and to protect the local and rural communities that we will be walking in.
All trips in 2021 that can’t go ahead because of restrictions will be offered the chance to reschedule or a full refund.

To protect ourselves and to maintain social distancing we will travel separately to the start of each walk. Where the walks are in popular destinations we may have to start early to ensure we have a parking space. 
On our walk it will be possible to practice social distancing between ourselves and other walkers.
Please ensure sure that each person in your group has access to their own hand sanitizer for the day. Although while we are walking there are minimal touch points, it may be necessary to open gates or use bridges using your hands. 
Face masks are not necessary while we are out walking together. However if you feel more comfortable wearing one it’s entirely up to you. 

If you would like help to protect and conserve Glen Nevis and Ben Nevis for future generations you can donate or join Friends of Nevis 

For further info contact us at upanddoonguidedwalks@gmail.com