Highway to Hell…
The Devils Staircase (Altnafeadh to Kinlochleven) is a famous walk and one of the highlights of the long distance West Highland Way.
The Devils Staircase was initially given its name by the soldiers who were part of the road building programme of General Wade. The carrying of building materials up that stretch of the road was not popular! The name was perpetuated when some of the workers building the Blackwater Dam chose to travel to the nearest pub after their wages had been paid out. For the workers at Kinlochleven the journey to the Kingshouse Hotel proved to be more difficult than many realised. The journey back was even worse as unsteady legs meant that many were unable to manage the return trip and, on a cold winter’s night, the devil often ”claimed his own“.
Mountain Bike route
The rather ominously named Devils Staircase is a classic, some would say legendary, off road mountain bike route which follows the route of the West Highland Way from Glencoe to Kinlochleven.
The quick way to do the route, so that you can squeeze it in after work on a sunny summer’s evening, is to park at the foot of the climb at Alltnafeadh and make some arrangements to have a car waiting in either Kinlochleven or Glencoe village.
However, improvements to the tracks in the glen of Glencoe have made doing this as a proper off road loop a more pleasant experience. From Clachaig Inn ride up to the A82 and cross over onto the short section of the old road by the photogenic Loch Achtriochtan. Pick up the new track which runs parallel to the main road as far as the farm and then rejoin the old road along the floor of the glen.
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