Walk 26 – The Oscaig River

Leave your car where you can at the Ullapool end of Loch Oscaig and make your way down to the delta where the river joins the loch. To the northwest are the low hills of the Rubha Coigach, and the south, the crags and wooded glens that lead up to the main group of Coigach hills, while to the east rise the great western cliffs of Stac Pollaidh.

Now turn away from the loch and walk along the northern shore of the Abhainn Oscaig. The going at first is far from easy and very wet but it improves after a quarter of a mile or so. The river plunges over a succession of small falls with beautiful placid stretches between and low cliffs on the south shore.

Half way up the river the route becomes more spectacular still. To the south, a wooded glen opens up, well worth exploring if you are able and prepared to ford the Oscaig (easier lower down where there is an apology for stepping-stones). Continue up-river along the summit of a low though exciting ridge, below which the Oscaig runs in a short but extremely beautiful gorge.
Beyond the end of the ridge, the views of Loch Bad a Ghaill open up and the river broadens out, only to be restricted once more by sluices where it issues from the loch.

Follow the loch shore in a general northeast direction, exploring the promontories and narrow bays. At the head of the loch rise the twin peaks of Bienn an Eoin with a great broad ridge running down from the col between them. Here you are near the centre of a great ring of mountains, seen perhaps at their best as a group from this spot. At the most northerly point of the Loch you should rejoin the road, and walk back along it to the car, or if time and energy permit, cut up to the ‘wee mad road’ and half way up the crest at Druim Bad a Ghaill, head west-north- west along the hills parallel to the Oscaig until you see the end of Loch Oscaig and the car below you.


GOING: Wet in parts but generally easy