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Three of the best mountain camps in Scotland

As a Scottish Highland photographer, Jack is no stranger to hiking and camping overnight on a mountain. Over the years, he's experienced some of the best mountain camps in Scotland. However, the actual hiking part is never his favorite. With a lot of gear to carry, it's often a hard slog to get to the top, with aches and pains included!

But once he gets to the top and sees an incredible view surrounding him, it's always worth it, and even more so once his tent is set up and he's captured a sunset or sunrise.

Of all of his mountaintop camps, here are three of his most memorable ones on some of Scotland's finest Munros.

A man with a big rucksack hiking in the Scottish Highlands in winter

Three of the best mountain camps in Scotland: An Teallach, Beinn Alligin, Carn Mor Dearg

Camping On An Teallach

A photo from An Teallach, a mountain in Scotland, at sunrise with a cloud inversion.
An Teallach at sunrise

This camp has made the list for an obvious reason - the cloud inversion! Jack wanted to photograph the first morning light on An Teallach. He'd meant to camp here a few years before with a close friend, but never got around to it until he visited again in June 2018.

The only problem was that every forecast showed complete cloud cover across Scotland. They only had this one night available to do it, so they decided to go anyway. The hike up was frustrating and claustrophobic in the clouds, and Jack was looking for any excuse to turn back, but his friend pushed him forward, and they eventually reached the summit out of the clouds to see this incredible inversion.

They set up camp, hoping the cloud inversion would still be there at first light, and as you can see, yes it was!

Camping On Beinn Alligin

A photo taken at sunrise from the top of Beinn Alligin, a mountain in the Scottish Highlands

Beinn Alligin is special to Jack because it was his first ever Munro hike & camp on a stunning day in May 2015.

Beinn Alligin means the Mountain of Beauty or Jeweled Mountain, and it 100% lives up to that, providing a stunning panoramic viewpoint over to the Isle of Skye, Slioch, and Beinn Eighe. Jack was lucky to capture this clear sunset, and woke up early to get the sunrise the next morning too.

A photo taken at sunrise from the top of Beinn Alligin, a mountain in the Scottish Highlands

Camping on Càrn Mòr Dearg

Càrn Mòr Dearg is one of the highest mountains in Britain, but it's not a common one for hikers, because it's overshadowed by Ben Nevis, which rises behind it. However, for photographers, it provides the perfect viewpoint to capture the Ben's North Face. Jack, Toivo the dog, and filmmaker Angelica headed down to Fort William back in September 2022, intending to film and photograph Ben Nevis and CMD at sunrise.

As they hiked up CMD, the clouds greeted them, and at the summit, the conditions were less than desirable for setting up a tent. There were no sunsets or any view to be seen, but Jack set an alarm hoping the next morning would be clear.

A photo of an orange tent with a dog outside it, on top a mountain surrounded by fog.
Waking up in the clouds on Càrn Mòr Dearg

As you can see from this image, it was not. At that point, Jack had put a lot of time, effort, and money into planning the filmed hike, and with it looking like there would be no end picture to show, it was so frustrating. They decided to wait until 1pm to see if the cloud would clear, and around that time, it did. The relief was immense, and Jack was able to capture a panorama that is now part of our Glen Coe Collection! While this hike was maybe not the best when Jack did it (but definitely memorable!), it would be incredible to wake up to a sunrise here.

Càrn Mòr Dearg and Ben Nevis, two mountains in Scotland, taken in September

We've also got a short film taken from this trip, sharing just what goes into capturing a gallery picture, if you'd like to see the full story! It's well worth a watch.

If you'd like to see more mountain photography to help inspire your next hiking trip in the Highlands, we recommend taking a look at our Glen Coe collection here or our full landscape collection featuring places like Applecross & Torridon here.

What have been your most memorable mountain hikes? Let us know!

FAQs: Navigating Scottish Mountain Trails

Q: What is a Munro?

A: Munros are mountains in Scotland with a height of over 3,000 feet (914.4 meters). Bagging Munros, or climbing them, is a popular activity among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Q: Are the Scottish Highlands suitable for beginners?

A: While some hikes in the Scottish Highlands can be challenging, there are also plenty of trails suitable for beginners. It's important to research and choose routes that match your skill level and experience.

Q: What should I pack for a mountain camping trip in Scotland?

A: Essential items include sturdy hiking boots, waterproof clothing, navigation tools (map and compass), a first-aid kit, and sufficient food and water. Additionally, be prepared for changing weather conditions and ensure you have proper camping gear, including a reliable tent and sleeping bag.

Q: Are there any safety considerations when hiking in the Scottish Highlands?

A: Yes, it's essential to be aware of the weather forecast, carry adequate supplies, inform someone of your planned route, and adhere to Leave No Trace principles to minimize environmental impact. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the terrain and have the necessary skills for navigation and mountain safety.


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