A shiver ran down my spine as I set off to check this route for the first time. It was a cold damp day when I started but this was not what had caused me to shiver. I felt a sense of being back in the not too distant past when this route was used to transport coffins, with their recently deceased occupants inside, from one side of the Applecross Peninsula to the other.
Starting from Applecross I passed Applecross house (photo 1) and headed through the Glen. I soon reached a long technical climb which just gets steeper and harder as you climb. As I approached the highest point there is a section that I needed to make sure I remembered on my way back - it was steep and very rocky and would be easy to approach on the descent too fast and find yourself unexpectedly in trouble. Later on the route splits and I took care to follow the best biking option.
Thankfully the weather improved throughout my journey providing amazing views over to the giant Torridon Mountains as I dropped the steep descent to the roadside (photo 2).
The return journey proved to be just as good as I had expected with the mix of sweet single track and rugged steep rocky and stony descent proving to be quite challenging.
It is possible to fit this loop in at the start or end of say, a three day trip, as it should only take about 5 hours. This would allow you to either travel up to Applecross from further south and start later in the morning or finish by early afternoon allowing you time to head for home or the pub - which is at the end of this route (photo 3).
Please note: Weather conditions can make a huge impact when mountain biking in remote terrain. Help is not easily available and you should be well prepared carrying; a map, compass (and know how to use them) as well as emergency equipment and enough tools for trail-side repairs. Poor visibility can make navigation and route finding difficult with wet conditions making the trails slippery and river crossings dangerous. If you have any doubts about doing this route you should get in touch with School of Mountain Biking and we will be able to provide the added safety and reassurance of a qualified Mountain Bike Guide.
You will need to be an experienced mountain biker with good levels of fitness and using a good quality full suspension mountain bike to do this route.