Craighorn and Alva Glen Circuit

A fine high level walk to one of the lesser visited Ochils tops followed by a return through the delightful Alva Glen. Most of the walk is on grassy paths but there is a short steep section off path which includes an unbridged burn crossing.

  • Distance: 9 km / 5.6 miles
  • Ascent: 650 m / 2000 feet
  • Terrain: Grassy hill paths, landrover track, uneven path through Alva Glen, short off path section
  • Start / finish: Alva Glen car park, Grid ref NS 88458 97492

Route Map

Craighorn and Alva Glen route map

From the Alva Glen car park, follow the path upstream to cross a footbridge to a viewing area for the impressive Alva Dam waterfall. From this point there is quite a network of paths. You want to head up the hillside (on steps) in a roughly east direction to get above the burn and reach an old pipeline. If you spot any marker posts for the Diamond Jubilee Route follow these. Once you reach the pipeline, go under it and then up a few steps beside a Scottish Water pump station to reach a metal pedestrian gate. Once through the gate you are on a path across the open hillside leading to a landrover track at the foot of the Silver Glen.

Go left onto the landrover track and follow the zig zags up the hill. It’s a bit tedious but is an easy way of gaining height. At the top of the zig zags there is a junction of tracks. Our route turns left to head round The Nebit to Craighorn.

Follow the track around the south and west of The Nebit.

Alternatively you may wish to include the 449m summit of The Nebit by ascending it via the obvious path up its southern slope. If you choose this option, descend WSW off path to rejoin the landrover track close to where it crosses the Glenwinnel Burn

Cross the burn on the track and then start to ascend the grass slope of Craighorn ahead of you. A grass path soon starts to form and takes you all the way to the 583m summit area, marked with a post and rocks. Beyond the summit the ground flattens out and the path continues northwards to reach a wooden gate in a fence. Climb over the gate to reach another path.

From this point, if you want an easy return to Alva, you could turn right (eastish) on the grass path and follow it across to the head of the Silver Glen from where you can return via the landrover track.

However, turn left (west) keeping the fence on your left to reach an openable gate across the path. After a further 300m downhill the path/track turns left above the Alva Burn. The track descend the grass hillside in a southerly direction. After about 700m an obvious track joins from the left.

At this junction the easy option is to turn left and follow the track which crosses the headwaters of a tributary burn and then turns south above Alva Glen to reach the point where you left the track to ascend Craighorn.

However, if you don’t mind a wee steep descent and the possibility of wet feet, a finer route is to keep straight on (south) until the track bends sharply right turning back on itself. At this point another grassy track continues southwards downhill to reach a fence. There is a gate in the far left hand (east) corner of the fence.

Go through the gate and descend the steep grass slope (no path) to reach the confluence of the Alva Burn and its tributary. Cross the burn which will probably entail wet feet to reach a feint grass path on the opposite side. The path rapidly improves as it descends down the gentle slopes of the right hand side of the burn.

The burn tumbles over small watefalls and cascades as it makes its way down the hill towards the spectacular Alva Glen. After passing the Spout of Craighorn waterfall a style takes you into the glen proper. Once in the glen stick with the lower path close to the burn for the best walk through the wooded glen. The path zig zags downhill and crosses the burn a couple of times via bridges before bringing you back to your starting point.