Climbing Ireland’s Tallest Mountain

by Nia Scott

Mar 30, 2019

Ireland © Elek Galoczy | Dreamstime

Tips / Destination

The MacGillycuddy’s Reeks in Kerry are home to Ireland’s highest mountain range. The tallest mountain, at 3,406 feet tall, is called the Carrauntoohil. The other two mountains that share the range are Beenkeragh and Caher; they’re shorter than Carrauntoohil, but still taller than all other mountains in Ireland. A trip to this mountain would be a perfect add-on to a visit through the country’s second-biggest city, Cork. Compared to other mountains in the world, Carrauntoohil is not tall but it’s still just as exhilarating and breathtaking to climb as any mountain.

The biggest tip for climbing this mountain is to always check the weather. Ireland’s weather changes quickly and a reported sunny day can become a rainy day instead. Attempting to hike the trail up this mountain in the rain is not advised because the path will be slippery, and the steep uneven trails will be challenging even for experienced hikers. On a good day the trail is achievable for anyone with a basic level of fitness. This mountain won’t take days to climb and is a fairly easy trail to maneuver.

From Cronin’s Yard (the bottom) to the top of the mountain and back will take the average person 6–7 hours. Keep this in mind for choosing the time of day to climb. For anyone afraid of the sun going down, climb earlier.

There are three main trails to the top. Each takes about the same amount of time and energy. The O’Shea’s Gully trail is considered the easiest route and will take hikers directly to the summit. However, no matter which path, all of them will get you to the top.


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