OS map 50
A superb route cutting a line through the remote Glen Kinglass linking Inverornan and Glen Etive. In order to make this a circular route, a substantial part of it is on road and a few miles of this is along the A85. Unfortunately, this can't really be avoided, but the rest of the route more than makes up for it.
Start as near as you can to where the track from Loch Etive meets the A85. There are a number of laybys if you're leaving a car.
Follow the main road towards Dalmally as it passes alongside Loch Awe and the Cruachan power station. Leave the main road two or three miles past Dalmally to potter up the more pleasant and peaceful Glen Orchy. From Bridge of Orchy, take the minor road leading round to the Inverornan Hotel. The rest of the route from Forest Lodge, just past the hotel, is all on track...
Heading west, there's a good track following the river upstream but after a mile or so it diverges off to the right. You need to stay with the path along the riverbank. It's fairly narrow and can get boggy in places. When you cross a newish bridge over a tributary, ignore a jeep track going left and follow the signed right of way to arrive at a bridge over the main river. Cross it and pick up the track heading for Loch Dochard, a beautiful and remote spot.
The track continues and even improves in places climbing gradually towards the watershed and a high point of about 290m from where you can now see down part of Glen Kinglass. As you head downhill there's an area of granite slabs that you cycle across before reaching a small footbridge. From here the path is singletrack and fairly technical in places right down to Glenkinglass Lodge, so take care as you go.
A good track takes you the remaining six or seven miles to Glen Etive. You might be forgiven for thinking that you've done all the hard work now... but you'd be wrong, and the sting in the tail is in the form of some fairly relentless climbs as the track follows the ups and downs along the side of Loch Etive. Hard work or not, though, this is certainly a route you won't forget!
john b, galashiels