On the south eastern shores of Loch Lomond and running directly along the southern side of the Highland Boundary Fault, sits the iconic and popular little peak, Conic Hill. Conic Hill offers some fantastic views of Loch Lomond and its surrounding peaks for a hill of such small magnitude. The peaks to the north west in Luss & Arrochar and the solitary peak of Ben Lomond to the north are all clearly visible.
The peak runs parallel to the West Highland Way, which is roughly twenty miles into this long distance route, and a two minute detour for walkers of this route will land them on Conic's summit. There are undoubtedly hundreds of people who have dropped there heavy packs and wandered up to its top.
The most popular route of ascent starts at the rear of the large car park in Balmaha. The West Highland Way is followed in reverse, along good forestry track and then a good path all the way to the summit. There are some steep sections, although in the main nothing that will cause to much exertion. In all this a good little peak for all the familt to do and should take only a few hours for the round trip up and down.
Part of the southern section of the Highland Boundary Fault is clearly visible from the summit of Dumgoyne. Conic Hill is the small peak just right of centre in the foreground. (Photo by Boydie
Conic Hill is closely located to the city of Glasgow, so most travel directions are based on coming from this point in Scotland.
Prestwick International Airport
Trains available from Glasgow to Balloch can be found on this Scotrail info link.
Buses from Glasgow to Balloch can be found on this Scottish City Link info link.
Further buses to Balmaha can be found on this McColl's Local Bus Travel link.
Spring view of Loch Lomond & the Luss hills from Conic Hill. (Photo by Boydie
Winter view of Loch Lomond & the Luss hills from Conic Hill. (Photo by Boydie
There is no red tape in Scotland due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which incorporated the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This code, which commenced on the 9th of February 2005, has established statutory rights of access to land and inland water for outdoor recreation.
The Land Reform(Scotland) Act 2003
Scottish Outdoor Access Code
The following aspects should be taken into consideration when you are in the Scottish countryside;
- Seek local advice in regard to deer stalking or grouse shooting activities
- Ensure that all gates are closed behind you
- During the lambing season (March to May) ensure that all dogs are kept on a lead
- Please refrain from feeding or annoying any animals
- Limited parking space is available at the start of many routes, please ensure that you are not blocking a road and/or entrance
- Parking is provided at the start of some routes by the local farmers, it is polite to ask if you can use this facility
- Try to refrain from crossing fields with animals and/or crops if an alternative route is available
- Ensure that you treat the local environment with care by leaving it as you found it and by taking any litter home with you
- Any camp fires should be carefully watched and only used away from dense forest areas
Two hikers admire the inversion beneath Conic Hill. (Photo by Boydie
Below is a list of possible accommodation venues that are located in the direct vacinity of Conic Hill.
The Oak Tree Inn
Loch Lomond Waterfront
Wild camping is totally legal in Scotland and can be done in various locations close to Conic Hill. This is due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 that was mentioned earlier.
Here are some of the basic rules that should be adopted when wild camping;
- The larger the group, the harder it is to keep impacts to a minimum. Keep groups small.
- Camp as unobtrusively as possible.
- Remember that noise travels from tents disturbing wildlife as well as humans.
- Enjoy the freedom of wild camping without leaving a trace of your passage. Protect our country's outstanding scenery and wildlife as well as the wilderness experience.
- Camping on the same spot harms vegetation. Aim to move frequently and do not stay for any longer than 3 nights in the same place.
- Lighting fires poses a high fire risk on peaty soils and close to tinder dry grass. A high risk of fire can exist at any time of year, and not just in times of drought.
- Watercourses and loch sides are important sites for birds and animals. Take extra care when camping near burns and lochs, and try to avoid camping immediately beside them.
- Always find a spot at least 30 metres from fresh/running water when going to the toilet.
- Bury excrement in a small hole (not under boulders). A trowel or ice axe can be used to lift a flap of turf.
- Remove all litter (even other peoples!) Think ahead and only carry in what you are prepared to carry out.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland provides an invaluable leaflet providing a full breakdown of the dos and don'ts of wild camping in Scotland. Wild Camping, A guide to good practice.
The following websites will provide invaluable information on the expected conditions for Conic Hill.
The Western Highlands Forecast
Books & Maps
|Loch Lomond. (Photo by: Boydie)
|Arrochar Alps & Ben Lomond. (Photo by: Boydie)
|On the WHW route to Conic. (Photo by: Boydie)
The Southern Highlands by Donald Bennet
Scottish Hill and Mountain Names by Peter Drummond
Climbers guide to Arran, Arrochar and the Southern Highlands by K.V. Crocket & A. Walker
Cicerone Guide - Central and Southern Scottish Highlands – backpacking guide by Graham Uney
Landranger Map 56 - Loch Lomond & Inverary
OS Map Explorer sheet 347 - Loch Lomond South
Walk the Highlands
The Scottish Mountaineering Club
Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland
Visit Loch Lomond