Altnafeadh is basically a cottage and car park on the A82,  but it is well known in hiking circles in Scotland as the starting point for both the ascent of Buachaille Etive Mor and also the start of the Devil’s Staircase climb on the West Highland Way, heading towards Kinlochleven. There are a number of good photo locations a short walk from the car park, or from pull-off areas a short distance up or down the road.

Location and Parking

Postcode: PH49 4HZ

Altnafeadh is located on the A82 road, 2.4 miles past the Kingshouse Hotel if travelling from the south, or at the top of the climb out of Glencoe if coming from that direction. There is a small lay-by on the north side of the road, and a larger parking space to the south. The parking area is rather uneven though, so care is required unless you have a high clearance vehicle. With a standard clearance car, it is probably best to park in the lay-by if there is space.

Lagangarbh Cottage

Lagangarbh cottage is the small whitewashed building in view from the A82, with the Buachaille Etive Mor towering behind it. The cottage is owned by the Scottish Mountaneering club. There is a wide track leading from the car park towards a footbridge over the River Coupall, and the cottage and mountain can be photographed from this approach track. In the photograph below, the late evening sun picks out the contours of the mountain.

Buachaille Etive Mor from Altnafeadh

A better viewpoint incorporating the River Coupall is available from the footbridge over the river. By crouching under the bridge, some small rapids can be brought into the composition.

Lagangarbh Cottage And The River Coupall

Remaining on the road side of the river and walking a short way upstream brings a wider, slower moving area of the river into view. This can be used to give the impression of a wide area of water in front of the cottage.

Lagangarbh Cottage

A final suggestion for foreground interest is an old wooden footbridge bridge crossing a small burn. This is in view from the road, to the right of the main track. The path that once crossed the burn has fallen out of use, but the footbridge remains, and although it is starting to decay, it gives a nice texture to the foreground. In the image below, a graduated filter adds drama to the brooding mountain behind the cottage.

The Old Footbridge At Altnafeadh

 The Devil’s Staircase

Returning to the road, the Devil’s Staircase path (which is part of the West Highland Way) climbs towards Kinlochleven. Despite its formidable name, it is not particularly steep or difficult. A short way up the path, there is a footbridge, and a little beyond this is an area where the path has been paved with colourful stones. This makes a fine lead-in to the view beyond.

Buachaille Etive Mor From The Devil’s Staircase

To the right of the path in the image above, there are a few pools hidden from sight a short way up the slopes. These make an interesting foreground for the mountains beyond.

Buachaille Etive Mor From The Devil’s Staircase

River Coupall Waterfalls

About 1 mile along the A82 from Altnafeadh in the direction of Kingshouse, there is a small flat area on the right side of the road which is used as a helicopter pad by the Mountain Rescue. There may be space to park here without obstructing the gate, or alternatively there is a lay-by on the left side of the road. From the helicopter pad, a number of sketchy paths cross the moorland towards the River Coupall, where there are a series of attractive small waterfalls and rapids, backed by the Buachaille Etive Mor.

River Coupall Waterfalls

It is worth exploring up and down the river to find alternative viewpoints.

The River Coupall and Buachaille Etive Mor

Lochan Na Fola

A final location close to Altnafeadh is Lochan Na Fola and the view of Buachaille Etive Beag. About 0.5 miles from Altnafeadh, travelling in the direction of Glencoe, there is a large pull-off on the left side of the road. Park here and walk down the road or across the moorland for 0.2 miles to reach the lochan. There is a fine view across the lochan of Stob Coire Raineach, which is the northern summit of Buachaille Etive Beag.

Lochan Na Fola and Buachaille Etive Beag

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