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Most of our visitor centres, car parks and mountain bike trails are now open. Check what’s open near you before you travel and enjoy your visit safely.

Loch Arkaig

Where we are

Loch Arkaig notice

COVID-19 has changed lots of things we do. And as we re-open the majority of our facilities and welcome more of you back in Phase 3, we need your help to do it safely. Please check what’s open before you travel; enjoy your visit safely by following NHS and Scottish Government guidance; take your litter home with you; and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At this location:

  • The car park is open and normal charges (if any) now apply.

Please bear with us and check back regularly for updates. You can also find more information by visiting our COVID-19 page and our FAQs.

There is likelihood of disruption to your visit due to renewable construction at this site. While access will be maintained, diversions around the Allt Mhuic reserve are likely to be in place. Please observe all safety signage.

Butterflies, waterfalls and a truly remote Highland loch

Loch Arkaig is a hidden gem, fringed with woodland and open hills and tucked away off the beaten track between Fort William and Inverness. You can enjoy a picnic beside the waterfall at Chia-aig, at the east end of the loch, then look for butterflies at the more remote Allt Mhuic reserve.

Walking trails


Waterfall Path

A short stroll to a picnic and viewing area by the Witches Cauldron, into which the impressive Chia-aig waterfall pours.

Firm, largely smooth gravel surface, with some slightly grassed over sections. Generally flat with short moderate ramps.

miles / 0.1 km

¼ hour


Allt Mhuic Butterfly Reserve

Climb up onto the open hillside to see the rare chequered skipper butterfly against the amazing backdrop of Loch Arkaig.

Rough grassy surface with some rocky and very wet sections. Long steep slopes for up to 500m. Includes a narrow gate and sections of boardwalk.

1 miles / 1.7 km

¾ hour

More information

This is a beautiful place even if there are no butterflies about. Listen for wood warblers singing among the birch trees, and look for grey wagtails and dippers along the burn.


Bring your bikes

The road alongside the shore at Loch Arkaig is narrow but quiet. On a pleasant day it may be more pleasant to park the car and continue on bike.

Facilities & access

Picnic area
Picnic area

The nearest public facilities, shops and cafés are in Spean Bridge.

Getting here

From the Commando Memorial on the A82 at Spean Bridge, follow signs towards Gairlochy. At a fork in the road just after a bridge over the Caledonian Canal, veer right following the sign for 'Loch Arkaig (B8005)'. It's a rough and narrow road after this point, but worth the journey.

You'll reach Chia-aig waterfall first, 5 miles along the road.  Allt Mhuic butterfly reserve is a further 4 miles along the road.

Using SatNav?

PH34 4EJ is the nearest postcode.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6650 (option 1)
More contact information

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