Carrauntoohil Mountain via Devils Ladder, MacGillycuddys Reeks, Killarney, Kerry, Ireland

  • Author:ActiveME
  • Created: February 17, 2014
  • Updated: September 4, 2018
Location: Kerry
  • DistanceInstructions
  • Distance7.49 km
  • Time0 s
  • Speed0.0 km/h
  • Min altitude147 m
  • Peak1000 m
  • Climb859 m
  • Descent6 m

The climb to the summit of Carrauntoohil, Irelands highest mountain at 1,039m is one of the most rewarding in Ireland. This Carrauntoohil trail is a strenuous 4 to 6 hour (12km) walking route via the Devils Ladder on the MacGillycuddys Reeks Mountains, Co. Kerry in the south west of Ireland. The route map below shows the ascent only as the decent is along the same route. This walk is part of the Killarney Walking Festival. Register for the guided trip here Bring the walk and route map with you on our Free App here on iPhone and Android. 

Carrauntoohil Mountain Devils Ladder Route_MacGillycuddys Reeks_Kerry_Ireland 2

Although the Devils Ladder has been eroded in the past few years, it is still the most popular, direct and shortest route to the summit of Carrauntoohil from the historic starting point of Cronins Yard (Lisleibane is an alternative). The route is not considered the most interesting but it is the most straightforward trail to the summit as the path is obvious on both the ascent and decent. Look out for loose stones on the ladder and keep safe distance from other groups in case of falling stones.

Click here to book a walking guide with Piaras from Kerry Climbing

If you need to Rent a Car to experience Carrauntoohil Mountain then I would suggest visiting If you find a better price elsewhere they will beat it.

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From Cronin’s Yard, follow the well worn and obvious path into the stunning Hags Glen, passing a number of new steel bridges over the Gaddagh River and some smaller streams. It is difficult to go wrong here as the path is very obvious. Use the large stepping stones to cross the river. At a point just before these stepping stones, you can turn right if you want to do the O’Sheas Gully or other Gully routes.


From the stepping stones continue along the path until you reach the base of the Devils Ladder. At the top of the ladder turn right and follow the well worn path and stone piles to the summit and take care when leaving the summit to retrace your steps and find the path, especially if visibility is poor. Be sure to use your map and compass and don't be afraid to ask others. Click here to see a panoramic photo from the summit

Carrauntoohil Mountain, Kerry

Irish and mountain weather is nothing but unpredictable and weather, visibility and temperature can change in minutes. We started a walk in wind, rain and cloud but on our decent and during our well-deserved cup of tea and toasted sandwich in Cronin's Yard (nice!) the skies were bright blue with temperatures matching the Canary Islands. We got sunburnt while sipping our tea! There are plenty of other routes to suit beginners to advanced walkers in the area, so please find a route that is right for you or your group. Some other popular routes include:

  1. Coomloughra Horseshoe Loop Walk to Carrauntoohil taking in Caher and Beenkeragh Mtns.
  2. Carrauntoohil via The Bone and down the Heavenly Gates
  3. Carrauntoohil via O'Shea's Gully and down the Zig Zags
  4. MacGillyCuddy's Reeks Entire Mountain Range Walk
  5. Caher and Carrauntoohil from the Hydro Road
  6. Carrauntoohil and Caher Mtn's from the Lack Road and Bridia Valley
  7. Many many more

Carrauntoohil Mountain and MacGillycuddys Reeks Peaks Main Walking Routes and Trails, Killarney, Kerry

Plan your walk by checking the weather, sunrise sunset times and our hiking checklist on our website Please remember that you are only as fast as the slowest member of your group! If the weather is poor don't be afraid to cancel your walk and do some other walk, maybe a low level walk.

Use our Map of Ireland and Sat Nav tool to get directions to the start point and our detailed maps and GPS on our ActiveME iPhone App and Android App to find and follow the walking route live on screen and keep on track (App currently not available 2018). At all times, our maps and App should only be used in conjunction with proper map and compass navigation techniques.