Killarney Mountain Climbing
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Killarney, Beaufort, Killorglin, Glencar, Caragh Lake.

Killarney Mountain Climbing offers the compact peak-studded range of the MacGillicuddy`s Reeks, west of the Gap of Dunloe, containing Carrantouhill, the highest mountain in Ireland. ( 3,414ft ) If you can climb this mountain you have mastered Killarney Mountain Climbing.

The most popular ascent is from near Gortbue School at the mouth of the Hag’s Glen on the north side of the Reeks.

The route from Killarney to the school is via Beaufort and Carhoonahone Cross.

On crossing the Gaddagh River by a footbridge an old track way can be seen and traversed up to the glen to the twin lakes of Gouragh and Callee.

Just look at the giant peeks and ridges, and above the path (to the right) are the “Hag’s Teeth” and the fine northeast cliffs of Carrantuohill.

From the lakes a moor is crossed and then the “Devil’s Ladder” is ascended to the saddle, and an easy grass slope leads up to the summit cairn of Carrantuohill.

On a clear day the view is magnificent. It is possible to see far into the Counties of Limerick and Cork, with the distant Galtee Mountains massing on the horizon.

Northwards, the The Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay are seen and, beyond, the Shannon can be observed winding to the sea.

All around are the hills of Kerry in a wonderful panorama of crag and heathered hillside

Could be a “Q” for a song – O why did I leave my home, da de da de da do, those lovely hills of Keeeeery around my sweet Tralee.

Or near enough to that, I never could sing, If you know all the words send me an email and I’ll place them on this site, infact that could be a great idea. I’ll have a page on Kerry Songs, yes!! I’ll call it Kerry Songs!!

Back to the Mountains of Killarney (it was a Killarney man who used to sing that song)

From Lough Acoose at the western end of the Reeks a splendid ridge walk can be had to include Caher, Carrantuohill, Beenkeragh and Skregmore, the circuit of the great corrie of Coomloughra.

The main ridge from the saddle (above the Hag’s Glen) to the east peak over the Gap Of Dunloe is a magnificent ridge walk. There are many opportunities for rock climbing, particularly on the south side of Coomloughra and the Northeast side of Carrantuohill.

The traverse of Tomies and Purple Mountain is an excellent day’s work. A start can be made from near Kate Kearney’s Cottage (at the entrance of the Gap Of Dunloe), and the Tomies Rock ascended (some short rock climbs). The climber should ascend off Purple Mountain to the Head of the Gap and return to the starting place via the Gap road.

Around The Lakes

Tor Mountain (1,764ft) is one of the finest viewpoints in the Killarney district. It is a difficult climb up through the woods above the Kenmare road.

Climbers should go by the path from Torc Waterfall on to the old Kenmare road and approach Torc Summit from the back of the mountain.

The magnificent “Surprise View” of the lakes from the summit is well worth the trouble of climbing.


Next to Carrantuohill, Mangerton (2,756ft) is a very popular climb in the district.

From Killarney the Kenmare road is taken to Muckross, where a signpost on the left directs the traveller to the track ascending the broad northern slope of the peak.

The ascent is easy and at 2,206ft a dark cliff-encircled tarn is reached_ the Famous Devil’s Punch Bowl. It is from here that Killarney receives its excellent water supply.

From the Punch Bowel a short tramp remains to the summit, a wide expanse of bog and heather with a humble cairn from which a glorious panorama of hills of Kerry is obtained.

Near at hand is that splendid example of a glacial corrie, The Horses` Glen or Gleann Na gCapall. Three lakes nestle on its rocky floor.

The uppermost, Lough Erhogh, has been aptly named “O`Donoghues`s Ink Bottle.” The middle lake is lough Managh, and Lough Garagarry is situated at the northern mouth of the glen.

Fine rock climbs can be had on the cliff range along the southern side of the glen and a fine traverse is around the glen lip to Stoompa Peak (2,281ft).

For those who wish to examine the glen in detail a descent can be made with care into the glen from the ”col” between it and the Punch Bowel corrie.

Lough Guiltane and Glenflesk.

The volcanic hill of Bennaunmore and its attendant glens of Nabroda (on the east) and Cappagh on the west is a fine day’s ramble.

Starting from the east shore of Lough Guitane the Nabroda glen should be visited and the ascent made to the top of the Benn.

With care a descent can be made into Cappagh glen and a return route by the river bank to Lough Guitane.

Crohane (2,162ft) is an easy ascent, which can be made from near Lough Guitane or from the main road in Glenflesk.

East of Glenflesk the graceful twin Paps (2,271ft and 2,289ft), with prehistoric burial cairns on the summits, are neglected, but most interesting, climbs.

The best approach is from near the head of the Clydagh valley on the south side of the hills. Many short rock climbs are to be had on the cliffs beneath Carrigawaddra at Loo Bridge, and also on the west side of Bennaunmore.

Once you have conquered the mountains and cliffs around the Killarney region then you should try your skills on the Iveragh Mountain Peninsula. There are several exciting climbs on this peninsula. First there is Ballinskelligs Point, then there is Beenakryraka Head, and Bolus Point, St-Finian’s-Bay, Glanearagh, The Black Cliff, Coomachuillin.

Last but not least, the great Dingle Mountains and the great climb of Brandon Peak, the rocks above Conor Pass, Lough Coumeenoughter, Ballydavid Head, Glanearagh, and the many more rocks, mountains and cliffs in and around the Kerry Coast.

Why not take a walk around Killarney with an expert guide and see the lakes, the forests, the hidden places that the normal tourist does not see.


Contact Richard, Killarney’s foremost guide.

Killarney Guided Walks

If you love Hiking and mountain climbing then you must try your skill at these.

Killarney Region

The Black Valley Cliff

Lough Coumeenoughter


Dingle Peninsula

Brandon Peak.

Conor Pass.

Lough Coumeenoughter.

Ballydavid Head


Iveragh Peninsula

Ballinskelligs Point

Beenakryraka Head

Bolus Point



The Black Cliff.


By the way have you any stories or information or help concerning climbing in Killarney you would like to offer? If so please email me at the link below and I will add it to the appropriate page.

Killarney Mountains

Bed and Breakfast Kerry

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