Hidden Valley or Lost Valley (Coire Gabhail)
A world class walking trail, with a tragic historical tale
It’s one of our Top 10 Things We Love – the Hidden Valley of Coire Gabhail.
There’s no doubt about it, the Hidden Valley is one of the most popular sights to see in Glencoe, and it’s easy to see why. The Lost Valley makes for a beautiful walk for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Because it can be a steep and rocky path where some scrambling is needed, it’s a medium rather than easy track.
How to Get to the Hidden Valley or Lost Valley of Glencoe?
You’ll want to get there nice and early as parking is limited, and this is a popular stop for coach trips and tourists. To get there, take the A82 past Glencoe toward Fort William, and the Hidden Valley carpark will be on your right hand side. You won’t miss it, just keep your eyes peeled for three big peaks, or Glencoe’s Three Sisters, and you won’t go wrong.
About the Hidden or Lost Valley Walking Trail
It’s a moderate but rewarding walk, where you’ll descend to the valley floor from the carpark, then across a footbridge over the River Coe. Follow the well-worn path, until you eventually reach the Hidden Valley.
If you’d like to extend your walk, the Hidden Valley is closely followed by Bidean nam Bian which is more of a mountain range than a singular mountain. It’s a complex mass of dramatic crags, ridges and summits, and if you fancy a bigger challenge then this is the obvious path to continue along.
Hidden Valley or Lost Valley History
Not only is it a breath taking sight, this is an area steeped in rich clan history. It’s named the Hidden Valley, simply because it was a great spot for the Macdonald clan to hide their stolen cattle. But the area went on to have a much more tragic reason for hiding.
In 1692, the Glencoe massacre saw the Campbell soldiers turn on Macdonald clansfolk, who fled for their lives to the enormous glen, in the middle of a winter blizzard. Many of them perished in the weather, but better that than at the hands of the Campbells. And all because they were just a wee bit late in swearing loyalty to King William.
The Hidden Valley’s untouched scenery is much the same as it would’ve been back when the Macdonalds fled for their lives, and it’s a beautiful spot to spend a couple of hours, soaking up the history and sights.