Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Killarney National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful hike and really worth it! Views over the Killarney lakes from the top are amazing.

If you are a good hiker and used to going up mountains/volcanoes, this hike is fairly easy. A lot of loose rocks, so better not to do it in wet weather and better to do it with trekking poles, but nothing that feels like a strong workout.
And I’d say, taking your time, being careful with the terrain and with good gear, really accessible to all sorts of hikers.

would call it more moderate-hard due to several difficult stone sections with difficult footing.

views from the top and even on the way up are very good in good weather

hiking
22 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

Great hike! My boyfriend and I did the entire thing in about 3.5 hours. We went up the chute and down the switchbacks considering it was very stormy throughout the entire hike. If you are a strong hiker you won't need poles and it is a very laid back approach and you will want your hands for the chute. For the chute, we didn't encounter anything that appeared treacherous though I can see people getting in trouble if they aren't wearing enough layers as it got really cold especially as we approached the top. A good rain jacket, rain pants, and gloves are what I would recommend above everything else.

Amazing hike. I did this hike with my boyfriend, both of us are quite serious outdoorsy people and love Ireland (he's from IE) so this was a great trip for the two of us. Whole thing took about 4 hours, we went during a hurricane last October, it was stormy but dry on ascent, just before summit it started pouring and didn't stop for the duration. Be prepared to scramble, climb and get soaked.

Rain wear, hiking boots and hiking poles are advised.

Great walk. Worth it for the view. Amazing vista of Killarney and the lakes from the top. Very doable. Take your time. it will pay off at the top.

Absolutely breathtaking, not too difficult! Should be at the top of everyone's bucket list, so much to do and see around Killarney aswell

We started through the gap and back over the mountain tops. The views are astonishing and really worth the climb.

Navigation was pretty difficult since I'm used to well marked routes (like in the dolomites or triglav national park). This one isn't market at all. At an easy pace and a few walks off the path it took us 6h. Use of GPS or map and compass are recommended.

Great views if you’re lucky with weather. Took us four hours. Rescue helicopter came and pulled someone off of mountain while we were finishing.

Ahhhh, the faeries, no doubt!

We were a bit nervous as we left Cronin's yard because of all the warning signs and memorials at the trail head. But I'm glad that we marched on as it was a great 6hr hike with epic views. We recommend going up the devil's ladder but going down the zig zag for a safer route back down. Be sure to watch your steps as people trip and fall regularly. As we hiked up the ladder, we came across a woman who had trip going down from the summit and looked pretty scratched up... Just be careful and check the weather before heading to make sure you don't get caught in rain, fog or high winds. It can get very slippery since most of the hike is on rocks. Unless you're expecienced, we wouldn't recommend doing it in the winter or in bad weather. Besides, you'll miss all the stunning scenery!

Tough trail. You'll want to be confident in your hand and foot work for this trail. Ideally, wait for the weather to turn clear on the mountain - we went on a cloudy day and it was all wet above Devil's ladder.

The ladder isn't especially difficult for a seasoned scrambler, but it's high consequence due to the exposure, and can easily become soaked in rainy or cloudy conditions. Be very careful and choose your descent path on the ladder well.

Pack or wear a rain jacket and a lunch for the summit, since you'll want to leave early. Dogs not welcome on this trail.

This was an amazing hike with beautiful views. You need to make sure that you are prepared physically and mentally for this hike. It is difficult--take your time and stay safe! I definitely underestimated the amount of loose rocks.

We also sawany mountian rescue vehicles and the Irish coast guard out during out hike to rescue someone.

The trail is not dog friendly. We were with dog there last week and we were not allowed to hike there.

We completed the hike in 7 hours. My husband and I regularly hike mountains and even rock climb. We both found this hike to be difficult to safely navigate during the descent. We took the ladder up (3.5 hours). There was a bit of a traffic jam multiple times. Hikers above us occasionally knocked rocks downward. We enjoyed the ladder ascent. We took the O’Shea fully descent. Quite a bit of scree and a few traversing scrambles were involved in the descent. This particular trail becomes less defined after passing a small pond.

Overall, it was a beautiful hike. However, it should not be hiked without taking the appropriate precautions (map, compass, headlamp, etc). We saw a helicopter arrive while we were descending to pickup a hiker near the peak. People have died on this hike.

Fantastic hike. The best we've done in Ireland, the view from the top is amazing. But also the toughest one we've ever done. We were not prepared. Don't go do it if you're not a good hiker, the way up is tough but the way down is the real tricky part and get dangerous at many points. It's easy to make a wrong move and hurt yourself really bad or even kill yourself. But if you're confident and prepared you should definitely go for it.

As an escape from a multi-generation family vacation my wife and I got to sneek out for nature fun. This hike was a well needed relief. Gorgeous views easy route finding and just enough steep stuff to keep the heart rate up.(nice in January) The "ladder" part was steep and supper loose looking from below but the wet mossy rocks were extra sticky. Of course be careful but it's not as bad as it looks. The summit was as to be expected. Beautiful! Car to car took us five hours with picture stops and beer beaks. If you're in the area and get a good weather window this hike is a must. Have fun.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Nice view and good track.
Took the Devil's ladder to go to the top and the loop back down
Ladder seems quite dangerous going down but is fun going up
The Loop may be longer than the Devil but takes the same amount of time

Should be done on sunny day. We needed 7,5h including two bigger breaks

I was dead set on knocking this out while I was in Ireland and staying in Killarney. Originally I had wanted to do the horseshoe route to the east but the threat of high winds and rains did not make for a good mix on the ridge lines. The weather forecast was looking pretty miserable and included thunderstorms on the only day I would have a chance. To beat the weather I decided to be at the trail head around 4:30 am, i wanted 3:30 am but I couldn't find a taxi willing to take me out there that early (~30 euros). There are no real shuttles to the trail head at Cronin's Yard. After arriving at Cronin's Yard I headed out along the well worn rocky trail. The trail gently rises from the yard to the base of the mountain where the Devil's Ladder begins. The first light of day was already visible around 4:45 am as I left the yard. Fortunately the clouds were up near the peak and the valley was visible. Even with it raining and blowing sideways the unbelievable beauty of the lush green valley and waterfalls were a knockout. After passing between the two lakes I hit the base of the ladder and began the ascent. The devils ladder is essentially a steep chute filled with scree, talus and running water. Although the elevation and gain remind me of the Appalachians, the rugged terrain and slopes reminded me of the Rockies but covered in grass. The loose scree in the ladder would have been interesting on a dry day but the running stream that zig zagged back and forth really loosened up the material. I spent most of the climb navigating back and forth looking for larger rocks to scramble around on and to stay out of the water. I could definitely see why people regularly get hurt and even die. There are several spots where a bad foothold could result in a short fall and then a long cascading tumble. After about 45 minutes I popped out at the saddle to a herd of sheep, heavy sideways rain and high winds (~40 mph gusts). Visibility was about 50 feet (16 m) and I ended up following a sheep path to the summit. The GPS app I had made a world of difference keeping me headed towards the summit. I found the iconic cross around 6:45 am, took picture and headed down. I considered returning via Shea's but the weather was just too bad. On the way down I found the actual trail and followed it back to the ladder and descended. Descent was much more treacherous and being alone I was very careful. Overall I made it up and down in around 4:15 hours which included putting on and off jackets and rain gear.

Once back to the yard I was able to see several memorials to people who had lost their lives. There is also a nice monument to Gerard McDonnell who was the first Irishmen to summit K2, but lost his life on descent helping other distressed climbers (see The Summit documentary). I did run into three very nice french hikers that had stayed at the yard the night before and we were able to split the taxi fair back to Killarney, nice.

hiking
Monday, February 13, 2017

My favorite hiking partner (my wife) and I hiked to the highest point in Ireland in June of 2009 on a clear blue sunny day. The mountain is quite impressive as you approach it, and it appears to be very steep. We hiked up between the two lakes below it and ascended the infamous Devils Ladder. This is a steep chute filled with talus and boulders the whole way. You have to pick your way through as there is no real trail in this section. It took us almost an hour to go up this short pitch. Kinda sketchy in a few places. Once at the top of the ladder, it is wide open to the top. We arrived on top after about 2 1/2 hours of hiking. It is pretty steep, but you are not fighting high elevation here. The views are endless up there. You can see both the Kenmare and the Dingle Bays on the ocean, and countless lakes all over the Killarney area. There is a huge cross on top with a couple of memorials for some hikers. We had the place to ourselves too ,which made it nice. After about a half hour or more on top we started down. When we got back to the top of the ladder, we decided to take a different route down from there. So we kept hiking on the ridge trail from there, and that goes back down to the main trail avoiding the ladder. Really nice along this ridge top. It was steep going down the switches here, but beat going down the boulders. We got back to the main trail and then it was just back to the car from there. Beautiful hike on a gorgeous day. If ever there, it's a great way to spend a day. We rolled into the corner pub on our way back to our B&B for a few celebratory pints. Great way to end the day!!! Would do it again for sure.

The first part of this hike is pretty easy, walking through the country side and in between the beautiful lakes. The devil's ladder portion, however, is the toughest hike I've done! The views on both portions are breathtaking I would highly recommend it.

We took the Caher route up and the Devil's Ladder back down. The scrambling on the way back down got a little exciting, but it was a nice break from the slog uphill and kept us on our toes for the second half of the hike. The view from the top is well-worth all effort put in to get to the top--particularly if you're lucky, and it's a sunny, clear day up at top. Highly recommend!

Fantastic view. The hike isn't easy, but it's incredibly rewarding--especially if you're lucky enough to get a clear view at the top! We came up via the Caher route, and went down by the Devil's Ladder, and it was a great variety. Highly recommend.

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

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