Mosedale Horseshoe: Steeple, Pike, and Yewbarrow Circular Walk

HARD 2 reviews
#117 of 458 trails in

Mosedale Horseshoe: Steeple, Pike, and Yewbarrow Circular Walk is a 16.9 kilometer loop trail located near Wasdale Head, Cumbria, England that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Distance: 16.9 km Elevation Gain: 1,285 m Route Type: Loop


nature trips


bird watching



This is part of a 'Mosedale Circuit' which also includes Scoat Fell, Red Pike and Yewbarrow. You can park at either Overbeck Bridge or Wasdale Head. I chose the former with the road section first rather than at the end. There is no need to begrudge a 2-mile road section when accompanied with the magnificent scenery of Wasdale which is much more appreciated when on foot than in the confinds of a vehicle. Mosedale is a short off-shoot of the main valley and is much more intimate. I took the slightly shorter route directly towards 'Looking Stead' rather than continuing towards 'Black Sail' pass. The start of the 'High Level Route' starts a little way beyond the lowest point after Looking Stead and can be clearly seen snaking across the steep flanks. Early on there is a split in the path. The more well used being the lower one which dips down and over a rock step - both tracks only converging again just before Robinson's cairn. There is a very large plaque below the cairn to 'John Wilson Robinson' who died in 1907 and ends with -" We climb the hill: from end to end. Of all the landscape underneath, we find no place that does not breathe. Some gracious memory of our friend" From here Pillar Rock's eastern profile can be appreciated. It was the focal point for the earliest pioneers of rock climbing in the Lakes, offering an imposing atmospheric venue with superb climbs. The well known 'Slab and Notch' route (mod) is mainly used by climbers in descent. A zigzag path leads up the scree to the start of the 'Shamrock Traverse' which is not problematic except for a short slab section which needs caution. A scramble leads to the 'nick' behind Pisgah. More scrambling follows up the fellside behind to reach the summit plateau. It is a steep descent on rocky ground to Wind Gap and an equally rocky ascent to regain height to Black Crag before continuing the rocky theme to Scoat Fell summit cairn (on top of the wall). Red Pike is easily seen and can be virtually bee-lined, again rocky at first. After appreciating Red Pike and its position overlooking Mosedale it is worth deviating westwards from the main track to locate 'The Chair' in the boulder field a little below a prominent cairn. Sit awhile and let the magnificence of the scene waft over you. A better viewpoint of 'the Scafells' hard to imagine. After descending to cross Dore Head is the delightful scramble up Strriup Crag which after the scree consists of a number of short 'pitches' to reach the eastern and lower cairn of Yewbarrow. The ridge is all grass followed by a descent of scree filled gullies by to Overbec Bridge.

5 months ago

It’s a big hike well it was for me but well worth it after a slow start

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A great round, but hot in the summer it’s one with little water so make sure you take enough. Adding in Kirk Fell isn’t the most fun route up, but gives more stunning views for your investment (and a fun scramble down) and in balance is worth it if you fancy a longer day.

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