Carrauntoohil Mountain Via Devil's Ladder Trail

HARD 76 reviews

Carrauntoohil Mountain Via Devil's Ladder Trail is a 12.7 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 12.7 km Elevation Gain: 904 m Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

scenic driving

walking

bird watching

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

off trail

no shade

historic site

no dogs

A gorgeous hike to the top of the tallest mountain in Ireland. Though there are several different routes up Carrauntoohil, the Devil's Ladder is the most common tourist route. Most of the "ladder" itself has become eroded and loose rock makes the scramble up and down exciting, but very rewarding.

Very challenging! The “ladder” part of the devils ladder does not disappoint! All very step and loose rocks. Definitely not something for beginners as when we spoke with locals all they could talk about was all the deaths that happened over the years. View from the top is very rewarding!! Good luck ya’ll.

hiking
snow
27 days ago

1 month ago

Great views, difficult but well worth it. Coming down devil's ladder is abit dodgy in places but take time it's fine.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Amazing views but not easy for beginners. Took us about 6 hours to complete (possibly more with breaks). Scambling and sometimes almost climbing needed towards the end of the Devil's Ladder, but totally doable as this was my first mountain hike:) We decided to go down through the Zig-Zags.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Great hike on Sunday 5th May 2019. Unbelievable views all the way up the devil's ladder on a sunny day. Went up and down the devil's ladder. Challenging but worth it!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

One of the most incredible hike we have ever had. It's absolutely more then we expected. I tooks 6 hours for us up and down, special boots are really necessary. The view on the top is breathtaking.. You can see all Killarney, Atlantic ocean and other mountains. Highly recommended.

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Excellent hike went in reverse and tackled the devil's ladder going up as the view coming down the other side is nothing short of breathtaking.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a reconnaissance mission for our Charity Event 4peakschallenge2019 in June. Couldn’t have had a nicer day for the climb. A few new variables to contend with on this hike... “The Devils Ladder” but a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We were hampered with cloud cover at the summit but caught a few amazing vistas with some breaks in the clouds

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Beautiful views! Up devils ladder was a fun scramble worth the challenge. Wouldn’t recommend doing this in rainy conditions as there is clay at the top section with a massive drop down if you were to slip. At the top of the summit we continued down the loop trail. You DEFINITELY need good hiking boots. You may consider a potentially easier climb down by walking back down the summit the way you came, go past devils ladder and then take the other mountain loop home. Continuing on the trail from the summit was a great trail but would not recommend in conditions other than fair to sunny days.

2 months ago

It was a definite challenge for me. I convinced myself that my fitness level from 2 years ago would carry me through. It did, but barely. We went with Kerry Climbing. We had a great guide. It was such a personal triumph and the views were spectacular. Its called devil's ladder for a reason people, lol. Really enjoyed it. I ll defo try again with a more moderate level of fitness. Gloves, hats and plenty of chocolate are needed.

Incredibly beautiful hike. We hiked in mid March and the devils ladder was like climbing up a small waterfall aka absolutely amazing. Definitely some loose and slick rock, but amazing views. Be aware of clouds/fog on top, but if you get a nice day it’s an amazing hike. We hiked up and down the ladder since we knew the route and were confident in our directions

5 months ago

Great hiking One side( right) steep and a little more difficult , but we’re protect from the hard wind . Going down , on a easier way . Also rainy , partially fog and windy day. But worth a lot the gorgeous journey . It’s possible to do the hiking just t’ll the lakes , around 2h round trip .

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful views of rugged terrain and herds of sheep throughout the hike.

8 months ago

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.

hiking
8 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

Ahhhh, the faeries, no doubt!

hiking
10 months ago

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.

Friday, June 08, 2018

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.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

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

hiking
Monday, May 07, 2018

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.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

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.

hiking
Friday, May 04, 2018

hiking
Thursday, January 04, 2018

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.

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

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
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

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.

hiking
Saturday, September 06, 2014

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!

hiking
3 days ago

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