Carrauntoohil Loop is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Knocknafreaghaun, Kerry, Ireland that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, birding, and fishing and is best used from March until November.
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.