Walk up Scafell Pike from Great Langdale

Walk up Scafell Pike from Great Langdale

By Dave Chick   

on January 5, 2021   4.86/5 (7)

Walk up Scafell Pike from Great Langdale

Further Details

Route Summary:

Longer route to Scafell Pike from Great Langdale. Though the walk is longer, the drive in for most is an hour less.

Start and Finish: Great Langdale

Distance: 9.3 km

Ascent: 1026 m

Time: 4 hours

Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.


Old Dungeon Ghyll at route start.

Public Transport:

Traveline for UK Public Transport



Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Keeping Safe on the Wales Coast Path,  Navigation and the Gear and Equipment you’ll need.

Scafell Pike Guidebooks:

Recommended Scafell Pike Maps

Walk up Scafell Pike from Great Langdale Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk up Scafell Pike from Great Langdale

The walk up Scafell Pike from Langdale is a fell walk for those who like the long walk in, and out again. It’s just shy of 20km, or just over if you also pack Great End into your itinerary for the day. It may presents one of the longest routes to England’s highest peak but, in return, you get a proper day out among some of the very best of the Lake District. Expect lofty views into some of the Lake District’s most famous valleys and impressive rock scenery as you traverse England’s highest ridge.

Ample parking can be found in Great Langdale either by using the National Trust car park at Stickle Ghyll (free for NT members) or by using the National Park’s Langdale car park (£8 for the entire day). Alternatively, the 516 Langdale Rambler bus from Ambleside will get you deep into the heart of the valley. The route description starts from the bus stop at the end of the valley road, adjacent to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.

Scafell Pike from Great Langdale Full Route Description

With the high fells of Bowfell and Crinkle Crags framing the scene ahead, the route begins to the rear of the ODG. Here lies the Cumbria Way, a long distance path which crosses the county from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north. Pass around the hotel to access it via a gate and start heading west along the wide track.

The bridleway path is fairly level and easy to follow as it passes beneath the towering Langdale Pikes into the depths of Mickleden, one of the two valleys which join to form Great Langdale, the other being Oxendale.

After around 2 miles, cross the footbridge over Stake Gill and bear left as the path forks – a low slate sign points the way towards Rossett Pass. The right-hand fork takes the Cumbria Way over the Stake Pass and into Borrowdale. Our route begins to climb up to the Rossett Pass alongside Rossett Gill via a series of wide zig-zags. The view above is dominated by the immense crags of Bowfell.

Once at the top of the pass a brief detour to the summit of Rossett Pike gives an airy view of Mickleden, should time and energy permit, otherwise, press on, following the path as it drops briefly to Angle Tarn and then climbs up a series of paved steps at Tongue Head.

Eventually, you will reach a cross shelter, built from stone. This is the famous Esk Hause (though the summit of the hause is actually higher still). This is a meeting point of several major routes and the highest foot pass in the national park. In poor weather, navigation here can be tricky as the network of paths all converge on the shelter.

From the shelter, head south-west up to the true summit of the pass between Esk Pike and Great End. Admire the views down Eskdale, one of the Lake District’s most unspoilt valleys.

From the top of the pass, a well-worn route, marked intermittently with cairns, takes you up onto the high ridge of the Scafells. You’ll notice the ground underfoot becomes much rockier and uneven so care should be taken. The path makes its way between the two minor summits of Ill Crag and Broad Crag, towards the final obstacle before the summit.

Broad Crag col separates Scafell Pike from the neighbouring Broad Crag and involves a sharp descent and re-ascent. Don’t worry though, thousands of pairs of boots have worn an obvious route. Once on the other side of the col, the summit will slowly begin to creep into sight.

Spend some time exploring the rocky summit, the result of thousands of years of glaciation. The best of the views can be found by wandering to the edges of the plateau, away from the crowded summit platform. To the southwest is Scafell Pike’s neighbour, Scafell, standing over the impressive depression of Mickledore. To the south are the wilds of Eskdale while the north peers down into Wasdale.

The easiest return is to re-trace your steps back to Esk Hause and Great Langdale though the more adventurous may think about descending the Corridor route to Styhead before climbing back up to Esk Hause via Sprinkling Tarn. Either way, your legs will be telling you you’ve had a classic day out in the Lake District.


Please rate this

Dave Chick

Dave is our Lake District local expert, often found in the depths of Cumbria he's the author of his own part on the web, All the Gear but no Idea.

Related Posts

Gear you may need

Welcome to Walk up Scafell Pike

Walk up Scafell Pike is the dedicated on-line guidebook for walking routes up Scafell Pike in the English Lake District, with free walking maps and full guides to all the routes to the summit of England’s highest mountain.

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 978m high and is one of the mountains climbed on the Three Peaks Challenge walk. It’s a formidable mountain that needs respect, with no such thing as an easy route up  the mountain to be had. All the walks and hikes are a challenge, and well worth the effort to reach the roof of England.

The Routes to the Top of Scafell Pike page has an interactive map that shows all the walking routes to the summit of Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head, Scafell Pike from Borrowdale and Scafell Pike from Langdale as well as hotels, campsites and pubs near Scafell Pike (add your Lake District business for free), and there’s a page for each walk that shows the route, parking postcode,  a downloadable file for your GPS device as well as details on the weather for the mountain.

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page for more Scafell Pike facts such as how long will it take to climb Scafell Pike, where can i start the walk from and other questions.

Main Walking Routes up Scafell Pike

Route Name Starting Point Parking Post Code Distance Ascent Walking Time
Scafell Pike from Wasdale or Wasdale Head Wasdale or Wasdale Head  CA20 1EX (Wasdale Head)  4.2km*  900m*  3-4 hours**
Scafell Pike from Seathwaite, Borrowdale (Corridor Route) Borrowdale  CA12 5XJ  15km (round trip)  1000m  6 hours+
Scafell Pike from Langdale Langdale  LA22 9JY 9km  1130m 4 hours**
Scafell Pike from Hardknott (southern approach) Eskdale Hardknott CA19 1TG – for Boot – then continue up Hardkott Pass to GR NY211 011  17km  1000m  6 hours
Scafell Pike Corridor Route from Wasdale Wasdale or Wasdale Head CA20 1EX (Wasdale Head)  7.8km*  970m*  3-4 hours **

*Distance/Ascent noted is for one way only.

**Time is for one way only, and variable. Very fit walkers can walk up and down in 3-4 hours(depending on the route)and will know their own timings and speed. If in doubt, assume the longest duration for your ascent and add the longest for your descent, depending on route. Add a good half hour or more for the summit stop as well.

[Sassy_Social_Share title=”Like Walk up Scafell Pike? Please share us with your friends:”]

Latest Walk up Scafell Pike Articles


Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top