The Quiraing Mountain Pass viewpoint offers one of the most famous views on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
Stunning mountains, dramatic rock formations, small lochs and, if lucky, a view all the way to the seashore. It is a typical view of the Highlands.
Below is my guide to help you plan your visit: Tips, photos, access, map and info on the Quiraing Walk.
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Why go to the Quiraing Mountain Pass Viewpoint?
With the Old Man of Storr, the Quiraing viewpoint is one of the top points of interest of the Trotternish landslide and of the Isle of Skye.
It is a geological formation of volcanic origin. It appeared with a landslip (more geological info later in the article). The Quiraing Lookout offers one of the best views of the Island all the way to the sea on a clear day.
Just have a look:
Let's start with a short video of Quiraing Isle of Skye: have a brief look at the drive and the view from the ridge - get a virtual tour!
How to pronounce Quiraing
Before you keep reading this article, you might want to check out the pronunciation of Quiraing to make the reading easier.
You can listen to it here.
More photos after the planning tips.
PLANNING TIPS & Map - Quiraing, Isle of Skye
How to reach the Quiraing viewpoint? Where is the Quiraing view? - Map
- North East of the Isle of Skye
- North West of the town of Staffin
- Single lane road after the turn in Staffin
- You can also come from Uig but the drive on a single lane road will be longer
- Portree to Quiraing = 30min drive
- Staffin to Quiraing = 5min drive
- Uig to Quiraing = 15min drive
- Below is a map to help you locate Quiraing:
This location, with its GPS coordinates is included on both my Travel Guide eBooks that help you plan your Scotland road trip:
Admiring the Quiraing View
- There is a carpark at the top
- Easy to walk to the view from the carpark
- No facilities
- You can walk around on both side of the road - so plan 15min to a couple of hours...
- The road may be closed in Winter
- The Quiraing walk starts there - info at the end of this post
Where to stay on the Isle of Skye?
- Portree is the main town and the most practical place to explore the island - Check out the best rated accommodations in Portree
- Find out more tips on my Isle of Skye article
Quiraing Road Driving to the Quiraing Lookout carpark
After Staffin, the turn on the Quiraing Road is clearly indicated and the view behind the road sign is very promising.
A single lane road
The single lane road is in good condition and has many passing places with proper visibility.
Be careful, as you will see in the next paragraph the views of the Trotternish ridge are stunning and might distract you from the traffic.
Once you reach the climbing part of the road, slow down. There are no more passing places until almost the top so check if cars are coming down.
Don't stop at the first small area that looks like a carpark.
Drive to the top and you will find a bigger carpark. However, note that it was full end of May so will definitively be full in Summer during the day...
Views of Trotternish Ridge from the drive
On the way to the Quiraing Skye viewpoint, the views are already impressive with the Trotternish ridge on both sides.
According to AGU, this impressive ridge is the result of thick layers of basalt overlying weak sediments. from the Jurassic. The weight triggers faults creating large landslides. Movements continue today but at a low rate.
As I mentioned before, be careful, the sheep are roaming free.
Mountain Pass Quiraing Viewpoint (Cuith-Raing)
After parking, it is time to explore and discover one of the most famous views in Scotland.
As you can see in the sign below, the local version of the name is Cuith-Raing.
As advertised, the view is breathtaking. Especially as I was lucky to discover it with the sun. I was able to see all the way to the sea. But I will let my Quiraing Skye pictures tell you all about it:
View towards the Quiraing:
Geology and Facts about the Quiraing
Here are a few facts to better understand what you are looking at:
- Around the Quiraing, the Trotternish was the largest continuous landslide in Great Britain, extending over 2km
- The slide occurred due to the weight of the overlaying lava (24 flows around 300m thick!)
- It happened relatively recently (in geological terms), around 15000 years ago (since the last period of glaciation)
- Here you can see sedimentary rocks from the Jurassic
- Dolerite sills and dykes intrude the Jurassic rocks.
- Learn more on the Geological Society website
The Quiraing Walk - Tips and difficulty
If you have some time to spare at Quiraing Isle of Skye, why not go for a walk?
The Quiraing walking loop is a pleasure for geologists, photographers and everyone who likes to be blown away 🙂
- How long is the Quiraing Walk?
This is a 7 km loop that requires 3 hours of walking (if not stopping).
- How difficult is the Quiraing Walk?
It is rated as hard for technicality. Ascent is 340m. It will take you near cliffs so do not hike when ti is windy or with low visibility.
- What is there to see on the Quiraing Hike?
It will take you to pinnacles, plateaus and views of the landslides.
You could see crazy shapes.
Want to see more? Here are other amazing things to do on the Isle of Skye:
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Beautiful view, don't you think?
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