Scafell Pike Hike

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Where: Scafell Pike Hike from Borrowdale 9 miles south of Keswick of the Lake District of England
When: June 2014
Weather: Sunny
Height: 3,209ft

There are two main routes for hikes to Scafell Pike, one from Seathwaite Farm by Borrowdale in the north, and the other from Wasdale Head in the west. The Wasdale route to the mountain is slightly shorter, but mainly steeper.

The B5289 road from Keswick centre to Borrowdale is quite good, but has a few narrow spots so has to be driven carefully, should you meet any trucks or buses traveling the other way. The road starts from Keswick centre from Main Street, then Heads Road, and there are a number of good looking Inns and Hotels on the roadside on the way down. At Borrowdale, look for the farm road leading off to the south with a sign stating Seathwaite 1, leading over a really small bridge.

The image below is of the farm road leading from Borrowdale to Seathwaite Farm, about 1 mile. That is the 2,985ft Great End that you see in the distance in cloud, Scafell Pike is just beyond that mountain.

Keswick to Borrowdale Road Map .

Seathwaite Farm road image

The image below is of the hiking car park for Scafell Pike at Seathwaite Farm. The camp site is on the right here. There is room for about 100 cars, early hikers get closest to the farm, later hikers can be a few hundred yards down the road, as this hike is really popular.

The trail out to Scafell Pike leaves the car park and goes straight through the farm, out towards the 2,073ft Seathwaite Fell, as can be seen below.

Seathwaite Farm camping image

The image below is from just past the farm, showing the two trails out to Scafell Pike. At the bridge just over the little hill, one route goes round to the left of Seathwaite Fell, and the other goes up past the trees and waterfalls. The one up past the waterfalls is the most popular, both trails merge further up.

Seathwaite Farm is about 400 feet above sea level, and the top of the steep section, up above the waterfalls, is about 1,300ft, so about 900ft of really steep hiking to start off with.

Scafell Pike trail waterfalls image

The image below is from the trail as it goes up the scenic valley. This is a great section after the really tough hike up past the waterfalls.

That is Scafell Pike straight out, but the main trail turns left after Styhead Tarn, and runs up behind the 2,985ft Great End, and 3,064ft Broad Crag, then onto the east side of Scafell Pike.

The mountain to the right here that the trail is running along is the popular 2,949ft Great Gable.

Large Image with Mountain Heights.

Scafell Pike from Seathwaite image

The image below is from the trail as it sweeps round to left towards Great End. In a clear day, you can see the main trail up from Wasdale Head winding its way up the west side of Scafell Pike.

There is a faint trail over the west side of Great End that leads up to the Wasdale Head trail, probably the fastest way to the top, but only a few hikers take on that route, probably for a good reason. The large image gives a good view of the route.

Large Image.

Scafell Pike from the north image

The image below is of the main trail as it goes up the east side of Great End, taken from where the two trails out from Seathwaite merge. This section climbs steadily up to about 2,500ft.

Scafell Pike trail image

The image below is from where the main trail winds up behind Great End.

Just over the dip there is a really steep little section, then just above that, the first of two boulder fields, so much for the anticipated steady hike to the top. Suppose it is good that the highest mountain in England is not just a steady stroll to the top. That is not Scafell Pike up there, that is III Crag at 3,067ft, Scafell Pike is straight over the boulder field.

Scafell-Pike-top-section image

The image below is from the top of the little steep section, looking at the boulder field. There is no way round, so straight over the top it had to be, and this is classed as the tourist route.

Scafell Pike boulder field image

The image below is from just after the first boulder field, showing a second boulder field on the 3,064ft Broad Crag, and the summit of Scafell Pike behind. At about 2,800ft here, I got my first clear view of Scafell Pike summit.

Just a dip to go down, up through the boulder field on Broad Crag, then down into a dip, then a couple of hundred feet steep section to the top.

Scafell-Pike-from-the-east image

The image below is from the last boulder field on Broad Crag, just before the final section up to Scafell Pike summit. By this time I was out of steam. Had only meant to take a few photos of the car park, and some up towards the mountain.

I grabbed the hiking bag from the boot and set off up the trail a bit to get some better photos. The mid section of the trail was so steady and scenic, I ended up here for this photo.

After a snack, I still felt dehydrated, after hauling all my winter gear up here in one of the warmest days of the year, and visiting an other mountain on the way up by mistake, so I decide to head back down. I had the photos I came for, and more, so was happy.

The next day, I drove round to Wasdale Head to get photos from that side, had lunch in the Wasdale Head Hotel, then ended up on the top of Scafell Pike from that side just over two and a half hours later.

Large Image

Scafell Pike-top image

The image below is from hiking back down behind Great End and looking across to the 2,949ft Great Gable, and Styhead Tarn down below. Great Gable looked a real popular mountain with many people on top, and hiking over to the next mountain.

Great Gable Mountain image

The image below is from just above the trees and waterfalls on the final steep section back down. That is Seathwaite Farm down at the fields, and Keswick up through the valley.

Down to Seathwaite farm image

The Scafell Pike Map below shows many of the routes onto the mountains. There are a number of mountains in the area for hiking, and trails going in every direction. Best take a good detailed map with you, and a compass, as in low cloud, it would be really easy to get lost. I even managed to get lost in the sun.

The blue and white dots are the main trails, green and brown tougher trails, and green and yellow easy routes. Green and red are scrambling sections.

Crossing from Scafell Pike to the second highest mountain in England, the 3,162ft Scafell, requires a hike down into the valley and up round the cliffs. The direct route across requires a fair amount of dangerous rock climbing.

Large Detailed Map

Scafell Pike Map image

This was a scenic hike with great views of many mountains all around. The bottom section was tough hiking, second section a great scenic walk, third section a fairly steady hike, and final section a good test of boulder hopping.

What is the toughest way up, it is hard to say, as the Wasdale Head route from the west is shorter, but steadily steep almost all the way. This Borrowdale side has a couple of easy sections in the middle, but a tough first sections and top section.

Make sure and take an Ordnance Survey Map and Compass on these hikes, and know how to use them, as in cloud, these mountains can be deadly. In Winter, make sure you have Crampons and an Ice Axe, and know how to use them.

Photo Tour of the Wasdale Head route

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