Steall Falls – A Waterfall Walk in Glen Nevis
One of the best low level walks in Fort William, this walk will take you through the beautiful Glen Nevis alongside the gorge where the River Nevis cascades down from An Gearanach. You’ll get to experience the magnificent mountains of Scotland without having to climb up them!
What is the Steall Waterfall?
The Steall Waterfall, also known as An Steall Bàn or Steall Falls, is the UK and Scotland’s second-highest waterfall, with a single drop of 120 metres that plunges from the rocky slopes of An Gearanach in the Nevis Gorge. This is one of the best waterfalls near Ben Nevis, which stands on the other side of the valley of Glen Nevis.
The stunning waterfall featured in the backdrop of various Harry Potter films, including the Quidditch matches and the Triwizard Tournament in the Goblet of Fire (remember Harry taking on the Hungarian Horntail?), so this is another one to tick off your list of Harry Potter filming locations!
Where to Park for the Steall Waterfall Hike
There are a number of parking areas along the Nevis Road – please don’t park in a passing place though. Be aware that this is one of the most popular walks in Fort William, so in peak season and on weekends, I would recommend arriving before 9am to guarantee a parking space – the parking area is small! The road gets very narrow in places so camper vans might want to park at Lower Falls rather than trying to get up to the car park nearer Steall Falls which is probably only suitable for small cars.
How to Get to Steall Falls
Walking through the beautiful Nevis Gorge, the path first wanders through mystical woodland (perfect for a walk to a Harry Potter filming location). The path is quite easy and straight forward to follow but is very rough in places, with a few scramble bits. You will need to wear sturdy shoes, preferably some you don’t mind getting wet!
After continuing alongside the rocky Nevis Gorge for a while, the path opens out into a beautiful, lush glen. You’ll see the famous wire bridge over the River Nevis in the distance, a 15 minute (ish) walk away. To get closer to the Steall Waterfall you’ll have to cross the river – either use the bridge or stepping stones if the river isn’t too high. Hols and I went through the river but Joel went over the bridge. From the bridge it’s a short walk to the Falls themselves. Be careful at the base of the waterfall – it’s rocky and slippery in places.
How long is Steall Falls walk?
I’d allow a couple of hours for this walk, depending on how long you want to hang around taking photos! We were there for 1 hour 45 including lots of photo stops but the actual walk only took an hour there and back.
Can you swim in Steall Falls?
I don’t think the water is deep enough to swim in unfortunately!
Parking: Parking at the Steall Falls Car Park – suitable for small cars only, and gets full really quickly.
Walk Time: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: ▲▲ (rocky and scrambling needed in places, and a river crossing if you want to get to the bottom of the waterfall)
Distance: 2.63 miles (4.2km)
Steall Falls Walk Map:
For other nearby walks, why not try: