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Climbing Scafell Pike

Wasdale Head and Wastwater against winter backdrop of Great Gable and Scafell Pike, Cumbria
Wintry view over Wastwater towards Great Gable and Scafell Pike | © National Trust Images/John Malley

Standing at 978 metres tall, Scafell Pike is England's highest mountain and war memorial. Thousands of people enjoy Scafell Pike each year, however the climb to the top should not be underestimated.

Preparing to climb Scafell Pike

Preparation is key to climbing Scafell Pike safely. We encourage people to use a map and compass for navigation and to check weather conditions before setting off. There’s information at the car park to help you prepare.

The rangers work with Fix the Fells throughout the year to maintain fell paths and care for the fragile montane habitat, however it is vital that you take personal responsibility for your own safety. Visit Adventure Smart for more tips on how to prepare for your climb to the summit of Scafell Pike.

What to expect on your climb

Whichever route you take, Scafell Pike is a tough, steep hike which involves scrambling over hard terrain. There will be challenges in any season: you might be met with high winds, rain, snow, extreme cold or poor visibility.

Always check the mountain forecast before you set off and ensure that you have the right clothing and equipment and know how to use it. Mountain Rescue can provide further advice.

Pikes Crag and Scafell Pike top with a pink glow at sunset in winter, Cumbria
Pikes Crag and Scafell Pike at sunset in winter, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/John Malley

How many people climb Scafell Pike?

Around 250,000 people climb Scafell Pike each year and we’ve been seeing unprecedented numbers of hikers over recent years. The increase in visitors puts the local mountain rescue teams under extreme pressure.

We ask that you come back another time if the car park is full and endeavour to lift share – the valley road is very narrow and frequently busy.

Dogs at Scafell Pike

Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Scafell Pike, and many will enjoy a long day out climbing as much as their humans. Do bear in mind that it is a long and tiring day across rocky terrain so climbing Scafell Pike is only suitable for dogs used to long walks in the fells.

If your dog isn’t used to the fells then it’s perhaps worth trying a few lower, introductory walks before trying Scafell Pike. Please follow local and seasonal guidance, and where livestock are grazing please keep dogs on leads. For safety please keep your dog on the lead in the car parks.

Two walkers with hiking poles crossing over stones while ascending Scafell Pike, Lake District

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