Climbing Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike, 978 metres, is not only England's highest mountain but arguably one of the most stunning because of its remote location and breathtaking views
What's it like?
Most Wasdale adventures start with the beautiful drive to the valley head with sweeping views of the fells and Wastwater – a favourite with photographers and a perfect place to stop for a picnic. The roads are narrow and windy with some tight passing places so take your time and if at all possible share a lift.
Park your car at Lake Head and then your adventure can begin – climbing Scafell Pike. It's not only England’s highest mountain but it's also a wonderful day out that will reward you with extensive views of the surrounding fells and you can see all the way to the west coast – on a very clear day you may see the Isle of Man and Scotland.
Where should I park?
Follow the signs and park at Lake Head, a pay and display car park, grid reference NY 182 074. National Trust members park for free.
What facilities are available?
There are temporary toilet facilities at Lake Head car park and also at Wasdale Head Village Green, but these are very basic. While we make every effort to maintain these, heavy overnight use causes problems, and sometimes the toilets are not as clean as we'd like them to be. The last public toilets are at the car park in Gosforth and in Eskdale Green (seasonal) and it may be worth scheduling a stop to use the facilities before driving down to Wasdale Head.
We are currently planning to improve our visitor facilities. Installing permanent toilets in this highly sensitive location is complex and costly, so please bear with us as we go through our rigorous planning and fundraising process.
There are three routes to the summit of Scafell Pike from Wasdale – you can download these handy information sheets compiled by our rangers to get more detailed information about each route. This information should be used together with a map and compass – weather conditions can change quickly and it’s a tricky mountain to navigate in poor visibility.
Hollowstones route is the most straightforward and direct approach. More challenging and interesting approaches are the Mickledore route and the Corridor approach route.
Three Peaks Challenge
If you are planning on climbing Scafell Pike as part of the Three Peaks Challenge then you will find everything you need to plan your trip including information on how to get here, parking, amenities, weather, conservation, guidance and route planning from the Three Peaks Partnership Website.
Can I bring my dog?
Well-behaved dogs are welcome and many will enjoy a long day out climbing Scafell Pike as much as their humans. It's likely to be a long and tiring day across rocky terrain so climbing Scafell Pike is particularly suitable for dogs used to long walks in the fells. If your dogs is not used to the fells then it is perhaps worth trying a few lower, introductory fells 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.
Help us protect Scafell Pike for ever, for everyone
Scafell Pike is a very fragile environment and is under pressure from hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Please stick to the footpaths as shortcutting causes serious erosion.
Although it may look like the mountain and the paths look after themselves they don’t, and in fact they are in constant need of management and repair. The National Trust (together with Fix the Fells) provides ongoing remedial work to reduce erosion, protect the natural environment and ensure future generations continue to enjoy this much-loved mountain.
You can help us to care for the mountain by making a donation or volunteering - see the links below.