Ireland (Republic of Ireland)

Languages: English, Irish

Currencies: EUR · Euro (€)

Capitol: Dublin

Continents: Europe

Borders: United Kingdom

More useful information

Area: 70,273km2

Population: 4,994,724

Traffic/driving side: left

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +353

Timezones: UTC

Last updated on July 16, 2023

Wicklow Mountains are the closest hills to my home town. As a hiker it is my frequent destination for any mountain activity. If you’re planning hiking Lugnaquilla you are on the right website, as I’ve probably hiked this mountain about 10 times in different seasons and weather conditions – including rough winter! Apart from unexpected weather circumstances that may occur on any mountain, there are few useful tips to know before heading to Wicklow Mountains. Always be prepared for changable weather conditions, no matter what the forecast says and how bright it is on a ground level. On this island the clouds are running through the sky with the speed of light 😉

Hiking Lugnaquilla ‘Lug’ Mountain – 925 m

Lugnaquilla height is below thousand metres but don’t underestimate this peak. It’s the highest hill in Wicklow Mountains, with only 925 m above see level but the conditions might be rough. The wind on the top can be extreme! However Wicklow Moutains are very good practice for hikers ahead of higher summits!

There are few walking routes to the summit of Lugnaquilla. Different sources say the hike takes 6-7 hours (up and down). I usually hike Lugnaquilla in 5h. I usually hike alone but I hire guides for more extreme summits.

Read more about my recent winter expeditions:

  • Ben Nevis (the highest peak in United Kingdom, magnificent Scottish Highlands, I summited with a guide in extreme January winter conditions), 
  • Snowdon (second highest peak in the UK, Wales), I accomplished myslef without a guide. Did you know that Edmund Hillary trained on Snowdon before Mount Everest? 🙂
  • Kasprowy Wierch (the highest peak of Tatra Mountains, Poland),
  • Or check – Why to take a mountaineering Course! 

Hiking Lugnaquilla - routes to the summit.

Lugnaquilla can be hiked all year-around. A popular starting point is Glenmalure Lodge, it’s located very close to nearby hostel and passes the dramatic cliffs of Fraughan Rock Glen (east side).

Hiking from the west side of the mountain starts in Glen of Imaal near Fenton’s Pub. This is actually my favourite trail but it leads along the military area and you should never leave the track!! Although there are signs ‘Do not enter – Military area’, the trail sometimes is hard to find and I did step out of it few times. A route to the summit is quite visible but you should never hike without compass! Navigation ability in mountains is a key thing. It can be very cloudy in Wicklow Mountains and it happened to me before to loose a trail once or twice in foggy conditions. The path is also not visible when it’s snowing. In good weather conditions the views over Wicklow Mountains are stunning! 

It is also possible to hike Lugnaquilla from the south side, starting near Aughavannagh Bridge and walking up through the Ow Valley. The final stage to the summit is a little steep but it’s an interesting trail.

Hiking equipment - Lugnaquilla in winter.

I was training on Lugnaquilla before I went to hike Scotland highlands. Lugnaquilla can be very challenging. The temperature was around zero but the feeling was up to -13. It was raining and snowing in higher parts and on the top everything was frozen. You should wear warm hiking clothes and here’s the list that will help you to prepare well for hiking:

  • hiking boots and waterproof socks! Never wear sneakers!! I didn’t even know waterproof socks exist but Lugnaquilla can be extremely wet and slippery. Last time my legs got stuck in a mud above my knees! I just sank in a mud under my weight. Obviosly my shoes were completely wet, luckily it was on the way back!
  • hiking trousers (not jeans!), waterproof overtrousers if you have, several warm layers of clothing (not cotton) and a warm waterproof jacket. You might wear one or two layers at first. A common mistake is wearing too many clothes/layers and get sweat. Try to avoid it, as you might feel cold at the later stage.
  • Good hat and gloves are essential. Googles are usefull too, as the wind is very strong sometimes the rain might be very disturbing.
  • Food and drink: Firstly eat a proper breakfast, especially in winter months. Otherwise you’ll run out of energy before you start your adventure. Take a decent lunch: including dark chocolate, protein bars, nuts, water, hot tea with ginger, lemon and honey! Sugar is essential in mountain expeditions – it gives you a great BOOST of energy.
  • Compass, whistle (in case you need to shout for help), power bank – your phone can go dead quickly in low temperatures.
  • Always have a dry set of clothes to change after the hike. 
Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

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