Updated date:

Climbing Scafell Pike From Wasdale: A Walk in the Scafell Massif

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. He is also a keen cyclist as well as being a lover of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District.

Climbing Scafell Pike with views down to Wast Water

A father and son climbing up the trail towards the summit of Scafell Pike with the deep blue Wast Water and Wasdale in the distance

A father and son climbing up the trail towards the summit of Scafell Pike with the deep blue Wast Water and Wasdale in the distance

A walk in Photos up Scafell Pike, With Views of Some of England's Highest Mountains

Welcome to the wonderful Lake District—home of England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike, as well some dramatic views over the hills and fells of Northern England. On a clear day from the top of Scafell Pike you can see the beautiful Cumbrian coastline with views out to the Isle of Mann.

The walk starts beside the deepest Lake in England, the impressive Wast Water, before ascending Scafell Pike via a challenging yet achievable scamble over Mickledore, which lies between Sca Fell and Scafell Pike.

There are a number of ways this article will help to direct you as you're climbing Scafell Pike. Use the photo feed as a visual guide with instructions. Alternately there is a full list of directions at the bottom of the page that you could print out and follow.

Interactive Map of Wasdale and Scafell Pike

Essential reading for a visit to the Lake District

The start of the walk is the Wasdale NT Car Park

This walk begins at the Wasdale Head National Trust car park beside Wasdale Head campsite (OS Grid Ref NY182074). Follow the gravel road up alongside the car park which runs with Wast Water to your right.

Alternately there are a number of free parking spaces on the main road that runs alongside Wast Water through Wasdale beside the sign for Wasdale Head Hall Farm.

The start of the walk in Wasdale

The sign for Wasdale Head Hall Farm is beside the access to the Wasdale National Trust car park

The sign for Wasdale Head Hall Farm is beside the access to the Wasdale National Trust car park

Heading up the country lane from Wasdale National Trust Car Park

The view out to Kirk Fell and Great Gable from Wasdale

The view out to Kirk Fell and Great Gable from Wasdale

Wast Water from Wasdale National Trust Car Park to the right as you walk up the lane

Wast Water from Wasdale National Trust Car Park to the right as you walk up the lane

Cross the bridge over Lingmell Brook and head left

Cross the bridge over Lingmell Brook and head left

Keep following the Scafell Massif signs

Follow the signs for the Scafell Massif from Wasdale

Follow the signs for the Scafell Massif from Wasdale

Follow the path left along Lingmell Gill

The rugged footpath along Lingmell Gill is alive with the noise of rushing water coming down from the Scafell Massif

The rugged footpath along Lingmell Gill is alive with the noise of rushing water coming down from the Scafell Massif

Looking left and upwards to the rugged outcrop of Pikes Crag and Pulpitt Rock on the northern edges of Scafell Pike

Looking left and upwards to the rugged outcrop of Pikes Crag and Pulpitt Rock on the northern edges of Scafell Pike

Heading up alongside Lingmell Gill. (Walk instructions part 2)

About 150 m after the the climbing club hut cross the bridge over the Lingmell Gill. On the other side of the bridge join the rugged path that runs right and starts to kick up a little steeper. This path follows northern side of Lingmell Gill for around a kilometre.

Cross Lingmell Gill via a gated footbridge and turn right

Looking back at the bridge across Lingmell Gill which you should have just come across to join the main trail.

Looking back at the bridge across Lingmell Gill which you should have just come across to join the main trail.

Continue along the path

Travelling up through the Brown Tongue. Looking to the left at Lingmell Scars up towards Lingmell and Goat Crag on the path towards Hollowstones

Travelling up through the Brown Tongue. Looking to the left at Lingmell Scars up towards Lingmell and Goat Crag on the path towards Hollowstones

Continue to follow the rocky trail

Continue to follow the rocky trail

Looking back on the deep blue colour of Wast Water

Looking back on the deep blue colour of Wast Water

Heading further up the rocky trail (Scafell Pike Walk Instructions Part 3)

After a kilometre the path crosses the now much smaller Lingmell Gill where you should take care on the potentially wet stones (pictured below) before heading over Brown Tongue and into the Hollow Stones area. Glance behind you and you'll see some fantastic views back to Wast Water.

The path crossing the now much narrower Lingmell Gill and heads over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones

The path crossing the now much narrower Lingmell Gill and heads over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones

The path crossing the now much narrower Lingmell Gill and heads over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones

The path crossing the now much narrower Lingmell Gill and heads over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones

Head over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones on your way up to Scafell Pike Summit

Head over Brown Tongue and into Hollow Stones on your way up to Scafell Pike Summit

Take the right fork towards Mickledore

The path goes left, or right. Both routes lead towards Scafell Pike but the right route is a more rewarding challenging scramble to Mickledore

The path goes left, or right. Both routes lead towards Scafell Pike but the right route is a more rewarding challenging scramble to Mickledore

Decisions decisions. Go left for an easier route. But we're heading right

Scafell Pike Climb Instructions Part 4

After half a kilometre the path splits- the path to the left which heads east is more prominent. However we’re heading right and south-east towards the more rugged scramble up to Mickledore

Take the right fork in the path for a scramble up to Mickledore

The path splits right towards the Mickledore Col which offers a fantastic scramble to test your legs

The path splits right towards the Mickledore Col which offers a fantastic scramble to test your legs

Continuing up to the Mickledore Peak

The Path continues up the scramble to Mickledore

The Path continues up the scramble to Mickledore

The scramble up the Mickledore Col

Walk Instructions Part 5

The path to Mickledore is more of a scramble with loose screes and the possibility of getting your hands dirty so put that camera away for a short while. Follow the rugged following path upwards and you’ll soon be up atop the Mickledore col between Scafell Pike and Sca fell with awesome views of the valleys and rocky crags.

The Final push towards the Mickledore Peak on the way to Scafell Pike

The final scramble up to Mickledore en route to Scafell Pike.

The final scramble up to Mickledore en route to Scafell Pike.

The Mountain Rescue Post off Scafell Pike atop the Mickledore crossroads.

The Mountain Rescue Post off Scafell Pike atop the Mickledore crossroads.

Scafell Pike Walk Instructions Part 6

From the Mickledore Col head left in a north east direction ascending Scafell Pike passing You will pass a mountain rescue point (pictured above) after which the path makes its way over the rocks towards the summit of Scafell Pike where you’ll likely spot people on the top in the distance.

The Scafell Pike Summit from Mickledore

Looking out at Scafell Pike from the Mickledore Mountain Rescue Post

Looking out at Scafell Pike from the Mickledore Mountain Rescue Post

The Scafell Pike Summit with walkers in the distance

Groups of walkers on the Scafell Pike peak in jubilation

Groups of walkers on the Scafell Pike peak in jubilation

Breathtaking views of the Lakes and Fells atop Scafell Pike

The views from the summit of Scafell Pike are amazing. On a clear day you can look to the West with views out to sea and the Isle of Mann. Today's ascent was on a hazy day which detracted somewhat from the views- but not from the challenge of the climb.

Views from the top of Scafell Pike to Ullswater and the Lakeland Fells

The view out to Ullswater from the top of Scafell Pike

The view out to Ullswater from the top of Scafell Pike

Looking North from the top of Scafell Pike

Looking down from the top of Scafell Pike on the view to the North

Looking down from the top of Scafell Pike on the view to the North

The trig point atop Scafell Pike looking down on Wast Water

Looking out from the trip point at the to of Scafell Pike with a fitting Union Jack

Looking out from the trip point at the to of Scafell Pike with a fitting Union Jack

Descending from the Scafell Pike Summit

Walk Instructions Part 7

Head North-west from the summit following the prominent path which continues to follow the cairns towards the Lingmell Col on the main tourist path.

Head back down following the Cairns

Heading back down following the cairns with breathtaking views of the Lakeland Fells

Heading back down following the cairns with breathtaking views of the Lakeland Fells

Follow the visible path back towards Wast Water

Head down the path back towards Wast Water Follow the cairns as these denominate the main trail.

Head down the path back towards Wast Water Follow the cairns as these denominate the main trail.

After the rugged rocky sections the path veers left through a more grassy valley

Walk instructions part 8

After the rugged sections on the descent the path veers off to the left in the grassy valley section. Continue to follow the cairns as the path flows downwards towards Wast Water.

Continue down for stunning views towards Sca Fell and Wast Water

You're never alone on Scafell- Plenty of walkers out on a good day. (To the left of the photo is the edge towards the Peak of Sca Fell which isn't to be confused with Scafell Pike- it's a different mountain)

You're never alone on Scafell- Plenty of walkers out on a good day. (To the left of the photo is the edge towards the Peak of Sca Fell which isn't to be confused with Scafell Pike- it's a different mountain)

The path weaving its way down to Wast Water and Wasdale. Beware- there's still a fair way to go

The path weaving its way down to Wast Water and Wasdale. Beware- there's still a fair way to go

Those knees are taking a pounding with all the downhill walking

The path continues to lose altitude on the way back down to Wasdale

The path continues to lose altitude on the way back down to Wasdale

Make sure you follow the signs for Wasdale Head National Park Car Park

Walk Instructions 9

Two thirds of the way down the trail you’ll pass through a stile and see a small sign for Wasdale National Trust Car Park and Wasdale Head. Make sure you veer left and follow the trail back towards the National Trust Car Park and your car.

Those legs are tired but you're nearly back to the start of your walk

Head through the stile on the way back down

Head through the stile on the way back down

Follow the signs for Wasdale National Trust Car Park (If that's where you parked!)

Follow the signs for Wasdale National Trust Car Park (If that's where you parked!)

The end of the Scafell Pike Walk

Heading back towards the National Trust Car Park with the amazing Wast Water in view

Heading back towards the National Trust Car Park with the amazing Wast Water in view

Crossing the bridge over over Lingmell

Crossing the bridge over over Lingmell

The full list of instructions for climbing Scafell Pike from Wasdale

Climbing Scafell Pike from Wasdale

  1. This walk begins at the Wasdale Head National Trust car park beside Wasdale Head campsite. Follow the gravel road up alongside the car park which runs with Wast Water to your right.
  2. About 150 m after the the climbing club hut cross the bridge over the Lingmell Gill. On the other side of the bridge join the rugged path that runs right and starts to kick up a little steeper. This path follows northern side of Lingmell Gill for around a kilometre.
  3. After a kilometre the path crosses the now much smaller Lingmell Gill where you should take care on the potentially wet stones (pictured below) before heading over Brown Tongue and into the Hollow Stones area. Glance behind you and you'll see some fantastic views back to Wast Water.
  4. After half a kilometre the path splits- the path to the left which heads east is more prominent. However we’re heading right and south-east towards the more rugged scramble up to Mickledore
  5. The path to Mickledore is more of a scramble with loose screes and the possibility of getting your hands dirty so put that camera away for a short while. Follow the rugged following path upwards and you’ll soon be up atop the Mickledore col between Scafell Pike and Sca fell with awesome views of the valleys and rocky crags
  6. From the Mickledore col head left in a north east direction ascending Scafell Pike passing You will pass a mountain rescue point after which the path makes its way over the rocks towards the summit of Scafell Pike where you’ll likely spot people on the top in the distance.

Descending from Scafell Pike

  1. Head North-west from the summit following the prominent path which continues to follow the cairns towards the Lingmell Col on the main tourist path.
  2. After the rugged sections on the descent the path veers off to the left in the grassy valley section. Continue to follow the cairns as the path flows downwards towards Wast Water.
  3. Two thirds of the way down the trail you’ll pass through a stile and see a small sign for Wasdale National Trust Car Park and Wasdale Head. Make sure you veer left and follow the trail back towards the National Trust Car Park.

Looking for More Walks in the Lake District?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on August 25, 2012:

Thanks Dan. I thought you would appreciate this. Scafell Pike and the Lake District is a 'Must Do' in the Lake District if you ever get the chance. Isn't not exactly high up to many but it's a constant climb. Hope to see you there some day.

Dan Human from Niagara Falls, NY on August 25, 2012:

Now this looks like a fantastic hike CF. I'll have to put this on my to-do list when I visit England, which hopefully I'll do in a couple of years. Great pictures and directions.

Liam Hallam (author) from Nottingham UK on August 25, 2012:

Thanks Judi Bee. I loved wainwrights Walks. I particularly like Julia Bradbury who really adds enthusiasm to the program and would no doubt be a great walking companion.

You're more than welcome to link to this article of it adds to your works.

@natashalh- thanks for your feedback. Glad you enjoyed

Judi Brown from UK on August 25, 2012:

Beautiful photos - I really enjoyed the Wainwright's Walks series on the BBC a year or so ago. Is it OK if I link to this hub from one of mine - it mentions Scafell Pike in passing.

Natasha from Hawaii on August 25, 2012:

What fantastic photos! I love your complete journey up this hike. Thanks for sharing this.