The Cairngorms is a undulating high ground it is composed of granite and has been rounded and gouged by glaciations to produce a very distinctive landscape.
A walk to its highest top, Ben MacDui (4,296ft), gives an unsurpassed mountain panorama: tops capped with trademark granite tors, rocky cliff girded passes, corries, lochs and embryonic rivers. The high ground is surrounded by a vast hinterland of heather covered rolling hills and glens with important large river systems such as the Don, Dee and Spey.
- The Cairngorms Geolocation Latitude 57.08122° N, Longitude -3.724302° E
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There are extensive tracts of woodland: birch, Scots pine and juniper, which hide rare wildlife such as the capercaillie, crested tit, Scottish crossbill, osprey, badgers and pine martens.
On the higher ground snow bunting, dotterel, ptarmigan, golden eagle, red deer and mountain hare can be seen. The importance of this region has now been recognised and in 2004 it was designated a National Park.
This are is an adventure playground for the outdoor enthusiast. For the walker the network of long distant tracks, many of which were major lines of communication in the past, give straight forward access to remote glens and hills.
A typical days walking will be a journey through pine forest, beside clear lochans and fast flowing rivers, up over heather moorland and onto a grassy and mossy upland. This leaves much of the central area unpopulated and therefore an ideal locality for wilderness expeditions. It is possible to walk for several days without meeting anything more than a rudimentary mountain shelter.
To camp in the Old Wood of Caledon, beside rivers and lochs and to get away from civilisation, 3000ft up on the plateau, is a refreshing experience.
The large rivers, especially the Spey are ideal for canoeing and take paddlers through contrasting scenery and challenging waters. The nearby mountains provide an awe inspiring backdrop to any expedition.
The mountain biking facilities are excellent here with miles upon mile of natural single track trails through the forests and glens. The Cairngorms provide a whole range of trails to suit the both the newcomer and the experienced and they are increasingly gaining a reputation as a premier locality for this activity.
In the winter it is well known for downhill skiing but the topography also lends itself to ski touring or ski mountaineering. In good snow conditions, low level tours are possible on a variety of forest trails, while more demanding high level ski mountaineering trips to the plateau and summits are possible at most times. We advise you seek professional advise and guidance.