Cycling The Lecht

Lecht by where-the-bike-takes-me
📷 by "Where The Bike Takes Me"

The iconic Lecht climb from the south has been described as a "true monster of a climb", and justifiably so.

Starting from Cockbridge, close to the star shaped Corgarff Castle, this stunning 2.5 mile climb leads to a ski centre on the council border between Aberdeenshire and Moray.

The road is very open and exposed so choose the day carefully when you decide to tick this climb off your must do list. Wind, and in winter snow, could easily lead to you not making it to the top.

Lecht by where-the-bike-takes-me
📷 by "Where The Bike Takes Me"

If you get a chance to look around and enjoy the scenery then you will be well rewarded. Indeed, the views from the summit are simply unrivaled by any other cycling route in Scotland, if not Britain.

The Lecht - Vital Statistics

Overall Distance: 2.583 miles

Climbing Distance: 1.9 miles

Descent Distance: 0.62 miles

Flat: 0.06 miles

Total Ascent: 931ft

Longest Ascent: 0.95 miles

Longest Descent: 0.34 miles

Highest Point: 2112ft at 1.9 miles

Total Descent: 160ft

Steepest Ascent: 20% at 0.06 miles

Steepest Descent: -7.8% at 0.73 miles

Ave Gradient: 5.6%

The Lecht Route Description

You start your ascent from the bridge over the River Don, just after the turn off for the beautiful Corgarff castle. Straight away you hit the steepest section which greets you with a 20% ramp. This assault to your lungs and legs continues as you pass through the snow gates and past the art sculptures on your left. These are used by many as a good excuse to dismount and grab a rest! Continuing on, the road banks right and plateaus before a quarter mile long descent giving you a chance to recover and prepare for the next 0.8 mile ascent at an average of 8%. The second descent of the climb (if that makes sense) for 0.4 miles again allows some recovery before the final 4.5% push to the ski station.

Route map for The Lecht (from Cockbridge) by Cycle Grampian on


The Lecht Road Climb



Points of Interest

The art sculptures just after the first ramp are worth a quick look.

A Moment in Time

The Moment in Time sculpture, by Louise Gardiner, is an inscribed standing stone which provides telescopic views of the distant Corgarff Castle.

The Watchers

The Watchers by John Kennedy are four hand-crafted sculptural iron seats providing shelter from the wind, and stunning views over the Cairngorms.

Facilities near The Lecht

  Free parking in Ballater and Tomintoul.

Toilets at the Ski Centre.

Cafes in Corgarff, and in Ballater.

Nearest shops, bars etc in Tomintoul and Ballater.

Mobile phone signal good all over.

Nearest cycle repair shops are in Ballater.

Getting to the Lecht

Although the Lecht is in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park it is still relatively easy to get to.

From Deeside

From Aberdeen follow the Dee on the A93 to Ballater. As you leave Ballater take the A939 to its junction with the A944 where head left. Corgraff, the start of the climb is 3 mile up the road.

From Donside

From Huntly or Alford head to Mossat on the A944. Turn at Mossat and follow this road for approximately 20 miles to Corgraff.

From Tomintoul

From Aviemore or Inverness head to Speybridge. From there take the A939 and follow this through Tomintoul to the ski centre.

Other Classic Climbs

Cairn O’Mount (South)

Distance: 2.07 miles   Ascent: 1049 ft
Gradient: 9.8%Ave  18.6%Max


On the B974 this category 3 road climb starts from Clatterin Brig and continues without respite until reaching the viewpoint at the top.

Cycle the Cairn O'Mount...


Suie (North)

Distance: 1.3 miles   Ascent:560ft
Gradient; 8.4%Ave  22.5%Max

Suie by Stanley Howe
📷 Stanley Howe (cc-by-sa/2.0)

On the Suie road from Clatt the climb starts just after the junction with the Leslie road. A steady start, a steep ramp, and a long sustained push.

Cycle the Suie...