Cairnwell Pass

Cairnwell Pass, a sensational steep drive in Scotland

Cairnwell Pass is a mountain pass at an elevation of 670m (2,199ft) above the sea level, located in the Scottish Highlands. Plenty of sections well into double digits on the way to the summit. It's one of the highest roads of the country.

The pass is located between Glenshee and Braemar. The road to the summit is totally paved. It's called A93. At this elevation it is the highest main road in the United Kingdom. At the summit is the Glenshee Ski Centre, Scotland's largest and oldest ski centre. A mile south of the summit is the Devil's Elbow, a double-hairpin bend climbing at a gradient of 17 percent. The Devil's Elbow has been bypassed since the road was rerouted in the 1960s but can still be walked or cycled. The road is very steep, with plenty of sections well into double digits. Traffic is sparse.

The road offers dramatic mountain-top scenery on all sides.This road is usually open all year, but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. The pass follows the military road built by William Caulfeild in the 1750s and was used by drovers to take cattle and sheep to market. The scenery is stunning.


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