Purple and Tomies Mountains

  • Lough Leane near Ross Castle, Tomies and Purple Mountain behind - © John Menard
  • Purple Mountain View from Upper Lake, Killarney - © mozzercork
  • Gap of Dunloe - sun hitting the Mountains - © Lisa Williams
  • Across Muckross Lake to Purple Mountain - © William Mackesy

Key information: Purple and Tomies Mountains

  • Purple and Tomies Mountains have exceptional views over the ridiculously pretty Killarney Lakes in the Killarney NP, and westward toward MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.
  • Both are strenuous but exciting climbs, and are linked by a fine ridge.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating84
  • Beauty32
  • Natural interest15
  • Human interest7
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points2
  • Total rating84
  • Note: Likely bad weather.

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 832m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous

This walk description page is at an early stage of development, and will be expanded over time. Your comments on this walk, your experiences and tips, and your photos are very welcome.

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Purple Mountain View from Upper Lake, Killarney - © mozzercork

WALK SUMMARY

Purple Mountain to the west of the stunning Killarney Lakes is the highest peak in the Killarney NP at 832m. Tomies Mountain to its north along the same ridge is no slouch either, at 735m.

Purple has exceptional views southward over the ridiculously pretty Killarney Upper Lake and westward across the Gap of Dunloe toward MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. Tomies’ finest views are eastward over the main Killarney Lakes, although it also has similar westward views.

Purple can be climbed by a steep, rough path from the road to the gap of Dunloe, taking in the tiny Glas Lough on the way. Its high sides are covered in steep

steep scree slopes of broken rock, shattered red sandstone which has given the mountain its name. Its two peaks are connected by a narrow and very rocky ridge, which is studded with cairns and has precipitous drops either side.

(We are seeking information on the best way to climb Tomies, other than as a ridge walk from Purple.)

You will need to do some way-finding.

You can walk between the two mountains along the wide ridges between them, on lesser paths and with some wayfinding needed, and can nip off if you so wish to take in Shehy Mountain to the east. Walkopedia covets this traverse.

The traverse is approximately 16km and should take 6-7 hours. The ascent of Purple should take 2 hrs or so, 3.5 hrs round trip.

The excellent Mountain Trails has good info and photos – and ideas about climbing Tomies and doing the traverse. http://mountaintrails.ie/hiking-purple-mountain-in-co-kerry-ireland/

The South-west gets a lot of rain and wind, plus cloud/fog and occasional winter snow on high ground. Take great care with wayfinding in foggy/mist/cloudy conditions, indeed the mountain isn’t much fun if you won’t be able to see! There is little shelter on the mountains, either from sun or rain. Be prepared, both mentally and with the right kit.

See our Killarney NP and Iveragh Peninsula pages for more general and practical information and photos.

We want to give you even more information on this walk - please send us your ideas, suggestions, experiences and photos!

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Across Muckross Lake to Purple Mountain - © William Mackesy

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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