Dow Crag. The Lake District
I think Dow Crag is my 2nd most climbed hill in the Lake District. The climb up is fairly gradual if you start from the Coniston side. I usually follow the Walna Sca road which follows the base of Coniston Old Man, follow the path which will eventually go over a bridge before starting the zig-zag up the hill.
You’ll eventually reach the crossroads and get greeted with a great view over to the Scafell Range and if you’re lucky, the Isle of Man. Go right here and again you will zig-zag up the side until you reach a cairn and a half moon-shaped shelter. I usually take in the view here before following the ridge which slowly ascends up to the top of Dow Crag.
En route to the top you will see the Duddon valley to your left and Blind Tarn down to your right as well as a few gulleys, once you reach the rocky area, these both offer great photo opportunities. I also like to look back at the crossroads and follow the track which leads away to White Maiden. I have fond memories of a winter walk up here when a fell runner ran past. There were 20-30 mile an hour winds, ice and snow everywhere and the passing words were “It’s a bit wild isn’t it?” Nothing more needed to be said, he was right.
At the top, you will need to do a little scramble up onto the tops, which is a bit like a birds nest with a little sheltered area surrounded by the rocks. Another fond memory from being stood here is my first viewing of a Brocken Spectre. I was surrounded by clouds at the top, but the sun broke out and cast my silhouette into the clouds in front of me. It was amazing (I caught it on video).
If you don’t want to do the scramble on to the rocky but at the top, you can scoot around the edge and avoid any of the bigger drops. I do this if it’s too icy or windy. There’s no shame in taking the less exposed route.
I like to do a circular walk here by carrying on to Goat’s Hawse before dropping down passed Goats water which will eventually bring you back onto the same path you walked up on.
Moderate – Dow Crag is bit of a long slog to get to the top but it’s relatively easy walking. The path zig-zags up and before you know it you’re at the top.
OS Grid Ref: SD 26253 97793
Latitude: 54° 22′ 13″ N
Longitude: 3° 8′ 11″ W
From the top you get 360 degree views. On one side you look across at the top of Coniston Old Man with Coniston Water down to the right with Goats water just in front.
On the other side you have the Duddon Valley with Harter Fell and the Scafell Range standing out proud.
If it’s a clear day, you will see the Isle of Man.