A Guide To Climbing Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike is the smallest of the National Three Peaks, but this doesn’t make it an easy climb.

A National Trust site, at 978 metres this is England’s highest mountain and is in fact a war memorial.  As part of the challenge, you’ll tackle the steep start of Scafell after having scaled Ben Nevis and your weary legs will get a bit of a test!

Views of Scafell Pike across the lake in the distance

Key Facts

  • Height: 978 m or 3,209 ft
  • Difficulty: Smallest of the National 3 Peaks
  • Time: 4-5 hours from Wasdale

Getting to Scafell Pike

Situated in the Lake District, the surrounding area has a wealth of accommodation on offer. Wasdale is nearest to Scafell and with accommodation from camping to boutique hotels like 1692  there is something suitable for every pocket. Most hotels are used to serving walkers, so muddy boots and layers of clothes are very welcome!

Scafell Pike Route Map

The starting point for Scafell Pike is the Wasdale National Trust Car Park. The car park is next to a campsite that has a hot food/drinks trailer, information booth and toilets. This is the ideal location to start climbing Scafell Pike. The Wasdale route has a very steep start and a few rest stops might be needed when climbing Scafell Pike.

What is the route like?

The route is pretty rough and ready! Rocky and stony, with rocky gills and stone steps the terrain up Scafell is challenging and in particular the Wasdale route is a steep one. With lots of narrow and steep paths, this may be a small peak but it is most certainly mighty!

From the roof of England you get some amazing views and on a very clear day, visitors can look out to summits in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man! Set in beautiful scenery with access to the beautiful Lake District, Scafell Pike provides an amazing mid mountain trek for the 3 peaks challenge.

Scafell Pike Summit, Lake District, Cumbria

What is the best time of year to climb Scafell Pike?

As with any walk in Britain, the best conditions will be between May and October. Although the summer period offers the warmest temperatures and potential for low cloud and rain, it is also the most popular.

Getting the timing right for the trek ultimately will help make it more enjoyable; it is generally best to avoid July and August as teh school holidays will most certainly mean crowds and in fact a less authentic experience.

A weekday during late-May/early-June or middle of September will give you plenty of parking options and space on the mountain. Ascending with no one in front of you will be much more scenic than trudging in someone else’s wake.

It is not unusual to find snow high up on the mountain any time from October through to May. Whenever temperatures are sub zero, water ice can form and winter equipment should be carried.

Whenever you climb, remember that the summit temperature is likely to be between five and 10 degrees lower than the valley temperature and the summit plateau can experience severe windchill at any time of year.

Scafell Pike Weather

It is essential that you check the weather forecast before attempting to climb any mountain, including Scafell Pike. Attempting the three peaks challenge in the Summer months will reduce your risk of suffering bad weather conditions. Check the Met Office weather forecast for Scafell Pike here.

Join Mountaineerin for an organised trek or challenge

Mountaineerin run organised National 3 Peaks Challenge events throughout the year. Our qualified and first aid trained UK mountain leaders will guide you as you climb each mountain, guaranteeing a safe, fun and fulfilling climb to each summit.

Alternatively, why not consider the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge?

Happy Trekking!


Simon Ogunlana – Founder

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