Mount Brandon (Cnoc Bréanainn)

Mt Brandon


Location: County Kerry Map

Transport: end of Faha Rd

Elevation: 953 m (3,127 ft)


Description of Mount Brandon

Mount Brandon is the second highest mountain in Ireland (951 m, 3119 feet). It is situated on the Dingle Peninsula in county Kerry. Mount Brandon gets its name from Saint Brendan “The Navigator” who climbed it in 530 AD. According to a legend saint saw the Americas before setting on a trip for the New World. Today Mount Brandon is a popular hiking destination. The eastern mountain is covered by corries left by the glacier activity, while the western slope is unbroken and smooth. It usually takes six to seven hours to climb the mountain and return home. Although if you have couple of sandwiches and bottle of wine it might take longer. Picnic with a beautiful view is worth the time.


Mt Brandon

Houses on Mount Brandon (4000 years old)



Mount Brandon is part of a 300-million-year-old Gaelic-like Sliabh Mish mountain range, which today forms an impressive line of ridges for about nine kilometers along the peninsula. In addition to Mount Brandon (930 m), passes the peaks of An Gearan (Brandon peak, 803 m, Piaras Mor 748 m) and Mas an Tiompan (763 m.

The rocky aspect of Mount Brandon is due to the work of the ancient glaciers of the Ice Age, which dug a series of circuses on the eastern flank of the mountain. Almost all along the path to the summit runs a succession of aligned rock terraces each sheltering a lake (the Pater Noster lakes, the largest being the Loch Cruite). The summit of Mount Brandon itself is round and smooth, as it has never been covered by ice, and has a strong contrast with the nearby Pic Brandon, which looks almost like an alpine mountain.

The western part of Mount Brandon is totally different from the eastern part. More exposed to the sun, it has been much less affected by glaciers, and is in the form of very regular grassy slopes.