Djouce Mountain Hike: best route, distance, when to visit, and more

Looking for an amazing walk or hike in Ireland? Check out the incredible Djouce Mountain in County Wicklow.

Wicklow is well known for its stunning scenery, and the Djouce Mountain hike is no exception.

Of all the wonderful ways you can experience the Emerald Isle, whether by car, barge, bike, or plane, none compare to simply walking the land on foot.

This island is a paradise for both the thrill-seeking experienced hiker and the relaxed, laidback hillwalker.

With so many treks and trails to choose from, of all lengths, difficulties, and terrains, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking the perfect hike for your day out.

Fear not; we’re here to help give you a little bit of inspiration. So, without further ado, here is all you need to know about the Djouce Mountain walk in tranquil County Wicklow.

Basic overview – all you need to know

  • Distance: 7 to 13 km (4.3 to 8 miles)
  • Start point: Crone Woods car park or J.B. Malone car park
  • Parking: Crone Woods car park or J.B. Malone car park
  • Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous, depending on which walk you choose
  • Total time: Three to five hours

Djouce Mountain hike – the most accessible of the Wicklow Mountains

The boardwalk on Djouce Mountain.
Credit: Twitter / @PEDeBauw

First things first: we must introduce you to the mountain with a somewhat unusual name. Djouce or ‘Dioghais’, meaning’ fortified height’, stands at a height of 725m (2,379 ft) above sea level.

Reaching the summit of this charming peak is known to be the most accessible of the Wicklow Mountains.

Once forming part of the luxurious Powerscourt Estate, Djouce dominates the landscape of the Wicklow Mountains. However, it’s not just the view of the mountain that is stunning; the views from the top are particularly spectacular, especially on a good day.

If the weather decides to treat you nicely, it is possible to see Wales from the summit of the Djouce Mountain walk.

This mountain is also one of the few Irish peaks made accessible by the OPW (Office of Public Works) by a boardwalk made from railway sleepers.

The boarded trail runs from the base of Djouce to a point close to its summit, making the mountain accessible to the public and ensuring the underlying bogland is protected from human erosion.

The routes – from challenging hikes to leisurely strolls

Djouce Mountain hike route.
Credit: Ireland Before You Die

Thanks to its accessibility, location, and phenomenal views on offer, the Djouce Mountain hike is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.

The options to extend the walk are endless. You can start with the 7 km walk (4.3 miles) from the base to the summit. Alternatively, you can begin further away at Crone Woods car park, which will add an additional 6 km (3.7 miles).

You can also walk a large loop from Djouce Mountain over to Fancy Mountain or extend your walk down to Powerscourt Waterfall. So many possibilities!

The Djouce Mountain walk is truly incredible.
Credit: Instagram / @rosepagetfranck

If you’re really looking for a challenge, the Djouce Mountain walk also provides a scenic diversion from the 131 km (81 miles) Wicklow Way hike (stretching from the Dublin Mountains, through Wicklow and into County Carlow.)

Access to the summit is about 4 km (2.5 miles) from the Wicklow Way trail junction on the mountain’s southern slopes and offers a steep but scenic viewpoint.

To get to Djouce Mountain, you can take the M50 or N11 southbound and exit on to the R755 at Kilmacanogue signposted to Glendalough/Roundwood. Take a right turn on to the R759 towards Sally Gap, and you will reach the J.B. Malone Car Park on the right-hand side of the road.

Expectations – what to bring, wear, and expect on your hike

What to expect on your hike.
Credit: Instagram / @6regmcc

Due to its barren summit, the Djouce Mountain hike is very exposed to the elements. So, appropriate footwear is highly recommended to ensure a safe and pleasant experience.

If you decide to stick to the boardwalk trail, good waterproof boots and a warm coat will do nicely.

However, if you’re planning to go further afield or off the beaten track, we recommend a good set of walking poles.

The walk is suitable for children and is a gradual climb, with the only steep slope being the final push to the summit.

The Djouce Mountain Hike is very accessible.
Credit: Instagram / @hails.trails

From the base, you will follow the boardwalk, which extends over the wet bog below. If you’re lucky, you will have a chance to see some deer, an abundance of birdlife, and plenty of eye-catching Wicklow heather.

On your walk, expect to find a memorial stone dedicated to J.B. Malone, a hill-walking enthusiast responsible for establishing the Wicklow Way – a fitting place for a tribute.

Local attractions – things to do and see nearby and from above

Powerscourt Estate is nearby.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

There is an array of things to do and see in and around Djouce Mountain. There are plenty of charming pubs, eateries, and delicatessens nearby, perfect for a well-deserved feed or cheeky pint after your excursion.

Glendalough Monastic Site is only a short drive away if you want to explore a little bit more, as is Powerscourt Waterfall, Estate and Gardens, and the Vartry Reservoir.

From above, the peak overlooks the dramatic Sally Gap and Lough Tay below.

As you pan around, you can the outline of Turlough Hill Power Station, the Poolbeg chimney stacks, the Irish Sea, Howth, the Great Sugarloaf (another great hike for another day), as well as the rest of the majestic Wicklow Mountains.

Why not make a day of it? – our recommendations for your Djouce Mountain walk

You need to do the Djouce Mountain walk.
Credit: @kiirstiejackson / Instagram

To make the most of your Djouce Mountain hike, we recommend rising early and beginning your walk early. This will ensure you will find ample parking and you will likely have more of the mountain to yourself ahead of the busy afternoon rush.

From the J.B. Malone Car Park, follow the railway sleepers up through Ballinastoe Woods and up to the scenic viewing point at the J.B. Malone memorial.

Here you will be caught off guard with breathtaking views of glistening Lough Tay and the 6,000-acre Luggala Estate, once owned by the Guinness family. From here, follow the trail to White Hill before taking a ninety-degree turn north. Now you will follow the boardwalk up towards Djouce.

You will have to hop over a small stile and eventually reach another junction. This time, the boardwalk turns eastwards to the Wicklow Way and on to Powerscourt Waterfall and Enniskerry.

Instead, leave the boardwalk and climb up the gravel pathway to the summit. Once you reach the top, take a deep breath and enjoy the views of the mountains, loughs, fields, and sea below.

Djouce Mountain Hike is worth it for the views.
Credit: Instagram / @kristinindublin

This route is classed as ‘moderate’ in difficulty. From the car park and back is 7 km (4 miles) and can be completed in three hours.

After your hike, we recommend taking a trip to Enniskerry. Here you can stop for a cuppa and a bite to eat in Poppies Café. You can also explore the fabulous Powerscourt Estate, House and Gardens.

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