Sugarloaf hike: your guide to exploring the majestic trail

This iconic Wicklow mountain offers a great hike, and this is all you need to know to explore the trail.

Sugarloaf hike: your guide to exploring the majestic trail.

The Great Sugarloaf Mountain in County Wicklow is one of the most iconic natural attractions in the region, not only for its beauty and excellent hiking opportunities but also because of its iconic shape – like a sugarloaf.

Climbing the Great Sugar Loaf is relatively easy, but you should know a few things before embarking on your hike, which is where we come in. So, here is your bite-sized guide to exploring the majestic trail.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for hiking Sugarloaf:

  • When planning to undertake the Sugarloaf hike, it is advised to drive there, as it is not easily reached by public transport.
  • When parking, get there early to ensure you find a parking spot and leave no valuables in the car at this location.
  • Be prepared for the hike with plenty of water, comfortable walking shoes, and some snacks along the way, as you won’t find anywhere to grab these here. Plus, it’s nice to treat yourself after reaching the summit.
  • There are two trails to choose from, a short trail and a long trail. The short one starts at the local car park and takes an hour to reach the summit and return down; the longer one starts at Fitzsimons Park and takes 2.5 hours to complete. 
  • The short trail is relatively direct, with an incline and can be rocky in places, while the long route offers more of a challenge.

Interesting facts about the Sugarloaf hike:

  • It stands proudly at 501 m (1,640 ft), and while it is not a vast mountain, reaching the summit is something to be proud of.
  • It is located in the northeast section of the Wicklow Mountains, famous within Ireland, and boasts views over Dublin Bay, the rest of the Wicklow Mountains and even the Mourne Mountains in County Down on a clear day.
  • The Great Sugar Loaf is made of Cambrian quartzite and has been shaped over millions of years of erosion, making it a marvel to discover.
  • The mountain is popular with paragliders, and you might witness some thrillseekers leaping off the edge during your hike.
  • The Sugarloaf has inspired poets, writers, and artists with its beauty and symbolism over the years and continues to do so.

What’s nearby

Food: For food, you want to head into the nearby towns of Enniskerry, Bray, and Greystones. You’ll find plenty to satisfy you in each of these towns.

Drink: Johnny Foxes Pub is just a 20-minute drive from Sugarloaf and is an excellent spot for delicious food, creamy pints, and traditional music. The aforementioned towns also have great little pubs that serve an excellent pint.

Other attractions: Glendalough has some of the best hikes in the region, with glorious scenery and beautiful lakes. Powerscourt Estate is renowned for its stunning gardens and magnificent waterfall.

Wicklow Mountains National Park also has much to offer, including plenty of hiking trails and beautiful flora and fauna to discover.

Your questions answered about the Sugarloaf hike

How long does the Sugarloaf hike take?

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It takes between one and two hours to complete.

Is the Sugarloaf hike suitable for beginners?

Yes, it is, but you should be somewhat fit for this hike.

Are dogs allowed on the Sugarloaf hike?

Yes, but they must be kept on a leash.

Find Your Dream Hotel in Ireland

On the hunt for the ultimate hotel for your Irish adventure? Explore a curated selection ranging from the charming heritage of boutique accommodations in Dublin's vibrant heart to the tranquil luxury of rural retreats and the captivating coastal vistas. Start your search below to find the perfect stay with our trusted hotel partner.



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