The Cairngorms are mountains with very special flora, fauna and geology that can be damaged easily. Due to the large numbers of people visiting the Ptarmigan Top Station, we operate a conservation plan to protect the fragile habitats, within and surrounding the ski area.
Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Ltd are dedicated to running the mountain sustainably and have signed up to a legal agreement not to permit users of the Mountain Railway access onto the sensitive mountain areas nearby. This means that mountain railway passengers are not permitted to leave the Ptarmigan building to go out on the mountain.
You can however experience outdoor panoramic views from our viewing terrace or join one of our guided walks from The Top Station to Cairn Gorm summit. You may also go to any part of the mountain if you walk from the car park, however you should do this by following the centre of built paths to prevent erosion wherever possible. If you are walking from the Base of the mountain and wish to descend on the Mountain Railway, this can be done by purchasing a ticket from the Shop at the Top at the Top Station.
As part of the planning conditions for the building of the Mountain Railway, we have a robust Visitor Management Plan. This requires constant monitoring, coordinated and carried out by the Mountain Ranger Service and Staff, the results guide the management of visitors and the resource. The Ranger Service assist the Land Manager in ensuring this plan is adhered to, by education and working in partnership with our staff, helping to engage with members of the pubic to make sure they are aware of the summer restrictions and the reasons for them.
Any changes to the agreement must be approved by The Highland Council, Nature Scot and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, in partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority. We recognise the demand for access onto the mountain and over the years have been working to increase the opportunities in a controlled manner, safeguarding the European designated sites beyond the Ski Area. The guided activities that are now provided for visitors are effective in promoting a better understanding of the mountain environment.
Please help us to protect our natural heritage by co-operating with our Visitor Management Plan and behaving responsibly. These mountains are not ours, but they are our responsibility to look after.
© Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited | Registered in Scotland No.SC614703