Nephin or Nefin, at 806 metres, is the highest standalone mountain in Ireland.
Height: 806m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 23/31 Grid Reference: G10347 07975
Néifinn is variously translated as meaning 'heavenly', 'sanctuary', or "Finn's Heaven".
Nephin is Connacht’s second highest mountain, offering superb views in all directions from its central location at the heart of Mayo. A great day’s hillwalk. Nephin can be accessed by different routes. Although there is no one way to climb the mountain, it is advisable to seek advice before the ascent.
In 2019 thanks to Mayo County Council, the Nephin’s Haven group and the local community, a new marked trail has been put in place to take you all the way to the top of the mountain! It is advisable for first time climbers to follow this route. There is also a car park at the base.
A trigonometrical pillar marks the summit, which offers an amazing view of the surrounding countryside and the vast blankets of bog in the Erris regions. The mountain overlooks Lough Conn and legend has it you can see the mountains of Donegal and Connemara – the locals say you can see seven counties on a clear day!
Before you climb
Be aware that it’s incredibly easy to get lost on a mountain, even in this age of technology, and particularly if cloud ascends quickly and unexpectedly. Prepare before you climb and do not take any risks. Before climbing Nephin, make sure to do the following:
Check the weather:
If it’s likely to rain,or if there could be a possible drop in temperature this will determine your clothing choice as well as the difficulty of the climb. And remember, the higher you go, the colder it gets!
and wear suitable footwear – preferably a good pair of hiking boots. Layer up in breathable fabrics and bring something waterproof – this will also shield you from the wind. Wear something bright – if the worst happens and you need rescuing, it will help the crew to spot you.
Know what time the sun sets
and try to avoid getting caught in the dark. If you think there’s a chance you might, bring a torch.
Stick to the marked trail if you’re a novice climber.
Stick to the marked trail
if you’re a novice climber.
Tell someone exactly where you are going
and let them know what time you expect to be back, especially if you’re setting out alone.
Look over your route in advance: Take note of landmarks or natural formations that should appear along your route, and know what direction you are heading: North, South, East or West. It’s best to have someone with you who can read a map and use a compass. Before climbing Nephin, take a photo of your map, in case it blows away or gets damaged!
Charge your phone:
Make sure your battery is fully charged, and consider bringing a power pack, especially if it’s a cold day, as the cold may drain your battery.
Bring food and water:
something to keep you going if your energy levels dip or if your walk takes longer than you planned.
Learn the number for
Guided climbs of Nephin, Co. Mayo
If you don’t feel confident tackling the mountain on your own, why not contact one of our local guides who will be happy to guide you safely to the summit?
Derek at Walk West Ireland
Rachel at Rachel’s Irish Adventures
Georgia and Ged at Terra Firma Ireland