28 Jun

OS map sheet 31 Grid Reference F99500174

β€œWe don’t stop hiking because we grow old - we grow old because we stop hikingβ€œ

Finis Mitchell

Buckoogh is a 588-meter-high mountain in the Nephin Beg group of mountains in County Mayo. Boc Umhach (an "eminence rich in copper") is its Irish name, and it is recognized by the long, straight slope that leads to the summit before abruptly dropping off.
There are a few ways to climb this mountain, but the one I chose kept me close to the cliff edge the entire way to the top so that I didn't lose sight of the terrific views to the west. Sticking to the edge also ensured a dry route underfoot.

Route up and down


Access to the mountain climb can be easily accessed from here by leaving your car at a little lay-by (marked P on the OS map) on the top road leading towards Srahmore. It's best to stay on the outside when following a newly constructed fence line up the mountain because the fence runs out after about 300 meters and there's no need to climb over it.

Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay pictured from the slopes of Buckoogh.

The terrain is in excellent condition this time of year, with the exception of a few wet spots, and is ideal for hiking. It's probably a different story when it's raining. As you wind your way higher, the slope is gentle with a few difficult parts to navigate, and when you get close to the top, or when you believe you're close to the top, you'll come across the first of a few false summits.

Birreencorragh and the top of Nephin mountain pictured from the top of Buckoogh.

It's a bit of an anticlimax when you finally reach the summit after the somewhat long climb because all you find are bog-covered peat hags everywhere. On this mountain, there aren't any nice stoney cairns like you see on other summits in the area.

 However, this is quickly forgotten as you take in the stunning views that are laid out before you, particularly to the west, where the Corranabinnias and Glennamong ascend to a height of about 700 meters. To the east, Birreencorragh and the Glenlara spur line may be seen, with Nephin Mountain's summit in the distance.

Bengorm on the left along with the two Corranabinnas. 

Slieve Carr looking very remote pictured towards the north west


Another great Sunset in the West


Sunsets are usually stunning sights to capture, and this is particularly true when done from a mountaintop like Buckoogh. The Corranabinnias, Glennamong, and Slieve Carr mountains provide a stunning backdrop for anyone photographing from here. It is also always good to be prepared for the unexpected when you are photographing in the mountains because, for example, at one time a sheep jumped into frame for a very brief appearance and with a quick click of the shutter button was to be forever featured in a sunset shot of Buckoogh. 😁

Looking into the Srahmore river valley from the side of Buckoogh  (Baaaaa !😁)

The golden and blue hours are ideal for sunset photography. These are the moments right before and after sunrise and sunset, and their duration varies depending on the meteorological conditions.

From Buckoogh, facing northwest shortly after the sun had gone below the horizon.

At this time of day, the sky's hues are also at their best, and if there are any high clouds, the setting sun will cast light on them.


As the evening progresses and darkness is not too far off, clouds begin to develop on the peaks, and it's time to begin making my way down.

As I descend the slope, I am greeted by a magnificent view of Clew Bay and its islands. Croagh Patrick, as well as Clare Island, standing peacefully out in the bay, can be seen through the haze.

Overlooking the start of the Glendahurk horseshoe ridge path, Clare Island rises above Clew Bay.

From the side of Buckoogh on the way down, a view of Furnace Lough.

As I take in the last vistas and continue to capture this magnificent area, the pace has slowed slightly, and I'm thinking of my next trekking and photography adventure. According to Ger McGreal of Hidden Connaught, the Glendahurk horseshoe comes highly recommended and is definitely worth tackling. That'll require some planning, and for me to see and photograph everything there, it'll almost probably have to be an overnighter.

Carpe Diem


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