Knockan Crag and the Knockan Klippen, North-west Highlands - an excursion

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By Kathryn Goodenough and Maarten Krabbendam

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Simplified geological map of the Knockan area, after British Geological Survey (2007), showing the localities described in Excursion 6.

Excursion 6 from: Goodenough, Kathryn M. and Krabbendam, Maartin (Editors) A geological excursion guide to the North-west Highlands of Scotland. Edinburgh : Edinburgh Geological Society in association with NMS Enterprises Limited, 2011.

Purpose To study the late, brittle Moine Thrust, where rocks of the Moine Supergroup are brought almost directly above undisturbed Cambro-Ordovician sedimentary rocks, and to see the Moine mylonites. The second part of the excursion looks at the relationships between the Moine Thrust and klippen of underlying thrusts.
Aspects covered The Cambro-Ordovician sedimentary sequence, thrust geometries and mylonites.
Maps OS: 1:50,000 Landranger sheet 15 Loch Assynt; 1:25,000 Explorer sheet 439 Coigach and Summer Isles. BGS: 1:50,000 special sheet, Assynt district.
Terrain The first part of the excur-sion concentrates on Knockan Crag, the location of a SNH visitor centre and walking trail. The excursion follows a short circular route from the Knockan Crag car-park, along a well-built path, the lower part of which is suitable for wheelchairs. The Knockan Crag visitor centre is targeted at the general public and provides some interesting exhibits. The second part of the excursion involves a walk over open moor-land, much of which is rather boggy. Up to 100m of ascent on rough ground is involved and, in poor weather, careful navigation may be required.
Time First part of the excursion, the trail at Knockan Crag, will occupy most groups for 1–2 hours. The second part of the excursion requires around half a day.
Access The Knockan Crag trail is open to visitors all year round. The second part of the excursion crosses crofted land; it is important that parked vehicles in this area do not block gates or tracks, and that all gates are left as they are found. Dogs should be kept firmly under control, or ideally left at home. Knockan Crag is a National Nature Reserve and there should be no hammering or sampling at out-crops in this excursion.

There are two excursions

Excursion 6a: Knockan Crag[edit]

Excursion 6b: The klippen at Knockan[edit]


At all times follow: The Scottish Access Codeand Code of conduct for geological field work