Every hiker, novice or seasoned, considering taking on the challenge of Scafell Pike should know the approximate times for each route. These estimates, derived from Naismith’s rule and anecdotal evidence, help set expectations and ensure a safe and enjoyable climb. So, how long does it take to climb Scafell Pike? Let’s find out!

Firstly: it’s not a race.

As any seasoned hiker would tell you, climbing a mountain like Scafell Pike is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. The journey is just as important as the destination. So, take your time, pace yourself, and savour the experience.

Factors affecting how long it takes to climb Scafell Pike


The right or wrong outfit and gear can make a difference when climbing Scafell Pike. And yes, it can significantly affect the time it takes you to reach the summit. Check out our hiking preparation guide as well as our equipment guide.

Average walking speed on a mountain

On a good day, the average walking speed on a mountain is about 1.5 miles per hour. This means if you’re trekking the shortest route to the summit of Scafell Pike (about 6 miles return), it could take you approximately 4 hours. Remember, this is just a rough estimate, not taking into account much time for savouring the views or taking breaks.


Your fitness level significantly determines how long it’ll take you to climb Scafell Pike. The fitter you are, the quicker you’ll ascend and descend.


If you’re adventuring with little ones, naturally, your pace will be slower. But don’t let this deter you. Climbing Scafell Pike with children can be a gratifying experience; remember to take plenty of breaks!


Adverse weather conditions can slow you down. It’s always safer to postpone your hike if the weather is unpredictable.

Read more about Scafell Pike weather.

Taking in the views

Lastly, let’s not forget one of the main reasons we climb mountains: the breathtaking views. Scafell Pike is no exception. The time taken to drink in the stunning vistas from England’s highest peak is time well spent.

How long does it take to climb Scafell Pike via Wasdale Head?

Wasdale Head is the most direct route to the summit of Scafell Pike and, consequently, the quickest. On average, fit walkers can complete it in about 3 to 4 hours. However, if you’re less experienced or like to take your time and enjoy the scenery, you might want to budget 5 to 6 hours for the round trip.

Read more about the route to Scafell Pike from Wasdale here.

How long does it take to climb Scafell Pike via Borrowdale?

Are you thinking about tackling Scafell Pike via the scenic Borrowdale route? Good choice! This trail, beloved by hikers for its lush greenery and stunning vistas, weaves a path through some of the Lake District’s most beautiful terrain.

But how long does it take to conquer the Pike via this path? The average time is typically around 6-9 hours – a full day’s adventure!

Read the guide to climbing Scafell Pike via Borrowdale here.

How long does it take to climb Scafell Pike via Langdale?

If you’re an experienced hiker, you’ll be pleased to know that this route usually takes around 8 to 9 hours to complete. However, if you’re a novice or like to take your time and enjoy the views (who can blame you?), you should allow for a couple more hours. Remember, it’s not a race, so take your time and relish every moment.

Read the guide to climbing Scafell Pike via Langdale here.