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The Djouce Mountain Walk: A Handy Ramble With Mighty Views (If You’re Lucky)

The Djouce Mountain Walk: A Handy Ramble With Mighty Views (If You’re Lucky)

I’d argue that the Djouce Mountain Walk is one of the best hikes in Wicklow.

If you do it 1, on a clear day and 2, manage to avoid parking mayhem, that is….. More on this below!

The Djouce Mountain hike (not to be confused with the Djouce Woods walk) is relatively straightforward and it takes 2.5-3 hours to complete.

Below, you’ll find where to park for the Djouce Mountain walk, how long it takes, the trail to follow and more.

Some quick need-to-knows about the Djouce Mountain walk

The walk from JB Malone car Park is one of the more straightforward walks in the area, especially when compared to the likes of the Lugnaquilla hike and Lough Ouler. Here’s some key info:

1. Height

Rising to a respectable 725 metres and located in the north-eastern area of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, Djouce Mountain is the 74th tallest peak in Ireland and one of the range’s most accessible mountains.

2. Djouce Mountain car parks

There are several places to park for the Djouce walk (see map above and the Google Map below for exact locations). The JB Malone car park is the ideal place to park as it’s right at the beginning of the Djouce hike trailhead, but it fills up very quickly.

3. Length and difficulty

If you tackle the Djouce Mountain walk from the JB Malone car park, the trail will stretch around 6km in total and it should take you between 2 and 3 hours, with stops. Trail wise, you’ll ramble along uneven surfaces and boardwalk sleepers. This is a moderately difficult walk.

4. Arrive early

The Djouce hike is one of the more popular things to do in Wicklow, especially when the weather’s fine. The result is that the car park can fill up quickly, so make sure that you arrive early to avoid disappointment. 

An overview of the Djouce hike

Djouce hike

Photos via Shutterstock

OK, so, hopefully this’ll go without saying, but make sure that you 1, bring water, 2, you dress for the weather and 3, leave no valuables visible in the car.

When you’ve all that done, it’s time to set off. I’m going to breakdown the walk below, so you’ve an idea of what to expect (there’s a Google Map of the trail further down).

Starting off the walk

After (hopefully) parking, take a minute to admire the view across the road. From the parking area, you’ll have some mighty views out over Lough Tay (aka ‘Guinness Lake‘).

When you’re ready, you’ll see the trail from the car park that leads into the forest. The ground here is rough, so shoes with good grip are needed, especially after rain.

Reaching the boardwalk

You’ll walk uphill for a little bit before the boardwalk sleepers first come into view. These are wrapped in wire, so they’re nice and handy to stroll along.

After a while, you’ll come to the JB Malone Monument (a big rock with a little stone memorial). This is a great spot to catch your breath and soak up some of the views that surround you. 

The summit

The last 2 times that I’ve done the Djouce Mountain walk, it’s taken between 60 and 80 minutes (this includes multiple stops) to reach the summit.

If you reach the summit of Djouce on a clear day, you’ll be able to see everywhere from Dublin City and Bray to Arklow and beyond.

When you’ve had your fill of the views, make your way back down towards the boardwalk and on to the car park.

A map of the Djouce Mountain hike

The map above outlines the main things you need to be aware of on the Djouce hike.

The little redish pointers mark the different places to park. Again, keep in mind that they fill up fast on good days.

The ideal car park for the Djouce hike is the J B Malone Car Park, as it’s right at the start of the trailhead.

The other car parks require a bit of a walk, with the one at Pier Gates needing a tough 18-minute uphill climb to reach the trailhead.

The white line roughly outlines the Djouce Mountain walk route – it’s very straightforward when the weather is clear.

Do the Sally Gap Drive after you’ve conquered Djouce Mountain in Wicklow

Sally Gap Drive

Photos via Shutterstock

One of the beauties of doing the Djouce walk is that, when you’re finished, there’s plenty to see and do nearby.

Now, if you’re feeling peckish, head to Roundwood or Laragh and grab a bite to eat. However, if you fancy delaying dinner a while, it’s well worth following the Sally Gap Drive route.

1. Lough Tay

Lough Tay

Photos via Shutterstock

Yes, the obvious one. It’s across the road from the JB Malone car park and the views really are the business. You can’t get down to Lough Tay, but the view from above is mighty.

2. Ballinastoe Woods

Ballinastoe forest walk

Photos via Shutterstock

Ballinastoe Woods is another nice stroll to take after completing the Djouce Mountain hike. If you just want to see the boardwalk, you enter a little down the hill from the JB Malone Car Park.

3. Glenmacnass Waterfall

Glenmacnass Waterfall

Photos via Shutterstock

You’ll find Glenmacnass Waterfall just after the Sally Gap. There’s a car park right next to it and you can take a short stroll to a viewing area to the left (never climb over the fence or walk along the stones towards the falls).

4. Lots more walks

Lough Ouler

Photos via Shutterstock

There are plenty more Wicklow walks nearby. From the Lough Ouler hike and the Great Sugarloaf to the many Glendalough walks and the Lugnaquilla hike, there’s something to tickle most fancies.

FAQs about the Djouce walk

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where to park for the Djouce walk to what to see nearby.

In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.

Where do you park for the Djouce walk?

If you’re doing the Djouce Mountain walk, you can start it from the JB Malone car park. Make sure to arrive early as it gets very busy here. Also, never block the gate!

How long does it take to climb Djouce?

If you follow the trail above, it should take you between 2 and 2.5 hours to get to the summit and back to the car park.

Is the Djouce walk hard?

No, it’s reasonably handy thanks to the boardwalk that takes you to the summit. A moderate level of fitness is needed.

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Sunday 18th of December 2022

Hi, how can I get to Ballisnatoe Woods by bus? Is it possible? Or I really need to do by car Thank you!

Keith O'Hara

Monday 19th of December 2022

Hey Laura. You really do need a car unfortunately. In theory, you could try and get a bus into Roundwood village and then walk, but it's a 2 hour walk along fairly unsafe roads.

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