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Gap of Dunloe

Welcome to Gap of Dunloe

Lóich's stronghold
Bridge in the Gap of Dunloe heading north towards Kate Kearney's Cottage. ©Martin O'Grady Lake in the Gap of Dunloe heading north towards Kate Kearney's Cottage. ©Martin O'Grady Lake in the Gap of Dunloe heading north towards Kate Kearney's Cottage. ©Martin O'Grady

The Gap of Dunloe was started and hewn two million years ago and is one of the finest examples of a glaciated valley in western Europe. It is a narrow pass in the McGuillycuddy Reeks between the Purple Mountain and the Bull Mountain. Killarney's ice age began two million years ago when the great glaciers churned through the mountains and ended about 10,000 BC. As ice and snow slowly pushed northward through the Killarney Valley, they gave the mountains their jagged edges, and the Gap was formed. The name Dunloe comes from the Gaelic Dun Loich, meaning the stronghold of Loich, the first leader of an ancient tribe called the Fir Bolg, the men of bags, who ruled before the Tuatha de Danaan and the Milesians.

Hikers travel along 8 miles of winding pathway along the River Loe past the 5 corrie lakes in the Gap. The corrie lakes are formed in steep walled semicircular basins and are named Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake and Black Lough. The red sandstone geology of the Gap has the best inland rock climbing in Kerry. If you are not an experienced climber, be sure to use a qualified guide. Travel through the Gap depends on your fitness. You can tour the Gap by bicycle, on foot, on horseback, or on an organized trip by bus from Killarney.
 
 
 
 
Gap of Dunloe
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