The Cairngorms (Scottish Gaelic: Am Monadh Ruadh) are a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland closely associated with the mountain of the same name—Cairn Gorm.
The Cairngorms consist of a large elevated plateau adorned with low, rounded glacial mountains.
Although not strictly a single plateau, the Cairngorms give the sense of being a single plateau, because the passes that cut through them are not very deep. Adam Watson gives the summit of Lairig Ghru as 835 metres, and the summit of Lairig an Laoigh at 740 metres, and The Sneck at 970 metres. Topographically, this means a walker could cross between the Cairntoul (1293m) – Braeriach (1296m) massif to the Ben Macdui (1309m) – Cairn Gorm (1245m) massif and onto the Beinn a’ Bhùird (1196m) – Ben Avon (1171m) massif without descending below the 740m summit of the Lairig an Laoigh.
The Cairngorms became part of Scotland’s second national park (see Cairngorms National Park) on 1 September 2003. The national park is in the Scottish council areas of Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Highland.
The Cairngorms are a great area for winter mountaineering and multi-day walking expeditions. Some of the hills in the Cairngorms are hard to reach and are ideal for multi-day trips. The hills are usually well covered in snow during the winter season and many people go to the Northern Corries near Cairn Gorm mountain to walk and climb.