Cirith Ungol

This 8 mile hike is one that very few people would ever dare to undertake.  Up the stairs you will climb until you reach a tunnel.

cirith ungol
Scenery along the way!

Christine Says…

Last week, we did a trip to Ohio and Adam made the mistake of leaving his wedding ring in the hotel room.  So, we decided to go back and reclaim the ring in order for him to stay out of the doghouse for a while.

The morning was quite gloomy and there was a fell stench upon the air.  We talked to a few people about the quickest way to Ohio and they suggested that we take the pass of Cirith Ungol.  After reading about the stairs that lead to the pathway, we thought we would undertake it.  We had a great breakfast at the Inn of the Prancing Pony and then a couple of oranges for second breakfast, but we didn’t pack anything other than lembas bread for elevensies, lunch, or afternoon tea.

Adam Says…

I felt like an idiot for leaving my precious in the land of Ohio, where the shadows lie.  I threw on my backpack, with a few links of sausage tied to the top and we made our way.

Scenery along the way!

The beginning of the hike was harrowing as we had a huge number of stairs to climb.  There was a heavy, dark storm cloud above us, but luckily I had packed my Star of Elendil to help light the way.  We climbed up, up, up the stairs for about 3 miles until it reached a tunnel.  The tunnel was a labyrinth filled with spider webs.  We suggest at the junctions, you go left, left, right, left, left, circle, square, circle, L1, R1, select to make your way through.  The spiders there were larger than ourselves, but Christine made it through OK.  I got wrapped in some spider threads and ended up looking like I was wrapped in Ramen noodles for a while, but Christine pulled me out of the webs and we made our way.

Scenery along the way!

Eagles carried us back to our vehicle when everything was done.

Trail Notes

  • Distance –8 miles.
  • Elevation Change –  1000 feet
  • Difficulty –5. The trail is extremely steep and slippery up the stairs.
  • Trail Conditions – 1.  Only fools travel here.
  • Views3.  There would be nice views, but based on the evil that lies nearby, it was too dark to see much of anything.
  • Waterfalls/streams – 0. None
  • Wildlife – 4. We found some very large spiders in the tunnel.
  • Ease to Navigate –1. The tunnel is very hard to navigate.
  • Solitude –5.  Like I said, nobody would do this that didn’t have to.

Directions to trailhead:

Park at Minas Morgul and you will see the stairs directly across from the parking lot.