The Maamturks Ultra Challenge is an idea that originated during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, as a way to extend the traditional Maamturks Challenge into a loop circuit that avoids carpooling.
Although originally conceived as a logistical convenience, the route showcases the best trails in Connemara and creates probably the toughest hiking challenge in the country.
It is about 55 km with 3000 metres of ascent that follows the scenic Western Way before tackling the traditional Maamturks route which itself already has reputation of being one of the toughest hiking challenges in the country. This extended version adds an extra 30 km of waymarked trail to the traditional challenge. The extra hardship is compensated for by vistas of a beautiful scenic trail along the Western Way.
The Maamturks Ultra Challenge starts and finishes at Leenane Hotel in the village of Leenaun. The route follows the Western Way for 30 km to the start of the traditional Maamturks Challenge and then follows the route of the Maamturks Challenge back to Leeanne Hotel.
A route of the challenge can be viewed from the following Viewranger website. A GPX of the route can also be exported and imported into the GPS device of your choice.