Not the highest point, but certainly the centrepiece of the Cairngorm mountains is Cairn Gorm Mountain (1245m; 4084 ft). It’s particularly popular thanks to a 1.5mile-long funicular up its flanks. When the snow’s good it’s busy with skiiers and boarders, while in summer it’s a popular, low-effort way of seeing the Highlands from above (on clear days!).
The £15 million scheme was controversial for its scarring of the landscape, so further damage is prevented by limiting summer access to the fragile subarctic Cairngorm plateau around the top station.
Most visitors are limited to exploring an open-air viewing terrace, exhibition area and a café/restaurant (see below). If you want to go beyond this you need to book one of a small number of places on a ranger-led tour, or walk up from the base station independently (takes about 90mins to the top station, then a further 30mins to the summit). If you do walk up, at least you’re allowed to take the railway down (Adults £9; last train 4.30pm).
For easier walks, visit the base station ranger office (daily: 8.30am–5pm) for route info.
The restaurant at the top station, offers reasonable cafeteria food.