With the weather forecast giving a dry morning turning to rain in the afternoon, I set off early for Banagher Hill, taking the road around Lough Eske. Turning north, with the lough to the west and Banagher to the east, I spotted a road/track branching off to the left, signposted as The Bluestack Way. It was rough and narrow, but passable by car, so I drove up it for a few hundred metres until I found a fair sized lay by to park in. From there, I headed directly up the eastern slope of the hill, through small scattered trees, boulders and rocky outcrops. The going was steep, with much zig-zagging to avoid some almost vertical parts. It was boggy on the way up, but arriving on the broad, flattish summit, there was plenty of solid rocky ground. Standing at the summit beside Lough Fad, with a small cairn, there was another little rise to the southwest that looked higher, so just to be sure, I navigated around Lough Gam, through peat hags and huge boulders to stand on that spot too.
I had the benefit of the sunrise on the way up, but the clouds closed in earlier than expected, and most of the ascent, and the entire time on the summit and way down was spent in heavy rain. This obscured the views, but I could see enough to tell that in good light, the views towards Donegal Town, and towards the rest of the Bluestacks could be wonderful. The best views would probably be over Lough Eske, and on a good day would no doubt be spectacular.
Well worth a visit, with a real feeling of isolation once amidst the rocks on the broad summit area. Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/1067/comment/17845/