The glen is U-shaped, formed by an ice age glacier, about 16 km (9.9 mi) long with the floor of the glen being less than 700 m (0.4 miles) wide, narrowing sharply at the Pass of Glen Coe about halfway along.
The entrance to the glen from above is on Rannoch Moor to the east, below the mountain of Meall a’ Bhuiridh; Glen Etive runs to the south from nearby. The entrance to Glen Coe is marked by Buachaille Etive Mor, “the great herdsman of Etive” at the ‘junction’ with Glen Etive. Glen Coe then runs roughly west for about 12 km (7.5 mi) before turning north-west towards Loch Leven.
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