The Park is accessible by both private and public transport. There is no entry fee. Where the Park adjoins public roads it can be entered directly. Alternatively where private land falls between a public road and the Park it is often possible to pass through the private land along agreed trails to reach the Park.
The Wicklow Mountains border the south of Dublin City. For visitors with their own transport there are numerous access points across the range. The main roads running parallel to the range are the N11 to the east and the N81 to the west. Secondary roads cross the mountains and have a number of small unmanned car parks from which you can commence a hillwalk or just enjoy the views. In winter, the mountain roads may become impassable and warning signs should be heeded.
Glendalough is located in the south-eastern end of the Park. There are three main routes to Glendalough Village where the Monastic City and Visitor Centre are located. The Upper Lake is another 1.5km further up the valley.
Take the N11 south to Kilmacanogue village (24km). Glendalough is signposted from here. Take the slip-road from the N11 and follow the R755 to Laragh village (25km). Stay on the main road through Laragh which becomes the R756 to Glendalough village (2km). Total distance is 51km.
Take the N11 north to Arklow town (83km). Follow the R747 to Woodenbridge. Turn right onto the R752, go through Avoca village and turn left onto the R755 into Rathdrum town and proceed through to Laragh village (Woodenbridge to Laragh 25km). From Laragh, turn left on to the R756 and it is 2km to Glendalough village. Total distance is 109km
The main route from the western lowlands through the mountains to Glendalough is via the 'Wicklow Gap' pass which can be accessed from the village of Hollywood. From the crossroads on the N81 located 11km south of Blessington town proceed east through the village of Hollywood along the R756. The road gradually climbs into the mountains and drops down into Glendalough Valley where you will meet a T-junction (26km). Taking the sharp turn right and you are in Glendalough village.
The Military Road is a scenic route through the centre of the mountains. Starting in the Dublin Hills the road (R115) runs south all the way to Laragh village near Glendalough and continues further south through Glenmalure and Aghavannagh. It is along this road that you will see the unpopulated and extensive heath and boglands that make up most of the Park. This is the first ever purpose built road in Ireland constructed by the British Army in the early 1800's to drive rebels out of the Wicklow Mountains. The road is narrow, windy and at times quite bumpy. A detour from the Military Road at the Sally Gap crossroads towards Roundwood along the R759 will bring you above Lough Tay. The estate below is privately owned but the views from the road are outstanding.
Often during the winter there are road closures due to snow and ice. Occasionally there are difficulties due to flooding or fallen trees. If in doubt contact the Duty Ranger (087 9803899) or the National Park Information Office (0404 45425). Many rescues occur because of poor decisions on the roads – please err on the side of caution.
The Park is accessible by public transport, though options are limited and in order to get here from other areas of the country, travel generally has to be via Dublin city. To move on elsewhere usually requires a journey back via Dublin. In many cases, public transport will only bring you to towns that are several kilometres away from the Park.Here you will find details of scheduled services. Other transport options to look at are backpacker tours, some of these buses have a hop on / hop off arrangement, details can be sourced at hostels or tourist information offices around the country.
'St. Kevin's Bus' operates a twice-daily bus service runs from Dublin city centre to Glendalough. It departs from opposite the Mansion House on Dawson Street, off St. Stephens Green. Glendalough is the most popular visitor area in the Park and is a good base for exploring this side of the mountains.
The Wicklow Way Bus Service, operating to an advanced booking system, meets the train from Dublin at Rathdrum, and goes to Glendalough and Glenmalure.
Irish Rail runs several trains a day from Connolly Station (Dublin) to Rathdrum. Rathdrum village is 16km from Glendalough but there are no bus connections to the valley. The telephone number for Rathdrum train station is +353-404-46426.
Bus Éireann serves the town several times a day. Route No.133 runs between Busáras bus station in Dublin and Arklow town in Co. Wicklow and among the places it stops are Bray, Kilmacanogue, Wicklow and Avoca.
Dublin Bus has suburban bus routes to the pretty village of Enniskerry near the north-eastern end of the Park. Enniskerry is approximately 4km from the Wicklow Way, the long distance walking route which travels through the entire county and parts of the Park. Powerscourt Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Ireland is located here. The waterfall is in a privately owned park and an entry fee applies. The No.185 bus to Enniskerry departs regularly from Bray train station. There is a high-frequency suburban train service called the 'DART' between Dublin and Bray. The No.44 bus to Enniskerry departs on an hourly basis from Townsend St. in Dublin city centre.
The most accessible towns in west Co. Wicklow are Blessington and Baltinglass.
Dublin Bus suburban bus services will bring you to Blessington which is approximately 8km west of the Wicklow Mountains. The Blessington Lakes fall between the town and the Park and are worth exploring. The No.65 bus departs from Eaton Quay off O'Connell St in the city centre of Dublin several times a day.
Bus Éireann bus services will bring you to Baltinglass which is located closest to the Glen of Imaal area of the National Park (south-western end). There are several buses a day from Busáras bus station in Dublin. This bus passes by the turn off for Donard, from where, there is a hillwalking route up to Lugnaquilla, Wicklow's highest mountain.
North of the Park, the Dublin Mountains can be accessed at certain times of the year by the Dublin Mountaineer bus service. For more details, see the website of the Dublin Mountains Partnership.