Separated from the east coast of Skye by Loch na Cairidh, Scalpay rises to 396 metres (1,299 ft) at Mullach na Càrn. It has an area of just under 25 square kilometres (9.7 sq mi). The island had a population of ten usual residents in 2001 and of four in 2011.
Scalpay is privately owned and operates a red deer farm, shooting estate and holiday cottages. Much of Scalpay is covered with heather, while other areas are coniferforestry plantations.