Beinn na Gainimh Walking

Offering an interesting little hill walk in the slightly overlooked corner between Crieff, Aberfeldy and Dunkeld, Beinn na Gainimh combines easy access with peace and quiet - not something you could say of the popular Munros on this southern fringe of the Highlands. Despite the modest elevation, the traverse takes in three summits and proves more challenging than it looks on a map.

Creag Grianain from Lochan a' Mhuilinn  © Dan Bailey -
Creag Grianain from Lochan a' Mhuilinn
Fetching Map

Detailed description

NN8666836736 Head northwest along the road, passing one house to reach a second at the drive entrance to Glenquaich Lodge. Turn left here, onto a track. Though this is part of the Rob Roy Way long distance trail, there's no signage or waymarking. The track passes the cottage at Croftmill, skirts a small forestry enclosure, and then climbs gradually across open moorland. The estate appears to be big into grouse shooting, and there may be signage if that's in progress (Aug-Dec). Follow the track past a couple of turnoffs to Lochan a' Mhuillin.

NN8481635960 Where the track turns uphill head straight ahead on a boggy path to the Glenlochan Burn. Hop over the stream as opportunity allows, and follow the south bank upstream to the reed-choked Lochan Uaine. Slightly vague in places, the path then follows the foot of the steep flank of Creag Grianain, passing over a ridge caused by a landslip (this whole side of the hill is gradually subsiding). Beyond the broad level section of Glen Lochan the glen pinches into a narrow pass dividing Beinn na Gainimh and Meall nam Fuaran. Pass a tiny pool to reach a larger lochan cradled in the cleft between the hills. From here the Rob Roy Way continues up and over to Auchnafree in Glen Almond; if you're climbing Beinn na Gainimh it's time to leave the trail and take things up a gear or two.

NN8309935066 Quit the glen path to attack the steep northwest flank of Beinn na Gainimh. There's more evidence of a historic landslip here, with a series of ridges and hollows running across the slope, and the occasional hidden hole. Bearing slightly left as you climb, it's possible to link grassy strips and rough sheep tracks between the heather. Beyond a broad level section the ground steepens into a final loose rocky slope. The terrain soon becomes much easier on the broad almost flat summit plateau. Step through an old electric fence (the current wasn't switched on at the time of writing); a little cairn marks what appears to be the hill's high point.
On the nice wee summit of Creag Grianain  © Dan Bailey -
On the nice wee summit of Creag Grianain
© Dan Bailey -, Jul 2020

NN8368534466 Head roughly north over the peaty plateau to regain the line of the electric fence. This leads down to a saddle at the head of Corry [sic] Henzie. A short and steady ascent on a narrow path through the heather leads along the fenceline onto Creag Grianain; you'll have to step through the fence again to visit the little pointed summit, an excellent viewpoint overlooking Loch a' Mhuilinn. Stay with the fence to descend to the next little col. Cross a boggy bit here before climbing quite steeply onto the broad top of Meall Mor.

NN8492934835 In poor visibility it's worth being careful here to follow the correct line of descent over the featureless ground, heading north-northeast before curving more northeast. The gentle, grassy upper slopes soon lead to a steeper section; bear a little right, and then back left, to descend between outcrops. Cross the boggy glen floor below Lochan a' Mhuilinn, then ford the burn at a dam below the loch's outflow to regain the approach track leading back to the road.

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