Creag nan Gabhar from the Allt Shallainn

Beinn Mholach from Dalnaspidal

Biking and hiking route up Beinn Mholach from Dalnaspidal on the A9

A cycle down the length of Loch Garry into a remote area, where a fair hike or run up heather-clad slopes leads to a wide crest and eventually the huge cairn on Beinn Mholach

Route outline


Beinn Mholach

Walk ascent 535m (1750ft)
         distance 11km (7m)
         time 3:40hr
Bike ascent 85m (270ft)
         distance 12km (8m)
         time 0:50hr
Start/finish Dalnaspidal
Grid Ref : NN646732
easy hard
easy hard
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ok fab

From the A9, south of Drumochter Pass, Loch Garry draws your eye south-west towards Gualann Sheileach, just to the west of this rocky summit, Beinn Mholach is hidden out of sight.

A cycle along a fine estate track above the western shore of Loch Garry travels to its southern end, from where ATV tracks reach the base of Beinn Mholach. Rough heather-clad hillsides are then climbed to gain Creag nan Gabhar, where Beinn Mholach finally comes into view, with faint tracks and paths leading most of the way to the massive cairn on the summit.

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Route description

1. Getting to Dalnaspidal

Car parkng by Dalnaspidal

Car parkng by Dalnaspidal

Between Blair Atholl and Dalwhinnie, the A9 travels through Drumochter Pass. Just south of this are the old railway buildings and estate lodge of Dalnaspital, with the cycle Route 7 passing along the line of the old A9.

The junction on the A9 for Dalnaspital is right at the northern end of a long section of dual-carrageway. Approaching this junction from the south is straightforward, but from the north might be more tricky while crossing traffic.

Once off the A9, turn immediately right and a car-parking area can be found just beyond a couple of houses.

2. Bike along Loch Garry

Meallan Buidhe above Loch Garry

Meallan Buidhe above Loch Garry

From the car-park, head back along the old road towards the junction, then turn right before the line of bins. Over a bridge and turn down towards the estate buildings of Dalnaspital Lodge.

You'll come to a crossing over the main Perth-Inverness railway line. Pedestrian access is via a gate to the left of the main gate with a green light indicating when safe to cross.

Once over the railway, head downhill towards Dalnaspital Lodge and just before meeting with the first building, take the track off right. Now in a field, most likely filled with sheep, head past a mast and over two bridges .

Beyond the bridges, the track travels down the length of Loch Garry. It's well formed and maintained, with only one significant rise, around 3km down the loch, where behind a hydro building , the track climbs around 20m.

The track ends abruptly at the end of the loch by the Allt Coire Easan . If you've cycled in, best to leave bikes here.

3. On foot to Beinn Mholach

Summit of Beinn Mholach

Summit of Beinn Mholach

Beyond the Allt Coire Easan, there's an ATV track to follow and you may contemplate trying to cycle this - for hardy mountain-bikers only - I decided to run instead which I found was a delight on the soft grass-covered ground.

After crossing the Allt Coire Easan, the ATV track heads south-south-west for around 1km, then splits . I took the line off right, which turns south-west and climbs slightly before meeting with the track and bridges over the Allt Shallainn . From here Beinn a' Chuallaich is framed beyond the bridges rather nicely !

Cross the bridges, shortly after which you'll come to a junction in the track, take the right faint fork. The track ends a few metres later, from where take a bearing and hike up heather and grass clad slopes (no path) in the direction of Creag nan Gabhar .

Upon reaching Creag nan Gabhar, not only does Beinn Mholach finally appear ahead, but some ATV tracks through the heather can be followed along the wide crest. The ATV tracks disappear , but looks carefully off to the right and you should be able to see a faint path. Follow this path to a damp area to the right of some weird rocky landforms and then to the base of the final bit of grassy ascent up Beinn Mholach.

A huge cairn sits on Beinn Mholach's summit , close to a trig point. Being in an isolated position, views from the summit are vast !

4. Return

Loch Garry and Meall na Leitreach

Loch Garry and Meall na Leitreach

There's really nothing else for it, but after savouring the views from Beinn Mholach's summit, it's simply a case of re-tracing your steps back to the Allt Coire Easan and cycle along the track to return to Dalnaspital.

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Alternative and nearby routes »

Meall na Leithreach from Dalnaspidal

Following estate and ATV tracks, a direct route up Meall na Leitreach covers a distance of only 8km with 450m of ascent. The route can be extended to make a more interesting circuit.

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Distance : 13km (8m)
Time : 4hr

Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

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Time : 3:10hr

Beinn a' Chuallaich from the B847

Farmland and forestry tracks rapidly give way to a plod through deep heather for a direct route up Beinn a' Chuallaich.

Peaks : 1 Corbett

Ascent : 620m (2030ft)
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Time : 2:30hr

West of Drumochter Munros

Bags of character and great views, this is a fine high-level route on which to quickly bag the 4 Munros west of the Pass of Drumochter, possibly adding in the Corbett peak of the Sow of Atholl for good measure.

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