Gold Panning at Pine Trees

  • Tyndrum
  • 167
  • Stirling
  • I was walking the West a Highland Way and came across Pine Trees, I booked in to one of the hikers huts. The hut was ideal, 2 beds, kettle, cups and heater, with fresh drinking water behind. The toilets and showers were exceptionally clean. There's a well stocked shop, the site is immaculate and most of all the owners could not have been more helpful.

    Emma RodgerHamilton
  • We stayed in the Octolodge for a week. The whole site was spotless. The toilet block was immaculate even in the rain. The midge machines really worked. Some friends of ours were in a nearby campsite and were bitten badly. Cameron and Kathy really worked at keeping the site spic and span and went out of their way to talk with the residents. They even opened the shop early so we could get our milk. They gave us directions and also a well informed weather forecast. We went up Ben Nevis on the day they said would be best. Couldn't ask for better hosts..

  • A lovely park in a beautiful area. We had a great spot for our van (pitch 67) nice spacious hardstanding and with water and ariel socket for the tv. The park was spotless and very clean. Toilet block was kept to a high standard. Friendly staff and always said hello when they saw you. We loved the park so much that we are returning again at the end of july. Unfortunately couldn't get the same pitch but I'm sure it will be lovely just the same. All i would advise to other visitors would be to take midge spray, its a must!


Thar's gold in them thar hills!

We are lucky enough to have a gold filled river running through the park, which you are free to pan in whilst staying with us.

Step by step guide

  • Using a small spade or trowel, fill your gold pan half to two thirds full of sediment from the riverbed. Sometimes, it is useful to use a classifer. This is a sieve that allows you to filter out larger pieces of rock and debris, and sits on top of the pan. The most common size has a half inch hole mesh.
  • Now submerge the gold pan completely under water and break up any large clumps of dirt or clay using your hands. Remove any floating vegetation and large pieces of rock. If you are using a classifer, this should remove them for you and all you then have to do is remove the classifer from the pan, discarding the contents.
  • Lift the pan above the water and swirl the contents, including sediment, so that it moves like a liquid. Use plenty of water in the pan and either shake from side to side or use a vigorous circular motion.
  • Then, while still moving the pan around or side to side, lower it back into the river so that the sediment is just below the surface of the water. Ensure the pan is slightly tilted forward, with the ridges ("riffles") facing forwards. Swirl the contents round and round, up and down, and back and forth to create a strong movement of water. The water should flow over the sides of the pan with all the lightest material flowing out with it. (Gold is heavier than most of this sediment, so will remain in the pan.) The trick is to ensure that the sediment comes out gradually over the edge of the pan, while ensuring there is enough turbulence to "lift" the lighter material. Repeat Stage d at least four times and, every time you have finished, refill the pan with water.
  • Once you have done this, you should have about a cup full of sediment left in the pan. At this stage, repeat Step 4, but this time, you should ideally use a second gold pan, which is placed underneath the first pan, to catch the material washing out of the pan. This is because, when you get down to smaller amounts of material, there is a chance some gold could escape. The second pan acts as your safety net. Any material collected in this way can then be put to one side to be included in the next batch of sediment.
  • The remaining sediment is likely to contain black sands, which tend to be heavier than other sediments and are hard to get rid of. To remove these, shake the sieve slightly while sieving. The shaking needs to create vibration. This is the key to this stage. Vibrations are better than vigorously swirling the sediment around, because you want the sand to jump up the riddles. Once this is removed, the gold is at much lower risk of being accidently discarded, as it can no longer stick onto the grains of sand.
  • Finally, repeat Steps c, d and e as many times as needed, so that you end up with just a tablespoon of material. Add one cup of water to the pan and tilt the pan gently back so the material is on the higher side, and then gently shake and swirl the material in the bottom of the pan to space it out. At this point, you should be able to see most of gold should show up. For the smaller gold fragments and flakes, move the pan around, tapping the sides to shake around the sediment.
  • Either use tweezers to remove the gold flakes or a large wide pipette or sniffer bottle to squeeze and suck them up followed by a little additional water, and place the flakes into a vial.

With part of the local area now being developed into Scotland’s only Gold Mine, it is fast becoming a popular activity by both young and old, amateurs and professionals alike, why not give it a try, you never know.

Gold Panning Equipment

gold pan starter pack

Starter Pack

A special kit containing Two x 14" Estwing Gold Pans, a classifier (special sieve for removing larger fragments and breaking down silt/clay lumps), a magnifying loupe for looking at the gold, tweezers, a stainless steel digging trowel, and two vials for storing your gold! The set also includes a simple to follow guide to gold panning.

Single Pans

High quality strong plastic from Estwing, perfect for gold panning. These gold pans are in Black, with creases for separation and ridges for catching different size gold particles. Our pans come in a variety of sizes from 10" to 16". Please contact us to find out what we have in stock before your travel.

gold pan

Gold Mining Tyndrum


The first discovery of gold in Tyndrum was in the 19th century. The mine lies at Cononish, just a few miles over the hill south of Tyndrum. The constructing of the mine first began in the 1980s, but as the price for gold was so low, the mine was forced to closed before it even became fully operational. The mine was supposed to reopen back in 2011 but as the prices for gold are low, the mine still remains closed.


A total of 174,100 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, according to GFMS as of 2012. This is roughly equivalent to 5.6 billion troy ounces or, in terms of volume, about 9200 m3, or a cube 21 m on a side. The world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, and 10% in industry. Information WikiPedia