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Explore the tranquillity of Snowdonia

Tranquillity on the trails

There are miles and miles of various paths and walks for people of all abilities all across the National Park. This is the best way to experience what makes Snowdonia so special.

Snowdon, at 1085 metres in height is the tallest mountain in Wales and has a number of varied walking routes to the summit. It’s also one of the mountains climbed on the National Three Peaks Challenge – Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis being the other two – with the climb up Snowdon usually being the first or final mountain. The mountain is also part of the Welsh 3 Peaks and the Welsh 14/15 Peak Challenge.

For those who don’t want a challenge, there’s the option of ascending on the famous Snowdon Mountain Railway that ferries the masses to the summit, rather than tacking the climb themselves. While you can climb or walk up the mountain, there are those who choose to run up Snowdon, and the Annual International Snowdon Race in July is world famous!

We recommend if you do not have mountain walking experience to join a guided walk up Snowdon organised by an experienced and qualified mountain guide.

It’s also famous for the Snowdon Horseshoe scrambling route, the best way to climb the highest mountain in Wales! Ascending first up Crib Goch, the hardest route, for those with a head for heights, the route continues over Crib y Ddysgl, Yr Wyddfa and descends via Y Lliwedd. One of the best mountain days in the UK.

More popular is the Llanberis Path, which is the most popular route of ascent. It’s generally accepted to be the easiest route in non-winter conditions, but note that’s ‘easiest’ and not easy – as there’s no easy way to walk up this mountain! In winter, it’s one of the more dangerous options as the section known as the Killer Convex means that a slip at that point can often be fatal.

You’ll need to know what you need to walk up Snowdon -which is the right gear to start with, with the proper mountain skills just as essential. In other words, you’ll need the gear and you’ll need to know how to use it!

All the Snowdon routes are well maintained and easy to follow paths. However, good navigation skills are still needed and we would always recommend taking a map and compass as you would do with any mountain walk.

Some of these routes can also be combined to make more interesting circular walks such as:

Pgy Track and Miners Track Pyg Track and Llanberis Path Rhyd Ddu and the Snowdon Ranger Path Watkin Path and the South Ridge

#1 – Llanberis Path

The Llanberis path is the most popular of the Snowdon routes.

The route starts in the village of Llanberis which has plenty of parking and amenities. The Llanberis Path is the easiest of the Snowdon routes and also the busiest.

If this is going to be your first mountain walk or you are coming with children then the Llanberis Path is the ideal route.

Route details

Time: 5-7 hours Distance: 9 miles (there and back) Ascent: 970 metres Difficulty: 2/5 Start point: Llanberis (LL55 4TY)

#2 and #3 – Pyg Track and Miners Track

The Pyg Track is the classic Snowdon route.

Both the Pyg Track and Miners’ Track start at Pen-y-Pass. The routes run pretty much parallel with each other, the Miners’ Track starts lower, but both paths join at Llyn Glaslyn. Walkers normally climb Snowdon via the Pyg Track and come down on the Miners’ Track.

Parking at Pen-y-Pass is almost impossible unless you want a very early start. Pen-y-Pass is normally full by 7am on a weekend so it’s worth parking in Llanberis or Nant Peris and making good use of the Sherpa Bus.

For a more interesting day park in Llanberis, and get the Sherpa bus to Pen-y-Pass. Follow the Pyg Track to the summit and then come down the Llanberis Path, which makes a really nice linear traverse of the mountain.

Route details

Time: 5-7 hours Distance: 7.3 miles (there and back) Ascent: 750 metres Difficulty: 3/5 Start point: Pen-y-Pass (LL55 4NU)

#4 – The Snowdon Ranger Path

The Snowdon Ranger Path is the oldest of the Snowdon routes up the mountain and named after the Snowdon Ranger Inn which is the now the YHA.

In terms of ease this ranks somewhere between the Llanberis Path and the Pyg Track. The Ranger Path is one of the easiest routes and also much quieter than the Llanberis Path. However, it doesn’t have as much parking or amenities as Llanberis which is why it is less busy.

Route details

Time: 5-7 hours Distance: 8 miles (there and back) Ascent: 937 metres Difficulty: 3/5 Start point: Llyn Cwellyn Car parking: Llyn Cwellyn Car Park (LL55 7YS)

#5 – Rhyd Ddu Path

The quietest of the Snowdon routes

If you ask someone who has walked all the Snowdon routes they will more than likely tell you that Rhyd Ddu is their favourite.

Firstly, it’s the quietest. There have been times where we have seen just a handful of people until the summit.

Secondly, the views are stunning and you get to see a different side of Snowdon.

Lastly, the Snowdon South Ridge makes this one of the best circular routes on Snowdon…if not the best.

Route details

Time: 6-7 hours Distance: 7.5 miles (there and back) Ascent: 890 metres Difficulty: 3/5 Start point: Rhyd Ddu Car Park (LL54 6TN) Car parking: Rhyd Ddu Car Park

#6 – The Watkin Path

The toughest of the Snowdon routes

The great thing about the Watkin Path is that you start from almost sea level which mean you are climbing almost the full 1,085m height of Snowdon.

This is also an interesting route in terms of scenery. The walk starts through woodlands and alongside ragging waterfalls before entering the vast Cwm Llan and Cwm Tregalan.

The views from Bwlch Ciliau of Llyn Llydaw and Crib Goch are breathtaking.

Route details

Time: 6-7 hours Distance: 8 miles (there and back) Ascent: 1,015 metres Difficulty: 4/5 Start point: Across the road from the car park Car parking: Pay & Display in Nantgwynant (LL55 4NR)