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Guide to Snowdon Paths

A Guide to Mount Snowdon’s Paths

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Category: Active

Andrew Griffiths

Written by: 15th May 2017

Estimated time to read: 9 minutes


Are you visiting Snowdon for the first time? Or maybe you’ve ascended the famous mountain previously but would like to use a different path? Either way, take a look below out our extensive descriptions of the 6 most popular paths and the most popular ‘scramble’…


The Llanberis Path


Llanberis Path Snowdon

Llanberis Path Car Parks

The ‘official’ car park for the Llanberis path is the Pen-Y-Pass car park found with the postcode – LL55 4NU.

There is a car park on the A4086, just across the road from the Snowdon Railway Station which costs £7 for all day parking at the time of writing, the postcode for this carpark is LL55 4TT.

Both car parks get full quickly as Llanberis is the most popular route up Snowdon. During summer months you will need to get there before 8.30am to be (almost) sure you can get a space.

Tips for Climbing Snowdon via the Llanberis Path

This is regarded as the easiest path to walk to the top of Snowdon however, it is still very challenging for those not used to hiking and climbing. Be careful and beware of the section of the path that meets the railway, as this can be dangerous especially during the winter or when you are fatigued and not used to the path.

The path crosses privately owned farmland. You can take your dog, but it must be kept on a lead in most areas. Remember that farmers ‘may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog’s owner’.

Snowdon has been a tourist attraction for over a century and the Llanberis path was originally used to carry up tourists on mules and ponies. If you don’t like the crowds, it is possible to book a guided walk during the late evening to watch the sunset, before descending in the dark.

Where to get some food near the Llanberis Path?

Pete’s Eats – at the Caernarfon end of Llanberis high street.

There is also a café at the very start of the path, at the halfway point and at the top (closed in the winter).


The Miners Path


minerspathSnowdon

Miners Path Car Parks

Use the Pan-Y-Pass car park – postcode – LL55 4NU.

There is also a carpark across from the railway station postcode – LL55 4TT, or use the park and ride from Nant Peris – postcode is LL55 4UF.

Tips for Climbing Snowdon via the Miners Path

The path starts in the far left hand corner of the Pen y Pass car park, which is opposite the car park entrance.

The path was used by miners to carry copper down the mountain from Britannia Copper Works to Pen Y Pass at the start of the route. There is a point on the path where the Miners path meets the Pyg track. Look to the left of the summit from this point and you should see the “Pass of the Arrows” or Bwlch y Saethau. This is where King Arthur was said to be struck by an arrow in battle.

A prehistoric canoe was discovered when the causeway across Llyn Lldaw was built in 1853. Beware the part of the path with the zig zags – there are mineshafts close by on your left.

Where to get some Food near the Miners Path?

There is a restaurant and bar in the YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass right next to the start of the path.

The Pen Y Gwryd hotel is a 5 minute drive away. Postcode – LL55 4NT


The Pyg Trac


path pyg track snowdon

The Pyg Track Car Parks

Use the Pan-Y-Pass car park – postcode – LL55 4NU or use the park and ride from Nant Peris – postcode is LL55 4UF.

Tips for Climbing Snowdon via the Miners Path

The path starts at the top right corner of the car park (the same starting point as the Miners Path).

To make sure that you keep to the path – at the fork keep left and go over the style. The right fork leads up Crib Goch which a serious knife-edge walk!

It is not known for sure why this route got the name “pyg”, although there are few curly tails about the name’s possible origins. It could be due to the nearby Pen y Gwryd hostel, it could have been named after the ‘path of pigs’ that crosses it, or it could be related to the black tar which is known as pyg.

Where to get some Food near the Pyg Track?

There is a restaurant and bar in the YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass right next to the start of the path.

The Pen Y Gwryd hotel is a 5 minute drive away. Postcode – LL55 4NT


The Watkin Path


Wakin Path Car Parks

The Watkin Path starts at Pont Bethania Car Park postcode LL55 4NL

The full address is – Ethania Bridge, Nant Gwynant LL55 4NL

Tips for Climbing Snowdon via the Watkin Path

Be very careful, this path is not for beginners, as much of the path is hard to follow and across loose scree, and there are a number of steep drops and footing can be precarious.

The Watkin path is beautiful to say the least and is known as the most scenic of all the major routes up Snowdon, with a number of waterfalls along the route.

The path is named after Sir Edward Watkin, an MP and railway entrepreneur.

It is advised to only attempt this walk on clear days. Don’t be afraid to turn back if mist or fog descend on the path.

Where to get some food near the Watkin Path?

Caffi Gwynant is right next to the start of the route.


The Rhyd Ddu Path


Rhyd Ddu Path Car Parks

Rhyd Ddu Car Park, off the A4085. Postcode – LL54 6TN

Alternatively, use the park and ride from Nant Peris and get off at the Rhyd Ddu Car Park  – the postcode is LL55 4UF  for Nant Peris.

Tips for Climbing Snowdon via the Rhyd Ddu Path

To find the start of the Rhyd Ddu Path – Face away from the main road, walk to the left of the toilets and towards the far end of the car park. Go through the gate on the right and cross over the railway. Remember to shut the gate. Go to the right when the track forks, and around the vehicle barrier. You should pass the Frid Slate quarry shortly.

Stay away from the slate quarry, there are pits and drops that are very dangerous.

Owain Glyndŵr’s Cave can be seen from this path. This is where he is said to have evaded capture from English soldiers who refused to follow his ascent up the mountain.

Where to get some food near the Rhyd Ddu Path?

Cwellyn Arms which can be found using the postcode LL54 6TL


The Snowdon Ranger Path


snowdon ranger path

Snowdon Ranger Path Car Parks

Llyn Cwellyn car park. Postcode – LL54 7YT

Tips for Climbing Snowdon via the Ranger Path

The path starts in the car park, which in turn is located right next to the Snowdon Ranger Station / Youth Hostel on the Welsh Highland Railway.

Look for the signs for the bridleway, and take the path over and towards the railway. The path heads to the left along the side of the Snowdon Highland Railway. After 1km the path splits, carry on straight ahead and don’t take the path heading left.

The first large standing rock/monolith marks where the path crosses the railway track. Be careful and watch out for the train as you cross the track, especially in poor visibility or weather. The second large standing rock/monolith is where the Ranger path meets and joins the Llanberis path – which is very popular, and therefore the route can get busy from here onwards.

On the descent, use the standing rocks to ensure you take the correct route down otherwise you’ll end up in the wrong car park.

The path is thought to be named after John Morton – one of Snowdonia’s first guides who opened the Snowdon Ranger Inn. The Snowdon Ranger path is one of the easier routes up Snowdon and is generally less busy than the Llanberis and the Pyg Track as it is less well known.

Where to get some food near the Ranger Path?

Heading on the north A4085, the blas restaurant is about a 10 minutes drive away from the car park.


Crib Goch from Pen-y-pass


This is more of a scramble than a walking route; to illustrate the level of difficulty and skill required to ascend the mountain via Crib Goch, please see the video below:

Crib Goch Car Parks

Use the Pen y Pass Car Park Postcode – LL55 4NU

Tips for Climbing Snowdon via Crib Goch 

To find the start of the path – start on the Pyg track by exiting the top right corner of the car park. At a point known as Bwlch Y Moch, follow the path right – it is signposted “Crib Goch” on a marker rock. From here, follow the steep path – you will have to use your hands and feet to scramble up it.

On summer days the path can get busy, and some people are nervous whilst others very impatient – don’t attempt this route if you are not used to climbing and scrambling. When wet, the rock is extremely slippy and the route is best avoided. As you might expect, high winds can also be extremely dangerous so choose a different path if Snowdonia is windy when you arrive – remember the wind will be a lot worse on Crib Goch than it is in the car park!

Proper walking boots are a must all year round when ascending the mountain via Crib Goch. This is a straight path, descending to Llanberis, so you will need to use the Sherpa bus service/park and ride to get back to the Pen y Pass car park.

Alternatively, you can complete the ‘horseshoe’ part of the route, then return to the car park using the outward half of the walk in reverse. Be especially careful when using the Crib Goch route and ideally be accompanied by a guide or experienced ‘scrambler’. There have been several deaths in recent years, with people falling from the ridge.

Llanberis mountain rescue warn that “the route up Crib Goch and along the ridge is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by novice walkers”

If you prefer a rock climb or a spot of bouldering to a walk in Snowdonia, there is a moderate to difficult climb at Glyder Fach (postcode LL55 4NU) and a range of climbs in Tremadog, including Craig Bwlch y Moch. A great place to camp, or bunk and get further information is Eric Jones’ Café, found with the postcode – LL49 9SN.

Where to get some food near Crib Goch?

The Pen Y Gwryd hotel is a 5 minute drive away. Postcode – LL55 4NT


Whichever path you choose, make sure to take the proper equipment such as waterproof clothing and walking boots; check the weather forecast before setting out and make sure to tell people where you are going and when you expect to be back home. In addition, you should also have an OS Map and a compass – and know how to use them!

Take care on your Welsh adventures and make sure to take some great photographs! If you are spending a few days in North Wales, consider booking a meal at the Michelin recommended Signatures Restaurant.


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Photo Credits: Jeff Buck, N Chadwick, Peter, Colin Bews.

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A Guide to Mount Snowdon’s Paths

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