Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales, and indeed higher than any mountain in England too! It dominates the Northern half of Snowdonia, it’s pyramidical peak visible from pretty much every other surrounding mountain range and views from the summit stretching out as far as Northern Ireland and Pembrokeshire on a clear day.
There are eight main trails to the summit of Snowdon, each with their own character and relative merits. If you contact us about a guided walk we can help recommend a suitable route for you:
- The Llanberis Track
- The PYG Track
- The Miners Track
- The Watkin Path
- The Ranger Path
- Rhyd Ddu Path
- The South Ridge
- Crib Goch/Snowdon Horseshoe
The Llanberis track is one of the longest and most popular ways to reach the summit. It begins in the village of Llanberis and winds past farms and houses before following alongside the Snowdon Mountain Railway, crossing back and forth under bridges before a final steep climb brings you on to the summit ridge.
The PYG Track (supposedly named either because of the nearby Pen-y-Gwryd Inn or because the high pass it crosses is called Bwlch y Moch, or ‘Pass of the Pig’) is the choice for those who want to make a fast ascent of Snowdon. It is rocky and adventurous, with some very short scrambling sections and tantalising views back down to the lakes of Llyn Lydaw and Glaslyn.
The Miners Track starts from the small car park at Pen y Pass (beware the late starter in the Summer months, you will not get a space after 8am!) and follows along the shorelines of Llyn Lydaw and Glaslyn before climbing steeply to meet the PYG Track. It is a popular ascent route, but is often taken as the descent coupled with an ascent on the PYG Track.
The Watkin Path has the most ascent of any route on Snowdon, starting down at 55m above sea level in Nant Gwynant. It also has the wildest ‘feel’ to any of the main paths. The climb starts in woodland and amongst disused quarries, then zig-zags up the side of Y Lliwedd before gaining the South Ridge of Snowdon. It involves some scrambling and tricky route-finding on the final section on the scree under the summit.
Named for the Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel at the start of the path, this route has a gentle start, a tough middle and a gentle finish! It takes a direct route tot he summit, broaching the steep slopes of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu head on before joining the Llanberis Track at the fingerstone of Bwlch Glas.
Starting about a mile down the road from the Ranger Path, the Rhyd Ddu follows a slightly more sensible route, ascending a gentle slope and sweeping around to join the South Ridge and the Watkin Path, all three routes eventually climbing to the summit together.
The South Ridge is often overlooked, flanked on one side by the Rhyd Ddu path and by the Watkin on the other. It does offer an interesting variation, some easy scrambling and stunning views – if the cloud allows for it!
Crib Goch is a summit in itself, but is often used to refer to the knife-edge Grade 1 scramble that soars high above the PYG Track. It is notorious for good reason – it is a tough and technical challenge for novices, and needs an experienced eye to show you how to avoid the really tough sections safely. After two sections of narrow or steep scrambles it emerges onto a broader ridge then drops slightly before climbing to the summit of Snowdon on the Llanberis Track. A continuation or variation is to follow the steep, but less precipitous, ridge over Y Lliwedd on the other side of the valley – this makes up the Snowdon Horseshoe, a classic route and one that is on the ticklist of most keen hillwalkers.
[gap size=”100px”] If you have your heart set on one of the above routes, or just want to climb Snowdon along a route that matches your experience level then we can help. Full information, along with prices, can be found on our guided walks booking page.