01768 838 015 | Book Now Blog

The 6 Snowdon Routes: Everything you need to know to climb Snowdon

23rd October 2018 / , , ,


Snowdon Routes Header

The 6 Snowdon Routes: Everything you need to know to climb Snowdon

 

With so many Snowdon routes to choose from how do you know you are choosing the right route for you?

You may have read dozens of blog posts and articles on the Snowdon routes, but this one is different, I swear!

The goal of this guide is to provide a really valuable overview of the six main Snowdon routes (walking routes) that you can put to good use and hopefully it will help you make the right choice.

But first…

Snowdon routes: a quick overview

 

Snowdon (Yr Wydffa) is the highest mountain in Wales and is located in the Snowdonia National Park. There are six main walking paths to the 1,085m summit of Snowdon, which all start from different sides of the mountain.

Snowdon Routes - Snowdon Route Map

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

 

Snowdon is the busiest mountain in Britain with around 600,000+ walking up it in 2018. 

The 6 Snowdon routes

 

#1 – Llanberis Path

Snowdon Routes: 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)
  • Car parking:
  • Map: OS OL17 Explorer
  • Route description: Llanberis Path Route

 

Pros and cons

  • The easiest of the Snowdon routes
  • Simple to follow path
  • Perfect route for first timers, families and children
  • Lots of car parking
  • Extremely busy
  • Longest route (but least steep)
  • The route used by most large events

 

Highlights

  • Views across the Glyderau and down in to the Pass of Llanberis from Clogwyn
  • Anglesey and the Menai Strait on a clear day
  • Enjoying a cup of tea at the Halfway House

 

More Information:

For more information and a full route description of the Llanberis Path

 

#2 and #3 – Pyg Track and Miners Track

Snowdon Routes - Pyg 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)
  • Map: OS OL17 Explorer
  • Route description: Pyg Track Route

 

Pros and cons  

  • The views are incredible
  • Path is easy to follow
  • You can descend via the Miners’ or Llanberis Path
  • Can be busy especially at weekends
  • Parking is impossible at Pen-y-Pass (use the Sherpa Bus or taxi from Llanberis)

 

Highlights  

  • Llyn Llydaw and Llyn Glaslyn (the Snowdon lakes)
  • The classic view of Snowdon
  • Epic views of Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd

 

More Information:

For more information and a full route description of the Pyg Track

 

#4 – The Snowdon Ranger Path  

Snowdon Routes: 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)
  • Map: OS OL17 Explorer
  • Route description: Snowdon Ranger Path Route

 

Pros and cons

  • One of the quietest routes
  • Path is easy to follow and recently improved
  • Views of the Nanttle Ridge, Moel Hebog and Mynydd Mawr
  • Not as interesting or dramatic as the other Snowdon routes

 

Highlights

  • Views of the Nanttle Ridge, Moel Hebog and Mynydd Mawr
  • The classic view of Snowdon

 

More Information:

For more information and a full route description of the Ranger Path

 

#5 – Rhyd Ddu Path  

Snowdon Routes: Rhyd Ddu

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
  • Map: OS OL17 Explorer
  • Route description: Rhyd Ddu Path Route 

 

Pros and cons

  • The quietest Snowdon route on Snowdon
  • Can be combined with the South Ridge for an epic circular walk
  • Parking can be difficult if you arrive late in the day
  • A chance to see a different side of Snowdon away from the busy routes

 

Highlights

  • Views of the Nanttle Ridge, Moel Hebog and Mynydd Mawr
  • The classic view of Snowdon
  • Epic views of Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd

 

More Information:

For more information and a full route description of the Rhyd Ddu Path

 

#6 – The Watkin Path    

Snowdon Routes: 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)
  • Map: OS OL17 Explorer
  • Route description: Watkin Path Route

 

Pros and cons  

  • The hardest of the Snowdon routes
  • Limited parking so arrive early
  • The final summit section is steep and the path is awful – although it does add to the challenge – it not a nice route to descend
  • The Snowdon South Ridge makes this a good circular route
  • You will really feel like you have climbed Snowdon!

 

Highlights

  • Afon Cwm Llan waterfalls
  • Views of the South Ridge and Yr Aran
  • The final push is tough but challenging with great views of Y Lliwedd, Crib Goch, the lakes and the distant Snowdonia summits
  • South ridge as a descent option

 

More Information:

For more information and a full route description of the Watkin Path

 

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of information!

Choosing the right Snowdon route should come down to a few things:

  • Experience:Think about who you are walking with too and their abilities
  • Weather:If conditions are bad then an easier route is always a sensible decision
  • Location:Where you are staying and how far you have to travel
  • Preference:And of course, personal preference.

 

Whichever Snowdon route you decide to tackle we really hope you have a fantastic day and make sure you share any great pictures on the Mountain Walks Facebook page.

Further Reading and Information:

 

This Article is About:

  • The main walking Snowdon routes
  • Choosing a route on Snowdon
  • Links to all the Snowdon route descriptions

 

Find out more about Mountain Walks and this walk…

Enter your details below and find out more about us, what we do and the events we run. We are always adding new dates, walks and courses so we can let you know what is coming up and what’s new too. Late availability places are also sent out to our subscribers so if you have missed out on a place then we can let you know if one becomes available.

Latest News