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One of the classic walks in Snowdonia – not to be underestimated! Could also be completed as a linear walk ending in Rhyd Ddu.
Distance: 15 Kms
Ascent: 975 metres
Time: 5 - 6 hours
Start and Finish: Beddgelert
Facilities: Pubs, shop and cafes in Beddgelert.
Hazards: Steep towards the end and final descent from Moel Lefn can be tricky to find in mist.
The Snowdon Sherpa can be caught from Caernarfon, Pen y Pass or Porthmadog. Alternatively, the Welsh Highland Railway provides an alternative.
Parking: Plentiful paid parking in the village centre, but can still fill up quickly.
Parking Post Code for Sat Nav: LL55 4YJ
Weather Forecast: Met Office Snowdonia Mountain Weather
Walk up Moel Hebog from Beddgelert.
The peak of Moel Hebog dominates the village of Beddgelert. This is the classic walking route up Moel Hebog from Beddgelert, with an interesting return over the smaller outlying summits of Moel yr Ogof where Owain Glyndwr is said to have hidden from the English, and Moel Lefn. It’s topped off by a return through the forest past the picturesque Llyn Llywelyn.
The Route The walk starts wherever you find yourself in Beddgelert. If you are at the bridge in the centre, follow the road towards Caernarfon and past the free car park to your right. Pass the outdoors shop and you soon arrive at a left turning with a sign on the gate saying it’s a private road. It is a bridleway however, and you do have access rights. The map shows the route from the village car park, from which you can follow the Lon Las Gwyrfai to join the bridleway mentioned below.
1 This track takes you easily enough along a river, and both under and over the Welsh Highland Railway before joining the road section of the Lon Las Gwyrfai.
2 Follow the road until you arrive at a cottage (Cwm Cloch Uchaf, not marked on map), where the Lon Las Gwyrfai track continues clearly to the right. It soon branches left with a clear footpath sign, and you are now on the track up Moel Hebog.
3 The path does need some care to follow, as despite it’s popularity, the path is not as obvious as something like the Snowdon paths. If you think the route is steep to start with, then it does not relent further up. There’s no doubt that this route is a bit of a slog!
4 As it steepens, the apparent summit dominates overhead. There is a mix of scrambling and scree paths, but nothing difficult or technical. It’s also marked by cairns, which mostly mark the proper path. At the top of this final steep section, the slope finally relents and the views open out across the Eifionnydd hills. This is the first false summit, so don’t celebrate yet, just take a few photos as it’s a great viewpoint!
5 Continue across the top, past another false summit, until the path takes you to the summit trig point. There is no shelter on top of the hill, however there are some walls just off that do the job. Hopefully, you won’t need to shelter and instead make the most of the extensive views.
6 The wall leading to the right of the trig-point as you approach the summit is the wall you need to now follow. Keep to the near side of this wall and be cautious on the descent on steep grass. A path will soon appear, but it is generally easier to walk off this. Bwlch Meillionen arrives soon enough, and you need to cross the boggy col towards the cleft in the rocks of Moel yr Ogof.
7 This brings you out at a small tarn, surrounded by boggy bits. There’s now a bridge across this, making like much easier. The path initially keeps to the wall before veering right and ending in an easy scramble over the rocks to get to the summit of Moel yr Ogof. Nothing adorns the summit, just the view across the forest below.
8 The descent is rocky, but the easier line is found to the left and then a grassy path takes you up to Moel Llefn. You can tackle it direct, but an easier line is to skirt to the left and take a right to the summit, which isn’t much to write home about, but the views are extensive and unfamiliar. The descent from here is a bit rocky, but veer right first and the path descends reasonably easy grass.
9 Care is needed to find the top of the path down to Bwlch Cwm Trwsgwl, which is best found by veering left. The descent isn’t apparent until you’re right over it, but a path clearly contours down the steep grassy slope. It turns left at the top of some crags before continuing down towards the forest, and a small disused quarry to your right. From the quarry, cross a stile and follow a wall on a slate path down past overgrown slate heaps, none of which are apparent from above. It is a little steep in places, and slippery in the wet.
10 This leads to Bwlch Cwm Trwsgl where you turn right into the forest along a very boggy path. Fortunately, this is only for a couple of hundred metres, before you reach the forestry track and you can turn left. The foot path continues to the right of this track, but it is again very boggy and an easier option is to continue along the forestry tracks.
11 Continue forward along the track, before turning right. Continue on this track, until you hit the next one and turn left. You go past Llyn Llewellyn and continue forward along the track following the signs for the Mountain Bike trails of Bedwen and Derwen. After around 10 minutes, the track takes a sharp left which brings you down to the Lon Las Gwyrfai that can be easily followed back into the village.