Snowdon via The Watkin Path

The Watkin Path up Snowdon offers an alternative to the more popular walks from Llanberis and Pen y Pass. It’s still a very popular path, and rightly so. It provides a variety of walking that none of the other routes to the summit of Snowdon can boast. The Watkin Path up Snowdon was opened in 1892 as a donkey track, but was never truly finished. Of all the official ascents it starts nearest to sea level, from Nant Gwynant at under 100m, and as a result has more ascent than any other direct route, but the Llanberis Path starts off only 50m higher and involves a little more distance. Swings and roundabouts really.

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About The Watkin Path up Snowdon

The Watkin Path is without doubt the most scenic of all the routes up Snowdon.  It starts off through some ancient woodland before passing a spectacular waterfall and ultimately ascending to Bwlch Ciliau and Yr Wyddfa. It’s a good path and a pleasure to walk for most of it’s distance. However the final eroded scree chute up to the summit from Bwlch Ciliau rather detracts from the path’s overall appeal. However, no other path can boast a Prime Minister, commandos and a Carry on Film among its myriad claims to fame. We recommend a descent via Snowon South Ridge for the best day out, or Lliwedd for a slightly more challenging one! Those seeking a longer walk can descend to Pen y Pass and follow a good footpath down the valley, adding an hour or two to the walk. That has the advantage of passing the cafe and Youth Hostel at Pen y Pass as well as the Pen y Gwryd for some well earned refreshment.

Distance, Ascent and Time 6km, 1000m and 3hours

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

Difficulties Scree at top is an accident blackspot..

Start / End – Nant Gwynant – Snowdon Summit

Facilities Cafe, parking WC.

Public Transport Sherpa Buses.

Visit Walk up Snowdon for the full route description.

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3 Comments
  1. David Poots 6 years ago

    I walked the Watkin path this week, visibility from the ridge was very poor and the path wasn’t visible on the ground. The rain has made numerous false trails. I got to the top by walking/climbing a compass bearing. A scary experience with a thousand foot drop to my right. Don’t believe the guide books, this path is dangerous in anything less than perfect weather!

  2. Ade 6 years ago

    I agree with David, the Watkin path can be a real Danger area on the scree slope.

    If you are not experianced in the Mountains then leave this route until you are. There are many false trails inh the top section and the scree is very loose under foot.

    If you have experiance though this has to be one of the nicest routes to the summit. amazing views as you climb up the valley.

    If you have not climbed Snowdon before then please make sure you are kitted out in the right gear. It can be a hot spring day at the bottom but can be -10C and covered in Ice at the summit. It is not a leasent Sunday afternoon stroll in tshirt and flipflops, it’s a Mountain and should be treated with the upmost respect.

    Have fun but make sure you keep yourself and your family safe.

  3. dave 5 years ago

    Glad you guys agree! This path is wonderful to a point. Then, not so….

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