All the Walking Routes up Snowdon
Yr Wyddfa* , or Snowdon, (it’s never Mount Snowdon) is one of the most popular mountains in the United Kingdom, let alone Snowdonia. It’s sometimes climbed as one of the National 3 Peak Challenge, the Welsh 3 Peaks or during the 14/15 Peaks. With the coming season people will be flocking to ascend Snowdon which is the highest mountain in Wales. But climb by which path? Here’s our quick rundown of the more popular walking routes up Snowdon – as featured on Walk up Snowdon – the only online guidebook to Snowdon. There, you’ll find all the popular walking routes up Snowdon as well as some less well known ones to the summit. NOTE – Times and distances are for the ASCENT only! You’ll need to choose a descent route and factor in an extra 3 hours or so.
*Yr Wyddfa, or Snowdon, is the tallest peak in Wales at 1085m , though you often hear quoted “England and Wales”, however England has a perfectly fine highest point, Scafell Pike. Neither is it preceded by ‘Mount’ as that would just be silly considering that the ‘don’ part of the name already refers to it being a mountain (Mount Snow Mount?)
What pubs are good for Snowdon – We’ve put a summary of them all here – All the best Pubs for Snowdon.
Snowdon Weather Forecast: Met Office Snowdonia Mountain Weather
The Walking Routes up Snowdon
Height Gained 945m, Distance 7km, Time 3 hrs.
Main Difficulties Avoiding other walkers and tourists.
The Llanberis Path is the most popular and easiest walking route to the summit of Wales’ highest mountain. In normal weather, it poses no problems for the fit walker, with even the navigation being reasonably easy. On a fine day, you’ll be able to follow the hordes of other people who have also decided to follow the Llanberis Path – aka the Motorway.
Height Gained 705m, Distance 5km, Time 2 hrs 15 min.
Main Difficulties – The Zig Zags are an accident blackspot when iced and the path can be difficult to follow in places between the Pyg and Miner’s Path junction and the zig zags.
The Pyg Track from Pen y Pass is both the shortest walking route up Snowdon, and the one that involves the least amount of ascent. Despite this, it’s not the easiest path up as it can be steep and rocky in places but the paths are generally very good all the way and reasonably straightforward to follow. It is 5.5km in length and involves around 800m of ascent. If you’re reasonably fit, you should make it up in three hours. Remember to allow time for breaks and stopping to take in the sights, of which there are plenty. Often chosen as a National 3 Peaks route as it’s the shortest route.
Height Gained 765m, Distance 6km, Time 1 hrs 50 min.
Main Difficulties – as for PYG
The Miner’s Track from Pen y Pass is an easier walking route that starts in Pen y Pass, but stays low by following a wide track as far as Glaslyn. It then pulls up some rocky steps to join the PYG to the summit.
Height Gained 760m Distance 5km, Time 3 hours. Grade 1 Scramble
Crib Goch is an exposed scramble that should only be attempted if you’re confident in your abilities. Other than that, it’s the iconic Snowdonia route – the must do route. Descend via Lliwedd in order to complete the famous Snowdon Horseshoe.
Height Gained 1,000m, Distance 6km, Time 3 hrs.
Main Difficulties Scree at top is an accident black-spot and is an unpleasant surprise towards the end of the walk.
The Watkin Path opened in 1892 as a donkey track, but the Watkin Path was never truly finished. Of all the official ascents up Snowdon it starts nearest to sea level and so 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.
The Watkin Path is also the most scenic of all the routes up, starting off through some ancient woodland before passing a spectacular waterfall and ultimately ascending to Bwlch Ciliau and Yr Wyddfa. A pleasure to walk for most of its distance, the final eroded scree chute up to the summit 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.
Height Gained 860m, Distance 6km, Time 1 hrs 45 min
Main Difficulties Some exposure on Bwlch Main
The Rhyd Ddu path up Snowdon is a lesser known path, but still has it’s share of walkers. There’s not much going for this route, until you reach the cliffs above Cwm Clowgwyn and the walk across Bwlch Main, which is shared with the South Ridge ascent.
Height Gained 850m, Distance 6km, Time 2 hrs 45 min
Main Difficulties Some exposure on Bwlch Main
The South Ridge path usually elicits a blank expression on most walkers when you mention walking routes up Snowdon. Those in the know however, realise that this is an absolute gem of a route that stands modestly in the shadows, shunning the limelight. In comparison, the PYG, Miners and Watkin are cheap, talentless reality TV z-listers desperately seeking endless attention. The South Ridge knows it’s good, and is happy to stand back a little until you realise just how good it is. It’s in no rush.
Height Gained 895m, Distance 6km, Time 2 hrs 45 min
Main Difficulties Steep in places.
The Snowdon Ranger path is a quieter walking route up Snowdon from the ‘far’ end if you’re travelling in from the East. Starting off from the tranquil Cwellyn, it initially gains some rapid height by way of the zig-zags before some well earned respite. Then you reach the proper zig zags and this is a relentless pull to the top that has enough interest to keep it from being a pure slog.
Of course, there are plenty of other walking routes to up Snowdon, but you’ll have to visit Walk up Snowdon to find out! We couldn’t fit them all on one page, we had to create an entire website to describe them all.Tags: All the walks up Snowdon