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Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels

By Dave Roberts   

on March 23, 2016    No ratings yet.

Posted as a walk in – Europe, North Wales, Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels

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Location Map

Where better placed for a family friendly stay in Snowdonia than the Youth Hostelling Association’s hostels? For Snowdon, you’ve got a choice of four, count ‘em, four Hostels from which to tackle a Walk up Snowdon. Couple that with a few well placed for the Glyderau, Carneddau and Cadair Idris and you’ve got an itinerary that almost writes itself! Just to help you along, here’s our list of the Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels.

Walks from Pen-y-pass Youth Hostel and Mallory’s Bar

Kicking off out list of the Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels is probably the most in demand trail head in the UK, and basing yourself there makes it easier than trying to find a parking spot on a fine day (impossible) or depending on the Sherpa buses at rambler rush-hour. Even if you’re not staying, the bar at Mallory’s is recommended.

1 Snowdon Horseshoe This has to be the first choice – and the only route on this list given in order of epicness. It’s a serious scramble that’s only for experienced hill goers, though you’d be hard pressed to think that when you look at the majority crossing this ridge in summer. The majority isn’t always right – and invariably Snowdon in winter will see a huge majority of ill-prepared walkers over those who are kitted and skilled enough to be out there!


2 Miner’s Track – One of the classic routes up Snowdon. It joins the PYG Track for the final climb.

3 Pyg Track – Another classic route up – and one of the more popular. It can still be tricky in a few places, especially in hill fog. Take note of the snow condition forecasts as this path remains iced up long after the snow has melted, making it dangerous in parts without proper winter equipment.

craig fach (4 of 45)

4 Craig Fach – Arrived late and only a few hours spare? This mini-mountain walk shouldn’t take more than two hours and still climbs up to mountain height, so still worthy of it’s place among the Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels.

5 Glyderau From Pen y Pass – usually approached from Ogwen, this approach is interesting enough along with the excellent views back towards Snowdon.


6 Glaslyn From Pen y Pass – An easier route if weather isn’t ideal. You can just walk to Llyn Llydaw using the same route, which is still a worthy outing.

Walks from Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostel

Nant Gwynant is one of the most picturesque Snowdonia valleys, boasting two beautiful lakes as well as forested areas. It’s also got Beddgelert at one end and the Pen-y-Gwryd at the other, with Bryn Gwynant Youth Hostel being slap bang in the middle.

7 Watkin Path – This has the most scenic start of any of the Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels, winding its way through the woodland and descending gently past waterfalls and hydro electric plants (erm, I think it’ll fade into the landscape at some point!). Catch it on the right day and you might even spot these guys re-enacting scenes from Carry on up the Khyber.


8 Snowdon South Ridge This is an excellent climb from Nant Gwynant, though bits of the path can be vague below the final pull to Bwlch Cwm Llan. Descend via Lliwedd and Cwm Merch for an Alternative Snowdon Horseshoe.


9 Moel Meirch – You can approach these wild hills from this Youth Hostel, but one for experienced walkers only! In mist, they can be a challenge to navigate, and are only marginally easier in the sun. We’d recommend making for Ysgafell Wen and Cnicht, before descending to Nantmor and an easy walk back along a lane.

Walks from Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel

This Youth Hostel is well placed on the shores of Llyn Cwellyn. It’s the only one that can boast it’s own Railway Station (on the Welsh Highland Railway) which really is the way to arrive here! Walking options are limited without walking on the main road (NOT recommended!), but you can use the Sherpa bus network or Welsh Highland Railway in order to travel to Rhyd Ddu or Beddgelert for more options than you can shake a walking pole at.

10 Snowdon Ranger Path – A quiet walk up Snowdon, and under-rated. Best for views over to Nantlle Ridge.

ranger (1 of 1)

11 Moel Cynghorion – For a quick half day’s walking – this hill isn’t particularly remarkable, but provides extensive views. It’s a great option for an evening walk.

night shots (17 of 21)

Walks from Llanberis Youth Hostel

Ideally placed on the slopes of Moel Eilio, you’re both ideally placed for Llanberis as well as being out of the way.

12 Llanberis Path – We will admit, we’re not a fan of this path, other than a quick way down to Llanberis. There’s no one thing that puts us off, but rather a slew of things. It’s too popular, and usually with people with little mountain etiquette (read huge groups who expect you to leave the path for them, not easy when you’re running downhill with the mass of a rugby player). Still, we thought we’d better mention it and hope you’ve got better judgement than that!


13 Snowdon via Llechog Ridge – That’s much better! Following the Llanberis Path for sections, this follows a parallel ridge that makes for much better walking. The only downside is you miss out on the Halfway House, which is one bit of the Llanberis path we like. NOTE – this path walks parallel to the railway for a short section – you should not follow the railway line – it is not a path!

14 Moel Eilio – A steady half day’s walk. The Youth Hostel starts on the route, making it slightly shorter. An excellent walk for a summer evening.

15 Llyn Padarn and/or Llyn Peris – Walk around these lakes for an easier low level walk.


Walks from Idwal Cottage Youth Hostel

You are spoilt for choice from Idwal Cottage in Ogwen, boasting some great entries on the Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels list. Here’s just a small selection of routes, we could easily have filled this entire guide with routes from Idwal Cottage!

16 Cwm Idwal – an easy option to start with! You can extend this up to Twll Du / Devil’s Kitchen.


17 Tryfan Circuit – Building up slowly, this route nevertheless climbs to over 700m! You could easily add a dog-leg up Tryfan South Ridge to make a full day of it.

bochlwyd (2 of 2)

18 Bochlwyd Horseshoe– This is an absolutely epic route, for experienced scramblers only!

heather terrace (19 of 19)

19 Garn, Glyderau and Tryfan – Bag ’em all in one excellent route!

20 High Carneddau from Ogwen – Don’t ascend Pen yr Ole Wen from Ogwen, but from Glan Denau at the far end of Llyn Ogwen. It’s a steep route, but the path is better (it isn’t scrabbling on scree) and there’s a bit of scrambling involved.


Walks from Rowen Youth Hostel

The location of this Youth Hostel above the Conwy Valley is idyllic! It’s remote, yet still reasonably accessible. We like the pub in the village, but the walk back up to the hostel might well finish you off!


21 Tal y Fan – you can take almost any route up from here as you can walk around the mountain to ascend from the North and descend to Bwlch y Ddeufaen.


22 Carneddau from Ro Wen – It’s easy enough to walk up to the Carneddau from here, but returning is a problem! You can easily walk up to Foel Fras, probably the easiest of the Welsh 15 peaks over 914m.


Walks from Kings Youth Hostel

Located slightly off the main routes, this is still well placed for some of the Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels in South Snowdonia, especially for an ascent of Cadair Idris.

23 Cadair Idris by the Pony Path – You’ll need to follow the bridleway via Tyddyn Efan Fychan to get to the start of the route, adding a few kilometres to the walk.

Great to catch the sunset
Great to catch the sunset

24 Llynnau Cregennen and Mawddach Trail – You can’t visit this part of Snowdonia without visiting Llynnau Cregennen! This walk takes in the beautiful Mawddach Estuary as well as Llynnau Cregennen. You could easily extend this route into Bermo (Barmouth) if you wanted.

cregennen (5 of 6)

25 Cadair Idris by the Fox’s Path – This is a steep route, with some care needed on the zig-zag path through the scree. Recommend you use this route as an ascent and descend by the easier Pony Path.

We struggled to keep this list of the Best walks from Snowdonia Youth Hostels down to 25 routes, so remember to search for more routes nearby (to the right) by adding the Youth Hostel postcode into the search bar.

Local Information and Recommended Maps and Guidebooks

Recommended Maps


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Dave Roberts

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