Home » Routes » Europe » Wales » Snowdonia National Park » Cader Idris and Nearby Hills » The Minffordd Path Walk up Cader Idris

The Minffordd Path Walk up Cader Idris

By Dave Roberts   

on May 14, 2017    5/5 (18)

The Minffordd Path Walk up Cader Idris

Further Details

Route Summary:

A rugged track up Cader Idris that can be challenging in places. The best hill walk in South Snowdonia.

This walk includes the 2 Washis of Cadair Idris – Penygadair, Craig Cwm Amarch

This walk includes the 2 Hewitts of Cadair Idris – Penygadair, Craig Cwm Amarch

This walk includes the 2 Nuttalls of Cadair Idris – Penygadair, Craig Cwm Amarch

Route Start Location: Minffordd Car Park - Cader Idris Summit

4.9 km 862 m 5 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Toilet, cafe and pub at the walk’s start.


Some sections can be tricky to follow in mist.

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking :

£5 daily.

Public Transport:

Trawscambria T2 from Machynlleth or Dolgellau (actually starting from Bangor) but only a handful daily.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


The Minffordd Path Walk up Cader Idris Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

The Minffordd Path Walk up Cader Idris

The Minffordd Path up Cader or Cadair Idris is a must do Snowdonia walk and probably the best walk in South Snowdonia. The Minffordd Path is tougher and rougher than the Pony Path, but makes up for the extra efforts with a walk that’s much more scenic.

If you like steps, you’ll love this path. Setting off steeply up the wooded gorge of Nant Cadair, the steps get you quickly up the first section of the hill.  Once they’re out of the way, the walk is much more pleasant as you reach the classic viewpoint of Cwm Cau and its corrie lake.

A straightforward ridge walk takes you first up to the top of Craig Cwm Amarch before the final, less distinct pull to the summit of Cader / Cadair Idris and its shelter.

The Minffordd Path up Cader Idris

1 The walk starts off at the Car Park at Minffordd with the path clearly waymarked past the toilet block and along a well made path. Note that the spelling of Cader/Cadair Idris is causing a bit of confusion even for the officials as you’ll see both spellings used within 10m of each other! We’re using both Cader and Cadair Idris for the simple fact that people are searching for both online. The path continues past a tea room (with free wi-fi!) and you’re soon at the start of the steep gorge walk.

Cader Idris Minffordd Path

2 The gorge walk is short in distance, but you’ll feel it in your legs after all these steps! Despite that, the path is good and there are plenty of spots to stop to take in the emerging views or just to stare in disbelief at those steps yet to come.

Cader Idris Minffordd Path

3 When you reach a junction with the Mynydd Moel track, the path soon relents, in the knowledge that you’ve at least got a good chunk of the ascent out of the way.  Keep left here rather than crossing the river and the path brings you gently around towards Llyn Cau and emerging views of Cwm Cau and Cader Idris.

Cader Idris Minffordd Path

4 The path veers left (a fainter path continues straight on to Llyn Cau) and again starts to climb, with an excellent viewpoint towards Cader and Llyn Cau a little distance up. Continue along the path, which steepens as it approaches the ridge, and you’ll be on the ridge to Craig Cwm Amarch in no time.

5 The ridge is wide and climbs steadily until the final pull to Craig Cwm Amarch becomes loose scree and is rather unpleasant. It’s thankfully a short stretch and you can rest on your first summit of the day. This peak looks taller than Cader / Cadair on the ascent and you can imagine that a few people will have thought that this was the summit of Cader / Cadair Idris, especially in mist.

Cader Idris Minffordd Path

6 The descent from Craig Cwm Amarch is indistinct and the path easily lost. Keep right, but not so far right as to fall off the cliffs! The only sure way is to take a compass bearing in mist. You continue to descend to the bwlch noted as Craig Cau on the map (surely Bwlch Craig Cau?) which marks the start of the final climb to the summit.

Cader Idris Minffordd Path

7 The path steepens for the final 150m climb to the summit, with the path largely clear but still needing care to follow at some places.

Cader Idris Minffordd Path

8 Finally, the Minffordd Path emerges right on the summit as the trig point comes into view!

In descent – the hardest part is finding the Minffordd Path from the summit. Follow the Pony Path for a 100m or so, keeping an eye out to the left for the track. The junction is hidden and not easy to find. Trying to hit it from the summit, you’ll need to take care not to veer to far left as you may end up on steep ground above Cwm Cau.

Cader Idris Minffordd Path

The scree descent from Craig Cwm Amarch is unpleasant in descent. You’ll also need to ensure you turn left at the end of the ridge to return down to Llyn Cau.

There’s a tearoom at the end, as well as the Minffordd Hotel for refreshments.

For more walks up Cader Idris, visit our All the Walking Routes up Cader Idris article.

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.
Share this – [Sassy_Social_Share]

Please rate this

More Posts By This Author

Leave a Reply