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Carneddau and Foel Fras from Rowen Youth Hostel

By Dave Roberts   

on March 4, 2016    No ratings yet.

Carneddau and Foel Fras from Rowen Youth Hostel

Further Details

Route Summary:

A wilder side to the Carneddau

This walk includes the Washi of Foel-fras (Carneddau)

This walk includes the 2 Hewitts of Foel-fras (Carneddau), Drum

This walk includes the 4 Nuttalls of Foel-fras (Carneddau), Drum, Carnedd y Ddelw, Pen y Castell

Route Start Location: Rowen

19.69 km 909 m 6 hours

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

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Ty Gwyn Hotel in Rowen is recommended.

Check out the businesses nearby for more places to stay and drink.


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 :

Public Transport:

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Carneddau and Foel Fras from Rowen Youth Hostel Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Carneddau and Foel Fras from Rowen Youth Hostel

The Rowen Youth Hostel is idyllically placed above the Conwy Valley and well placed to approach the Carneddau, even if it is a bit of a yomp! This walk takes in Drum, Foel Fras and Pen y Castell, but you could easily omit Foel Fras for a shorter day. Likewise, you could add Tal y Fan for a tougher circuit.


Carneddau and Foel Fras from Rowen Youth Hostel Route Description

1 Start off along the green lane uphill. You’ll reach a junction after around 1.5km, continue uphill along this lane until you reach the Bwlch y Ddeufaen car park after 3km. From here, the actual pass of Bwlch y Ddeufaen is around 1km walk along the route of the Roman Road.


2 From the bwlch, pass through the gate and follow the wall to your left. Ensure you follow on this side as there are impassable walls on the left side of the wall! A faint path is easily followable next to the wall for the next 1.3km, after which the going eases as you reach the main ridge of the Carneddau.

3 Follow the fence left along the grassy, and boggy in places, ridge over the minor summit of Carnedd y Ddelw and stop here awhile to enjoy the view!


4 The summit of Drum is quickly reached by following the fence, and is yet another fine viewpoint! You can descend directly to Pen y Castell from here, but it’s worth ascending Foel Fras if time allows.


5 Descend the good track SSW from the summit, which brings you to a boggy looking col. This is easy enough to cross, with plenty of crossing points, and the way up to Foel Fras is marked by a fence and a wall. The path can be sketchy in places, but the wall provides a foolproof guide. You can ascend either side of the wall, which can be a bonus in windy conditions. Though odds on, you’ll find that the wind is blowing along the wall.


6 Foel Fras has a stony, flat summit that’s typical of the main Carneddau ridge. It’s marked by the only trig point in the High Carneddau. You can continue on to Carnedd Llywelyn if you’ve plenty of time, it’s further than you think! It’ll add another 8km to the walk, and around 2.5 hours!

7 Retrace your steps back to Drum, and turn right down the fence towards Pen y Castell. It can be boggy in places, but dries off as you climb to the summit.


8 Descent from here is either as direct as you can get to the good track below, or along the summit ridge over Penygadair. Pick your own route down, but once on the track the going is straightforward enough, and becomes a metalled road after around 20 minutes.

The path by Penygadair
The path by Penygadair for SH7369

 © Copyright Ian Greig and licensed for reuse under thisCreative Commons Licence

9 Follow the road downhill (there’s also a right of way that you could follow left from the small car park – this cuts a corner on the route) and at the junction with the country lane below, turn left. You’ll rejoin the track you set off on at leg 1 after 2.5km where you’ll turn right for the final 1.5km to the YH.


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.
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