Walk up Creigiau Gleision from Capel Curig
Remote route to the outlying Creigiau Gleision in the Carneddau.
|16.7 km||781 m||6 hours|
Activivity Type: Strenuous Walk
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Summits and Places on this Route
Cafe, shop, gear shops and 3 pubs in Capel Curig, with many more in Betws y Coed down the road.
Navigation off path and boggy terrain.
Parking available in the small car park behind Joe Brown.
Plenty of Sherpa buses run through Capel Curig from Llanberis, Pen-y-pass and Betws y Coed, with a very limited service from Bethesda/Bangor.
Walk up Creigiau Gleision from Capel Curig Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download
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Walk up Creigiau Gleision from Capel Curig
You may have spotted it from the A5, as a complex collection of knolls, and it certainly lives up to this impression. The walk covers some rough an heathery terrain that can be really heavy going if conditions are particularly wet underfoot. You’ll also need some decent navigational skills, even in fine weather, to complete this walk as the path is often indistinct and the way ahead not always obvious.
Creigiau Gleision from Capel Curig Route Description
1 The walk starts opposite the Joe Brown shop at Capel Curig where you’ll spot a stile to the left of the former chapel – now a B&B. The path continues uphill through pastures before entering a woodland where it is joined by an obvious footpath up from the Bryn Tyrch Hotel and Siabod Cafe, which makes an alternative start to the route.
2 Once onto open moorland, there’s a recently built path which soon crosses a footbridge (which replaces an earlier abomination of a footbridge). Beyond this, the path has been vastly improved, and the junction left immediately after the footbridge into Cwm Geuallt is easily missed.
3 This path is easy enough to follow as it takes you up through Cwm Geuallt, where the path keeps sufficiently high to avoid the boggy valley bottom. After around 2km, you’ll reach the col above Llyn Crafnant where this old trail descends, but our route keeps on climbing.
.4 Take a faint path left onto Crimpiau, which quickly steepens towards the summit. It’s only around 700m of walking, and 100m of climbing to the top, which is a small price to pay for such a reward. Crimpiau may only be 475m high, but the views from this miniscule mountain are seriously impressive.
Take some time to appreciate the views towards Tryfan, Glyderau and the Carneddau in one direction, and Llyn Crafnant and the route ahead in the other. You’ll also need some fresh legs, as the route becomes heavier going between here and Llyn Cowlyd.
5 The path descends steeply from Crimpiau, before the initial ascent up to Craig Wen marks the start of the pull up towards Creigiau Gleision.
6 It continues in much the same vein, tramping through mud and heather, sometimes in the wrong direction as the path avoids the wetter areas to the minor summit of Crailglwyn. A heathery trudge along a flatter area brings you to the final climb to the summit of Creigiau Gleision and some fine views.
7 From Creigiau Gleision you’ll need to head roughly NNE to descend towards the northern top of Creigiau Gleision. The going continues to be heathery and rough, with the path narrow in places but easier than the sheepwalks you can use to walk around it.
8 Head ENE down the narrow path towards the fence which you now need to follow as the path descends to a boggy plateau. You’ll pass the stile for the Llyn Crafnant descent to your right, and after this you’ll need to be keeping your eye out for the very faint descent path to your left which you should reach in 300m. If you reach a fence junction, you’ve gone around 300m too far.
9 The decent path to Llyn Cowlyd is narrow and indistinct in places as is passes through the heather, but does descend gently down the hillside to the Llyn Cowlyd Dam.
10 Llyn Cowlyd is a bleak, lonely, desolate place on a winter day. There is a dam, a massive lake with sheer walls of rock and scree to either side. Even then, you can’t help but be impressed by it. In more clement weather, it’s a much more pleasant location and the walk along the lakeside is rough but pleasant. It’s also much quicker going than it was up on the ridge, so this should be a breeze. The path is easy to follow and takes you up to the pass, beyond which is a gentle descent to the upper Llugwy valley.
It’s worth stopping to take a view back over Llyn Cowlyd at this point, before it goes out of view as you reach the pass, to be replaced by equally good views into Ogwen.
11 The final section from the Maen Trichwmwd Pass descends a wide and grassy path down towards the A5. There’s a stream to cross around half way down, which is ok in most conditions but you will get a bootfull of water when it’s in spate!
12 Once you reach the A5, turn left and you should be back in Capel Curig in around quarter of an hour.
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