Moel Eilio Circular Walk from Llanberis
Classic circular walk up this popular summit from Llanberis.
|13.44 km||668 m||4 hours|
Activivity Type: Moderate Walk
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Summits and Places on this Route
Most facilities in the village.
none – usually – some nav in mist.
Sherpa Buses and local buses from Caernarfon and Bangor.
Moel Eilio Circular Walk from Llanberis Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download
Download file for GPS
Moel Eilio Circular Walk from Llanberis
The rounded hill of Moel Eilio is just right for a less strenuous Snowdonia mountain day. This horseshoe from Llanberis is the best way to walk this hill, with a return over the pleasant ridge and summits of Foel Gron and Foel Goch. Views across to Mynydd Mawr, the Nantlle Ridge, Snowdon and the Glyderau are extensive from the summit and as you continue along the grassy ridge.
1 Start the walk from near the Snowdon Railway station, pass it towards the Victoria Hotel, and turn right at a mini roundabout. Follow this road (with a terrace to your left) until there is a right turn that takes you under the Railway Viaduct. Continue, keeping to the left where the road forks and you will see a cattle grid to your left with a sign for the “Waterfall”. Follow this road, not the path to the Ceunant Mawr Waterfall, and then there is a path at the end of the road (before a farmhouse) where the path continues quite clearly across a couple of fields.
2 Cross the fields and you will arrive on a muddy road, turn right along this until you come to another farmhouse and a tarmac road going right (and into the village). There is a stile where the bridleway continues along the road’s line, and this good track brings you eventually to another minor road after around 10 minutes.
Alternatively – instead of continuing along the bridleway, you can cross a stile left across morrland and head for the ridge of Braich y Foel. This provides a steeper and quicker route to the summit of Moel Eilio.
3 This provides an alternative starting point for the walk if you feel lazy and want to reduce the ascent. Pass the ruined house and turn right along the green lane along the wall. The track passes through a couple of gates and is easy enough to follow. Eventually you arrive at the bwlch, where a wide, obvious track leads left. You can also head off uphill a bit sooner if you spot the path, but it’s not as obvious.
4 The ascent sets off steady, before steepening for a couple of 100m as you reach a fence. This section is also badly eroded, but soon relents. Cross through a collapsed fence and keeping the other fence to your right, continue up hill for the final section.
5 The fence now leads you to the summit, having moved recently. There’s a huge shelter on the summit of Moel Eilio, a contrast to the desultory pile of rocks that had decorated this summit for many years. Take some time and drink in the views, which are from the Carneddau, across the Glyderau, Snowdon, Moel Hebog, Nantlle Ridge, Llyn Peninsula and across to Llanddwyn and Ynys Mon (Anglesey).
The descent from here is straightforward. You can shorten the day and return from whence you came, or down the Braich y Foel Ridge to the start point
6 The superior option is to carry on along the ridge over Foel Gron and Foel Goch (not to be confused with the many other summits of the same name. This one is Foel Goch, and the two Glyder ones are Foel-Goch and Y Foel Goch). This is a pleasant, grassy ridge, posing little problem. It’s relatively busy these days, though a few years back you’d be hard pressed to see anyone on here. The views over to the Nantlle Ridge are the pick of the views in our opinion.
To your left you should be able to see Llyn Dwythwch and the right Llyn Cwellyn and Llyn-y-Gader.
7 Once over the final grassy knoll of Foel Goch, the descent to Maesgwm is down a steep grassy slope. There isn’t a path as such, more of an eroded rut. It’s not pleasant, but at least it’s short.
8 You’re now in Bwlch Maesgwm – you feel like you’ve already descended but you’re still at over 450m in height. There’s an excellent bridleway that now needs to be followed for a steady 3km down towards Llanberis.
9 You eventually reach a small cottage and what starts to look like a metalled road, or it was at some point in the last 50 years. Continue along this for a few 100m, keeping an eye out for the new tracks across the moorland to your right. While the map shows a right of way that can cut across and save a few minutes, it’s across boggy ground and not recommended.
Alternatively – you could continue along this track and follow it all the way downhill into the village.
10 Find the junction right and an excellent track leads across to a bridge over the Afon Goch. Cross the river and follow the path downstream. It soon descends to cross the Snowdon Railway, after which you arrive on the lower section of the Llanberis Path. Turn left to head downhill, and you’ll be at the starting point in around 15 minutes.
We recommend stopping off at the Penceunant Isaf Tearooms for a beer or a cup of tea – which you’ll pass on this section.