Mynydd Mawr from Rhyd Ddu

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Route Summary:

Distance
Ascent
Time
9.3 km 511 m

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

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Mynydd Mawr from Rhyd Ddu Details

This is a nice, quiet walk. So close to Snowdon, you can almost hear the crowds. Indeed, you can’t fail to miss them in Rhyd Ddu where they tend to gather to climb the highest peak in Wales and England. Fortunately for us, they don’t know any better and will leave today’s destination well alone.

Mynydd Mawr is a solitary summit, perfect for a quick morning or afternoon bimble, with a walk up a pleasant grassy ridge and an alternative return via Llyn y Dywarchen and Clogwynygarreg adding interest to the end of the walk.

OS Map Required Explorer 017BMC MapLandranger 115

The Route

The walk starts just up the B4418 (just before the 30 limit), the road to Penygroes and Nantlle from Rhyd Ddu, where an obvious forestry road indicates the start of the route. This is followed for an easy kilometer, through the plantation, where many trees have recently been felled. You come eventually to a path that leads left up a felled slope, which is steep and stepped. Following this leads you onto open ground, and the ridge above Llyn y Dywarchen, from where you can see the rest of the route to the summit, along with Craig y Bera, Nantlle Ridge and one of the best views of Moel Hebog. Snowdon looks rather flat, i think, from this side, and doesn’t offer the best of views.

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The route is straightforward now, keeping the plantation to your right, and a steep pull up to Foel Rudd (not named on 1:50,000). Believe me, it is steep too!

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The ridge curves around high above Cwm Planwydd to your right and Nantlle to the left. Make sure you peer down the cliffs and Sentries Ridge if you want a bit of exposure! The walk is over far too soon, but the view from here is pretty spectacular, especially just before sunset. I’ll let the gallery images speak for themselves.

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Once you’ve had your fill, you need to retrace your steps down the ridge as far as the stile that leads back into the forest. Instead of entering the forest, you continue on the grassy ridge towards the lake. The path descends naturally, and takes you past some long abandoned homesteads. To the right the valley is marshy, and this used to be another lake until the dam was breached. Behind it is Clogwynygarreg, an interesting pull up if you’ve got an extra half hour.

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Llyn y Dywarchen is the final stop of the day, and you need to follow the lake edge right in order to reach the road you started off on. Take the road left and you’ll soon be at the walk’s start. If you’ve seen anyone before arriving at the lake then that’s what’s called a busy day ’round these parts.

Dave Roberts

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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