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Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass

By Dave Roberts   

on June 14, 2018    4.67/5 (6)

Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass

Further Details

Route Summary:

The Pyg Track is the shortest route up to the summit of Snowdon though has a tough final ascent. It is also one of the most popular.

This walk includes the Washi of Snowdon – Yr Wyddfa

This walk includes the Hewitt of Snowdon – Yr Wyddfa

This walk includes the Nuttall of Snowdon – Yr Wyddfa

Route Start Location: Pen y Pass - Snowdon Summit

5.1 km 673 m 3 hours ONE WAY

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

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Good cafe and YHA with bar, public toilets at Pen y Pass.

Hafod Eryri (the summit cafe) is open from late Spring to the end of October from 10am until 20mins before the last train departs


Route finding should not be a problem, however, inadvertently following the wrong path is a possibility in poor weather. Paths are well signposted but can catch even the most experienced out.

Due to their height and aspect, the steps up the zig zags below Bwlch Glas often become extremely icy in the winter and a hazard if you are not equipped with proper winter equipment. They can hold onto snow and ice, even when the valleys are warm and spring-like.

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 : LL55 4NY

Pen y Pass is the obvious choice but a £10 fee and limited availability often rule it out. You may need to arrive before 7am to get a space.

Laybys close to Pen y Gwyrd Hotel line the A498. These are pay and display, however, across the Nant Gwyrd river, in Cowny County, parking is free.

Despite the appearance of dozens of cars lining the road, parking in the area designated as a Urban Clearway, south of the A4086 junction, will likely lead to a parking fine and an expensive days parking.

Public Transport:

The Snowdon Sherpa bus travels around the foot of Snowdon, creating a link between the six main routes that travel up Snowdon, as well as the main car parks, villages and tourist attractions in the area. Check out the Snowdon Sherpa page on Walk up Snowdon for the latest Snowdon Sherpa rundown.

There is a park and ride service from Nant Peris and Penygwryd car parks to Pen y Pass every Saturday from Easter Saturday to the last Saturday in October (duplicate journeys will operate as required between Llanberis / Nant Peris and Pen y Pass during busy periods).

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass

The PYG track up Snowdon is both the shortest tracks up Snowdon, and the one that involves the least amount of ascent as it starts from pen y Pass Car park (LL55 4NY for sat nav!) and already nearly a good way of the way up. Despite this, the PYG track isn’t the easiest path up Snowdon and like all walks up Snowdon, it should be treated with the utmost respect.

About the PYG Track up Snowdon

The PYG track up Snowdon can be steep and rocky in places but the paths are generally good all the way and reasonably straightforward to follow. Only the section between where it joins the Miner’s Track and the final zig-zag section, is the path a bit trickier to follow.  It is 5.5km in length and involves around 800m of ascent. If you’re reasonably fit, you should make it up in three hours with 3 hours being a realistic time for a full walk up and down for the extremely fit!!

Remember to allow plenty of time for breaks and stopping to take in the sights, which can easily slow you down as you take in the excellent views.

The views of Snowdon are among the best of any route up. The PYG track is also one of the busiest routes up, so consider setting off very early morning or mid-afternoon to avoid the crowds. If you do set off later in the day, make sure you’ve got enough hours of daylight left to descend safely. In winter conditions, the upper section of the path becomes very treacherous and in common with all the other routes up, should not be attempted in snow unless you’re properly equipped and experienced. The very final section onto Bwlch Glas is corniced over in true winter conditions, making it a tricky proposition even for experienced winter walkers with full kit.

PYG Track up Snowdon Route Guide

by Dave Chick

1 – From Pen y Pass, aim for the footpath to the left of the toilet block which heads west. A slate marker will identify this as the ‘Pyg Track’. This begins as a fairly wide tarmac track but soons passes through a wall and becomes rough and rocky though easy to follow. As this is one of the most popular paths for climbing Snowdon, it is very well engineered in places though there are a few slightly steeper sections. If the weather is fine, Crib Goch is the triangular mountain you will see looming ahead and you will have a view almost straight down the Llanberis Pass on the right.

Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass

2 – The Pyg Track passes beneath the crags of Carreg Gwalch and climbs up to Bwlch y Moch – the Pass of the Pigs. Views ahead will open up as Llyn Llydaw and pointy peak of Y Lliwedd come into view.

Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass

3 – After passing a drystone retaining wall on the right, keep left as directed by a low slate sign and cross a double ladder stile. Avoid the path turning to the right as this heads towards Crib Goch.

Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass

4 – On a clear day you will see the Pyg Track snaking off into the distance though you will probably not be able to see Yr Wyddfa yet. The Pyg Track climbs steadily, crossing a stream via a rudimentary wooden footbridge. After a steeper, pitched section of the path, you will emerge with a view of Yr Wyddfa straight ahead.

5 – Keep following the track as it climbs further, eventually swinging right at a large cairn. This will bring the heart-shaped lake Glaslyn into view, nestled beneath the immense crags of Yr Wyddfa. You should see the Miner’s Track skirting the shore of the lake and rising up to meet the Pyg Track in the distance.


6 – Continue on to the meeting point of the Pyg and Miner’s Tracks, where the climb begins to steepen. Here, the path becomes much more heavily engineered as a series of stepped-zigzags climb the steepest part of the Pyg Track, gaining some 200m to reach Bwlch Glas, a col that separates Yr Wyddfa from it’s neighbour, Garnedd Ugain. Due to their height and aspect, the steps up the zig zags often become extremely icy in the winter and a hazard if you are not equipped with proper winter equipment.

7 – A tall finger of slate marks the meeting point of the Pyg Track, the Llanberis Path and the Snowdon Ranger path at Bwlch Glas. Here, take a left towards Yr Wyddfa’s summit, following a well-built path that runs adjacent to the Snowdon Mountain Railway. It is likely this stretch of path will be extremely busy though marks the final climb to the top of Yr Wyddfa.

Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass

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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