Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path
A wild ascent up Yr Aran from near Beddgelert that avoids the popular paths as much as possible!
|12.9 km||763 m||5 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Craflwyn Hall - Near Beddgelert
We recommend the Caffi Gwynant for a coffee and cake. There are toilets at the Watkin Path car park in Nant Gwynant.
Navigation in Cwm yr Hyrddod and descending from Yr Aran to the Watkin path can be tricky in good visibility, let alone hill fog!
Snowdon Sherpa buses can be used, but need planning as they are infrequent along Nant Gwynant.Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): LL55 4NE
NT Car park at Craflwyn Hall – £2
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Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path Route Map and GPX Download
Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path Details
Yr Aran in the Snowdon Range is a worthy mountain for a shorter mountain day, and this is one of the better routes. The route described is good in both directions, with the reverse option starting up via the Watkin Path possibly the best option. The route via Cwm yr Hyrddod can be tricky to find from the top, but isn’t the easiest route to follow upwards either!
Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path Route Description
The route starts at the National Trust’s Craflwyn Hall where you can follow the way-marked trail for Cwm Llan (black arrows) and once you reach the mine building ruins at SH607502 you can follow the stream up into Cwm yr Hyrddod. It is off path and needs good navigational skills, so take care. There’s old mining activity in Cwm Bleiddiaid, so it’s not recommended unless you know otherwise. I’ve descended this a few times and it’s a great route along a truly hidden part of Snowdonia.
You’ll cross a wall and a set of sheepfolds, where you continue to follow the stream until an unexpectedly flat area. Veer up to the left where there’s a faint path contouring the slopes that was once clearly a manufactured track over into Bwlch Cwm Llan, but is still remarkably clear on the slopes above Cwm yr Hyrddod. It vanishes at points though, and completely towards the bwlch, so in mist it could pose some challenges.
To get to Craig Wen is just a simple dog leg to your left from the bwlch, and there’s a easy enough path to follow.
Return the same way, and following the wide grassy ridge to the summit brings no difficulties.
From the summit you have a great view. Today you could see a grass fire across on Carnedd y Cribau. There is very little shelter on top though, so on a bad day try and lunch on the slopes on the way up or down. The path down the other side is quite steep, and you need to follow this down to a wall, where the path branches off. Left takes you to Bwlch Cwm Llan and an easy to navigate path to Bethania. Right is a grassy ridge, that’s not so obvious. However, there’s more of a path than the map would suggest.
It’s a pleasant walk down, but keep an eye on the path that leads to the old copper mine to the left. It’s not obvious, unless you look down exactly where it is. There is a tiny cairn, but barely 10 stones! It’s also quite steep, so care is needed. It’s practically a scramble down, but eases off for a while until you arrive at the copper mine. Again, it steepens, quite drastically down a bit of a scree slope before again easing off and following a very easy track down to the Watkin Path. You will need to turn left though, and not follow the old tram-line as it takes you over a dangerously steep incline.
The Watkin Path is easy, no explanation needed. Just keep an eye out for the waterfalls to the left and the incline to the right that you’ve managed to avoid. Once on the main road, turn right and past the café that was thankfully open today. Continue for a short distance, and turn left across a bridge on the first junction. Cross the bridge, and turn right towards the farm, Llyndy Isaf. Continue through the farmyard, and follow the path along the shore of Llyn Dinas.
This is as straightforward as it gets, so continue to the end of the lake, and past a footbridge keeping to the same side of the river. You pass Sygyn Copper mine, and after a short stretch on a minor road (passing a centre for Search and Rescue dogs) you arrive at the path you left this morning. Retrace your steps to the morning’s starting point and have a pint for your efforts.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.
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