Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path

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Route Summary:

A wild ascent up Yr Aran from near Beddgelert that avoids the popular paths as much as possible!

Distance
Ascent
Time
12.88 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

Facilities:

We recommend the Caffi Gwynant for a coffee and cake. There are toilets at the Watkin Path car park in Nant Gwynant.

Hazards:

Navigation in Cwm yr Hyrddod and descending from Yr Aran to the Watkin path can be tricky in good visibility, let alone hill fog!

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.

Public Transport:

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

Weather Forecast:

Met Office Snowdonia Mountain Weather

Check out our Best Mountain Weather Forecast?

Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path Route Map and GPX Download

Download the GPX File

Recommended Maps

Guidebooks:

Summits and Places on this Route

Places Nearby:

 



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!

Please note that this route is due an update and does not mention some new updated sections. The route as is can still be followed using a map, but the section along Llyn Dinas isn’t accurately described below and has been totally rebuilt. Will be re-written in Spring 2019

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.

Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path

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.

Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path

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.

Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path

Return the same way, and following the wide grassy ridge to the summit brings no difficulties.

Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path

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.

Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path

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.

Walk up Yr Aran From Beddgelert and the Watkin Path
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 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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