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Snowdonia’s Best Kept Trail Running Secret? Uwchgwyfai Common

By Dave Roberts   

on June 25, 2015    No ratings yet.

Snowdonia’s Best Kept Trail Running Secret? Uwchgwyfai Common

Further Details

Route Summary:

Route Start Location:

8.55 km 236 m

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

Activivity Type: 

Summits and Places on this Route


Check out the businesses nearby for more places to stay and drink.


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.

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Snowdonia’s Best Kept Trail Running Secret? Uwchgwyfai Common Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

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Snowdonia’s Best Kept Trail Running Secret? Uwchgwyfai Common

While Snowdonia has a glut of fell running routes (get on a hill and start running!) this makes finding a trail running challenge a bit more difficult. By that, we mean something where you can get decent distance under your belt without having to cover the equivalent in ascent!

The Uwchgwyrfai Common, on the edge of Snowdonia provides the trail runner with some excellent criss crossing trails without too much ascent. Couple that with a number of minor summits (Moel Tryfan and Moel Smytho) and you’ve got the perfect trail run, summit and all.

You can access the Uwchgwyrfai Common from the road between Rhosgadfan and Waunfawr (noted right) or from the village of Y Fron, near Carmel, which is near Groeslon (we could be here all night!).

We’re not going to provide a step by step route for this one! In fact, we think this is one route that’s best run serendipitously! I’ve walked and run this area countless times and even tonight ran along a new path!

DSCF2271The route starts on the small car park as noted on the location to the right (use the route finder!) and follows the concrete track towards a couple of enclosed farmhouses in the first instance before heading off between them along a track. At this point you can head off on any track you find (avoiding gorse!) but you’re better off continuing south on the clear path towards another enclosure and past a large modernised house.

Keep heading south, pass a collection of houses on the common (tarmac) and take the first right onto the heather moorland as soon as you can! Now the adventure starts! There are some waypoints for the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way which you can follow south in the first instance, but beyond that, the fun’s in exploring! This provides the main route south, while there’s another path further east along the forestry and common edge that provides another.


The main points of interest would be to head towards Llyn Ffynhonnau which is an excellent viewpoint towards the Nantlle Ridge.


Moel Tryfan, a bit off the main trail, but worth a visit.


Moel Smytho on the way back provides a final viewpoint towards Anglesey and Caernarfon Bay. Skirt around it’s eastern side for a rough and sketchy path.


Mynydd Mawr – for those aspiring to fell run!


Views are extensive across to Moel Eilio and Yr Wyddfa, making this an excellent place to run.

Beware, this are will need a bit of navigation in mist and while it’s often muddy underfoot, isn’t overly boggy.

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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