The Snowdon Horseshoe Scrambling Route
The Snowdon Horseshoe is one of the classic UK mountain walks. Including three Grade 1 Scrambles – Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl and Y Lliwedd – and the highest mountain in Wales – Snowdon.
|12.2 km||1061 m||6 hours or more|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Pen y Pass
There’s a good cafe at Pen y Pass these days, as well as public toilets in the same block. Over the road you’ll find Mallory’s Bar in the Pen y Pass Youth Hostel.
Exposed scrambling most of the way.
Sherpa Buses from Llanberis, Betws-y-Coed, Beddgelert, Caernarfon and Porthmadog stop at Pen y Pass at varying frequencies. Check out the Snowdon Sherpa page on Walk up Snowdon for the latest Snowdon Sherpa rundown.Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): LL55 4NY
LIMITED! £10 a day, £6 for 4 hours. Very early arrival advised. Park in Nant Peris for the Park and Ride.
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The Snowdon Horseshoe Scrambling Route Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
- Welsh 3000s – Walking the Welsh 14 Peaks Challenge Guide and Map - 0.0km
- Secret Snowdonia – Craig Fach from Pen y Pass - 0.0km
- Moel Berfedd – Another Snowdonia Mini Mountain Adventure - 0.0km
- Lon Gwynant Walk – Pen-y-pass to Beddgelert - 0.0km
- Y Gribin Snowdon and Y Lliwedd Scramble - 0.1km
- Lliwedd Scramble up Snowdon From Pen y Pass - 0.1km
- Walk up Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach from Pen y Pass - 0.1km
- Snowdon via PYG track from Pen Y Pass - 0.1km
Pubs and Cafes Nearby:
The Snowdon Horseshoe Scrambling Route Details
The Snowdon Horseshoe in Snowdonia is one of the best mountain days in Britain, without a shadow of a doubt. Here’s the Mud and Routes guide to the Snowdon Horseshoe walk, or scramble – take your pick! As usual, when we say we’ve got a guide, we include a proper OS map below with a downloadable GPX file.
The Snowdon Horseshoe Scrambling Route
Starting off in Pen y Pass, the Snowdon Horseshoe starts off innocuous enough along the rather pedestrian PYG track before forking off at Bwlch y Moch. You know this is the walking equivalent of a motorway by the presence of the dual stiles that mark the easier way up. You’ll need to be taking the right hand path for Crib Goch, which soon turns into a steep and rocky scramble.
It’s worth it however, as you’re quickly on the crest of the Crib Goch ridge, which is beautifully exposed. If you haven’t a head for heights then Crib Goch isn’t the place for you. If you love mountains, love scrambling then you’ve just found your favourite 500m of rocky ridge.
On a busy day however, the enjoyment will be spoilt by sheer numbers, so you’re best setting off early or late. The ascent pictured here was a leisurely Friday evening ascent, complete with camping kit, and we only saw one other group of 3. But that’s only an option if you’re overnighting on the mountain.
The airy crest of Crib Goch is over too soon, with just the pinnacles to traverse (a few exposed moves) and you’re back to the normality of Bwlch Coch. The best might be over, but there’s still plenty of scrambling left over that would be classics in their own right on any other mountain.
The ascent of Crib y Ddysgl has a few more challenges in store, before narrowing to a grassy crest, and the view from the second highest point in Wales is impressive. It’s a mundane walk across to Yr Wyddfa or Snowdon, which is more of an obstacle to be traversed on a day like this, we’ve scrambling to get on with, and a horribly eroded scree path down the Watkin to Bwlch y Saethau.
There’s a path you can follow, but you should attain the crest to your left for a much more interesting approach to Lliwedd. The scrambling is easy enough, which is probably a relief this far into the day, and it’s onwards and down to Llyn Llydaw to end the walk on the rather easy Miner’s Track.
NOTE Some purists will suggest you begin the route by ascending the minor peak to the east of Bwlch y Moch and end on Gallt y Wenallt as the first and final nails in the Horseshoe. These will certainly add a further angle to the walk and are worth adding on if you want a longer day.