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Walk up Moel Wnion, Gyrn, Llefn and Moel Faban from Rachub or Aber

By Dave Roberts   

on December 13, 2020    5/5 (1)

Walk up Moel Wnion, Gyrn, Llefn and Moel Faban from Rachub or Aber

Further Details

Route Summary:

A walk over the minor summits of the North Carneddau..

Route Start Location: Rachub

14km 600 m 4 hours

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

Activivity Type: Moderate Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Pub and convenience shop ar Rachub.


Route finding in mist can be tricky as the paths can be faint in places, or so numerous in places that you don’t know which one to follow.

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 :

Limited roadside parking.

Public Transport:

Regular bus service from Bangor.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Walk up Moel Wnion, Gyrn, Llefn and Moel Faban from Rachub or Aber Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk up Moel Wnion, Gyrn, Llefn and Moel Faban from Rachub or Aber

The Northern Carneddau are a wide expanse of high rounded hills, peppered here and there with improbable piles of rocks. This walk from Rachub, or Abergwyngregyn, takes in a number of the lower summits in this range with a highest altitude of 580m on Moel Wnion. That makes it perfect for winter hill walkers who don’t want to venture onto the higher Carneddau in full winter conditions when these hills will probably remain below the snowline.

1 The walk starts in Rachub ar the corner of Llanllechid Road and Bryn Pistyll.

There are a number of way to reach the hillside from here, but taking the Bryn Pistyll road uphill towards the houses, you’ll find a footpath sign after a few 100m on your left. Take this (or if really muddy you can follow the street right and then take a left) path through a field. You can’t go wrong as it’s fenced either side. This brings you out beside some houses on a lane where you turn left and you’ll be immediately at a junction. Turn right uphill, past the Outreach Centre and the tarmac gives way to a perfect green lane. This entire section is only 800m in length!

2 Once you reach the open hillside, take the good bridleway left. This bridleway should now be followed all the way to the hillsides above Aber. The initial section is easy to follow, ensuring you don’t take any diversions. Continue past the dry valley at Bwlch ym Mhwll-le after which the track becomes patchy – with some sections not always obvious – and crossing a wide moor that’s wet in sections. A compass bearing might help in mist.

3 The track continues straight, crossing the track at SH639 697, with the going on a vague green track with the mass of Moel Wnion to your right. Follow this track until you reach a stone wall – crossing it over an awkward metal stile and following the wall left along the stream (or vaguely straight ahead) to join the waymarked North Wales Path.

4 The NWP is easy to follow, being a wide track and waymarked with both NWP and Wales Coast Path circular walk way markers. The route provides an excellent view towards the Menai Strait and Anglesey. Continue on this track until you reach a fence after around 2km.

4b Moel Wnion From Aber

Alternatively the walk can be started from Aber – by taking the gate at SH657 724 and following the steep path uphill. After 400m it joins a wide track which you follow uphill to your left. In 300m, and a fair bit of steep uphill walking, you’ll be on the North Wales Path. Follow this path right for 400m to reach the starting point for section 5.

Section 4b – Route Map

Download file for GPS

5 From the fence seen below at GR SH654 719- where the vegetation changed from grass to bracken when we’ve been there –  the path takes a steep uphill pull following a dyke that’s not marked on the map until you reach a sheepfold and a gate. NOTE there is technically no right of way on section 5 – but we’ve never had a problem using it.

6 From the gate, follow the slightly sunken path up Moel Wnion. It passes initially through a col with unsightly pylons, before continuing to climb to the viewpoint at Cras which has extensive views towards the Carneddau. Continuing uphill, the path will split with the better track contouring around Moel Wnion left. You’ll need to make sure you’re heading uphill on a fainter path that should be easy to follow, once you find it!

7 The summit is eventually reached, with the final section of path seemingly taking forever to reach the top. You’ll be greeted by a ruined trig point in a summit shelter, as well as extensive views in all directions.

8 Descending, there’s an excellent path that takes you all the way down to the bwch before Gyrn. The final section becomes wet and can be boggy in places. The track here can be taken left for an easier return route, or right to re-join this walk at section 3.

9 Continue ahead on an initially good path towards Gyrn. In clear weather, you’ll spot the extensive network of sheepfolds just below the summit. The path heads right of these, with the path becoming difficult to find as you approach the rocky summit and another summit shelter.

10 From Gyrn, the initial going isn’t obvious, but once you leave the loose rocks of the summit there’s a reasonably easy to follow path that crosses the boggy col and continues over the minor summit of Llefn. Crossing the non-descript summit, the path initially drops steeply before relenting and eventually brining you to the main track into Cwm Ffrydlas at the top of Bwlch ym Mhwll-le.

11 You can turn right down Bwlch ym Mhwll-le, or walk left around the final summit of Moel Faban, but it’s much better to finish with a view by following the path to the summit. Continue over the summit, where the clearest path continues towards Bethesda. Some navigation will be needed here to ensure you follow one of the numerous paths back towards Rachub – but it’s not the end of the world if you end up towards the Carneddi area of Bethesda as you’ll only need to follow the road for a km or so to return to the start. It would be better if you can descend and meet the path that contours around right towards Rachub – keeping an eye out for the quarries – which meets a tall wall that denotes the open hillside. Keep this roughly to your left and you’ll soon arrive at the gate that marks the end of the green lane you started off on.

12 Down to finish

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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