Western Nantlle Ridge – Craig Cwm Silyn and Mynydd Graig Goch from Nebo
Rough route at the quieter end of the Nantlle Ridge.
|13.8 km||750 m|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Nebo
Buses from Caernarfon and Porthmadog.Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable):
limited in Nebo
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Western Nantlle Ridge – Craig Cwm Silyn and Mynydd Graig Goch from Nebo Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
Four Valleys Path2.7km
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Western Nantlle Ridge – Craig Cwm Silyn and Mynydd Graig Goch from Nebo Details
This really is the unfashionable side of Snowdonia, usually only visited by those descending the Nantlle Ridge and rarely as a location from which to start many walks (other than doing Nantlle the ‘Wrong Way’). So it was only, eventually, that I’ve got around to setting off this end of the Nantlle Ridge as a quick, after-work bimble. All I can say is that it’s going to be repeated many times over the coming years, with views that make this route spectacular.
1 The route starts in the hamlet of Nebo – use the map on the right for driving directions, or catch a bus from either Porthmadog or Caernarfon. You can park on the road here, just taking care not to block the road, or continue up the road to SH489504 where there’s enough parking for a couple of cars.
2 Facing the school, take the lane left and due east, following it for 1km until you reach the end of the metalled road. From this point, the crags of Cwm Dulyn and Cwm Silyn dominate, and belie their relatively modest height.
3 There’s a clear path to your right here, which is boggy for the initial stretch but improves quickly enough. Follow this between two walls and you’re soon on open hillside marked Rhos Las on the maps. The right of way is clear enough on the ground, and you should make for the corner of the wall at SH498501 before following this wall for half a kilometre or so.
4 The path continues to climb steadily across a rugged slope, with upright stones at regular intervals making navigation straightforward enough for you to start enjoying the views across to the dark crags of Craig Cwm Dulyn and back towards the sea. Continue along this path for a further kilometre, until you reach the dry stone wall.
5 There’s a faint path that runs parallel to the dry stone wall which seems to climb endlessly up towards the summit of Garnedd Goch, but it’s less than a kilometre away and only 200 vertical metres. It just feels further.
6 Finally, on the summit of Garnedd Goch, you can take a breather. Just a quick breather as this is just the highest point on this far end of the wide summit plateau of Craig Cwm Silyn. So head vaguely in a northeasterly direction along a faint path, parallel to the wall (which is easier to follow but tends towards boggy). You can take the direct route, or as we did tonight, follow the cliff tops for a bit of variation. This gives you much better views towards Cwm Silyn that you’d otherwise miss out on.
7 Finally, you reach the summit. While you’ll have noticed on the walk across, the views from here are peerless in the area. Eryri in one direction, Anglesey and Llyn in another and all the way towards South Wales and Pembrokeshire filling the rest of the vista. If you can’t see anything, then there’s your usual summit shelter that’ll at least take the chill off the weather.
8 Once you pull yourself away from the view, you can retrace your steps as far as Garnedd Goch, and down the stone wall towards the track you ascended on. You can walk to the track, or alternatively take a shortcut across the rough grassland from a wall junction. Whatever you do, don’t bother looking for a more direct route from Garnedd Goch. The southern aspect is all scree and heather, which we discovered to our cost.
9 You’ll reach the shallow incision of Bwlch Cwmdulyn, with a clear path that diverges from the wall and soon vanishes en route to the summit of Mynydd Graig Goch. In mist a bearing will be essential. While sections are wet, you’ll be hard pressed to get into problems or even get your feet wet.
10 Mynydd Graig Goch is a remote outpost of Snowdonia, which despite bearing the title of Mynydd in Welsh, was recently elevated to 2000ft and ‘officially’ deemed a mountain in the eyes of those whose OS Maps haven’t been updated since the 70s and the press who don’t really know any better. As it was over 600m in the first place, this was always a mountain for many and the fuss was a bit of a surprise.
11 The summit is an interesting jumble of tors and boulders, with the views along the Welsh coast a particular attraction.
12 Descent is a bit tricky, in that you need to clamber over the Great Wall of Nebo (which can be crossed with care) and then down rough grassland towards Llyn Cwm Dulyn. It’s easy to find yourself directly above Craig Cwm Dulyn if you’re not careful, so you need to aim roughly northwest. A path does appear almost at the bottom and a bit late to help your progress, which leads you to the shore of Llyn Cwm Dulyn and an access track.
13 Follow the access track to the left, joining a minor road after 500m and Nebo soon after.