Walk up the Snowdon Ranger Path

Route Information

A4085, Caernarfon LL54 7YS, UK


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Route Summary:

Quieter route up Snowdon that’s not without it’s merits but perhaps not as exciting or dramatic as the approaches from Rhyd Ddu, Pen-y-Pass or the Watkin Path.

Distance: 13 Kms

Ascent: 900 metres

Time: 4 hrs

Start and Finish: Snowdon Ranger YH


Pub with excellent ales in Rhyd Ddu.


Public Transport:

Sherpa Buses and WHR to Rhyd Ddu.

Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav: Plenty available - very rarely full. LL54 7YS

Weather Forecast:

Met Office Snowdonia Mountain Weather


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Walk up the Snowdon Ranger Path

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The Snowdon Ranger path is one of the quieter approaches to the summit of Snowdon. Starting from the shores of Llyn Cwellyn (and newly christened Lwybr Cwellyn to reflect this in Welsh even if it’s always been Llwybr Snowdon Ranger for the locals since we remember). There’s also a Welsh Highland Railway station at the start of the route.

There’s a full description on Walk up Snowdon  but read below a trip report for one of our first ascents during a warm summer evening.

Snowdon Ranger Route Map

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Snowdon Ranger Walking Route

The Snowdon Ranger starts to the side of the Youth Hostel, heading up a track, beside the railway platform before crossing the railway.  Follow this track uphill to a farmhouse, then take the signposted path right. Now the path zig-zags endlessly, or at least till the skyline is reached and you are rewarded with the view of Yr Wyddfa.

The track is reasonably easy to follow on the next section, as it’s almost flat before seriously ascending up the broad ridge to the summit of Snowdon

Even if it was a belated summer in September, we had to wrap up warm on top as a keen wind reminded us it really was autumn. We were greeted just below the summit by a large group of lads who seemed a bit surprised they weren’t the last up. They surreally cheered us on as they passed headed for the PYG track down.

There’s always a strange mix of people up Snowdon, and even at sunset that’s the case. Last time I was up for sunset we passed someone who really did look like a Himalayan Sherpa going up when we were well down. The strangest? A group of elderly ramblers roped up on the Llanberis Path. In snow I could possibly understand it, but it was in summer.  There was also the one time when someone was playing a trumpet on the summit, we could hear them from Glaslyn.

We did manage to be the last on the summit, as a small figure ascending the South Ridge decided the summit was too crowded for him with the two of us and continued on the Llanberis Path. The cooling of the evening had brought mists with it, and the lesser hills of the Nantlle Ridge were veiled in thin cloud. Had the skies towards Ynys Mon been clearer, it would have been a spectacular sunset. We had to make do with being the last down, and having views towards the urban edges of the Menai Straits. Next time, hopefully, it will be clear.

Descending in the dark is an experience in itself. Trying to keep the head torches off as long as possible, you eventually have to give in after tripping over a sheep or two. My judgement of distance eludes me while walking in the dark, making most downward steps difficult as I take one short and jar my knee painfully. With that, it was a pleasure to reach the easy path below the zig zags and the final leg to the Ranger

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