Weekend Wild Camping in Snowdonia
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Finding a wild camping route in Snowdonia is like shooting fish in a barrel. With areas such as the Moelwynion and Rhinogydd, there’s more than enough locations for wild camping in Snowdonia to last a lifetime. While plentiful, they’re also diverse; from summit camps to lower level lakeside wild camping. On fine evenings, we’d always choose to camp as high as possible for the views. Just remember that summits need water carried up to them, and will be exposed if the weather turns over night. If in doubt, choose a sheltered spot.
Here’s a selection of a few two and three day wild camping walking routes in Snowdonia that maximise what you can pack into the weekend. It’s no good telling you where to walk, without suggesting a wild camping spot or two for each walk.
For those of you looking for something a bit closer to the road – then see our Snowdonia Campsites for Hillwalkers instead.
Wild Camping in Snowdonia
By whatever means! Camp as high as you can, just don’t be tempted to sleep over in the shelter on Foel Grach. We’ve linked to the full traverse of the Carneddau here, but you can easily modify a 20km+ walk into a wild camp. We like camping on the western slopes to catch the sunsets such as in Cwm Afon Goch above Aber Falls or on the lower slopes of y Drosgl above Rhaeadr Fach. As always, if you can camp as high as possible, you’ll catch the sunset and sunrise if you’re lucky!
Why Bother? Big hills, big weekend.
It’s a struggle to get a long walk on the Glyderau, but you can still squeeze 20km in. We like Llyn Cwn, but it’s too popular as well as being just off the main footpath, so continuing to Llyn y Caseg Fraith is a much quieter option. For a shorter walk, with the same camping options you can walk up Garn, Glyderau and Tryfan from Ogwen Cottage.
Why this weekender? Views of Tryfan and any excuse to cross the Glyderau.
Snowdon doesn’t cover a large enough area for a long wild camping trip. You can take your time and use a day walk for wild camping in Snowdonia, which is fine. You may want something a bit more filling, in which case you can complete this trip over Snowdon and the Glyderau. The only downside is the ascent via the Llanberis path, we don’t want to inflict that on anyone. Choice camping spots are either in Cwm Clogwyn, Cwm Glas/Cwm Glas Mawr and South Ridge. As you’ll need to divert the route in order to visit those, we camped above Llyn Cwmffynnon on the Glyderau.
While we’ve also camped on and around the summits,but as it’s such a busy mountain that is already under pressure, we don’t feel we should be overly promoting those!
Why this weekender? Long, tough walk for those wanting to bag the most hills.
This long route takes in the Moelwynion, Cnicht and Moel Siabod in the North. Camping options are legion, with Llyn yr Adar being popular (and so to be avoided at peak times), but superior camping spots to be found next to the countless lakes in the area. We camped by Llynnau’r Cwn, which one we can’t recall, but Llyn Edno is a good option as is camping high on one of the summits such as Ysgafell Wen or Carnedd y Cribau. Another weekender option, among many, is across from Beddgelert to Capel Curig via Cnicht, Allt Fawr and the lesser known summits over towards Capel Curig.
Why this weekender? Long and quiet, with views of Snowdon and countless camping spots.
Give it a few days to enjoy these hills to the full! Failing that, any of our Walks in the Rhinogydd are suitable for a secluded wild camp. Almost all the lakes on the walk make good camping spots, though some are more difficult to get to than others. In the north Llyn Du (Craig Drwg), Llyn Twr Glas and Llyn Pryfed provide secluded options with rather spartan pitches. The summit of Moel Ysgyfarnogod, featured below, provides an ideal first night stop for a leisurely (!) three day traverse.
Difficult to get to, but our choice spot is Llyn Morwynion. You need to clamber down to get to it, but is a perfectly scenic spot with billiard table lakeside spots. Llyn Du on Rhinog Fawr has been visited a few times, but we’ve always had rain and mist. Llyn Hywel below Rhinog Fach is another prime spot, with water, views and plenty of space. It’s also a good mid-point camp
Why this weekender? You want a challenge, a tough one.
The walk up Cader Idris from Dolgellau is an ideal 25km weekend-sized trip, with the contrast of high mountain and returning on an easy coastal track. We camped at Llyn y Gadair, though you could also stay on the Pony Path and camp high at Rhiw Gwredydd.
Why this weekender? A satisfying trip with a bit of everything thrown in.
A two day walk from Machynlleth to Abermaw that fills the weekend in nicely at 40km. Camping on Cader Idris splits the weekend into a 25km walk in and a shorter second day. You’ll need it as the first day is tougher than it looks.
Why this weekender? A mini long distance footpath in a weekend topped off with fish & chips at Abermaw.
Did we miss any of your fave weekend trips for wild camping in Snowdonia? Let us know via our social media platforms, or pop the locations on our interactive UK Wild Camping Locations Map.
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siDave 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.