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Short route up Y Garn from Ogwen.
Distance: 7 Kms
Ascent: 685 metres
Time: 4 hours
Start and Finish: Idwal Cottage
Toilet and visitor centre.
Hazards: Steep Ground.
Infrequent Sherpa buses from Bangor and Betws y Coed.
Parking: Limited parking available. Pavement parkers on the A5 will rightly be ticketed.
Parking Post Code for Sat Nav: LL57 3LZ
Nearby Business Listings
Y Garn via Devil’s Kitchen from Ogwen
Y Garn from Ogwen cottage is a popular walk, and this route can be done in either direction. I personally prefer walking this in reverse, with the ascent of Y Garn’s NE Ridge being a classic approach to this mountain. However, the Devil’s Kitchen is easier in ascent than descent, so we’ve detailed that route. For those wanting to ascend Y Garn’s NE Ridge, you can follow this route directly, or via Cwm Cywion for a wilder approach.
Not surprisingly for a 7km walk up a 900m mountain, a great deal of this route is on steep paths.
1 Start off at the visitor centre at Ogwen, if parking allows, or add some distance if you have to start from one of the lay-bys on the A5. The path is good and easy to follow all the way to Llyn Idwal.
2 At the ‘beach’ at Llyn Idwal, you can follow either shore to reach the Devil’s Kitchen. This route takes the path left along the eastern shore.
3 Towards the headwall of Cwm Idwal, the path curves around to join the other path ascending the Devil’s Kitchen and the going becomes steep. The path is more of a clamber than a scramble, but still requires care along the looser and steeper sections.
4 When you reach a wall with a stile, you’ll be at the top – thankfully. Cross the stile and continue onwards to Llyn y Cwn. You’ll join the clear path here that joins Glyder Fawr to Y Garn.
5 Turn right on this path, getting your boots wet as you cross the stream, and head on uphill to Y Garn. There’s an obvious path, one which can be described as a “motorway”. It’s been that way for at least 30 years as I recall noting the exact same description in my walking journal in the late *cough*…
6 The summit of Y Garn is a fine viewpoint. You can survey the summits around Ogwen – from Pen yr Ole Wen, Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn and across to Tryfan and the Glyderau. Across the Pass of Llanberis the peaks of Crib Goch and Carnedd Ugain dominate, Snowdon appearing a distant third.
7 Descend the summit to the north to a flat area where a cairn marks the top of the NE Ridge. Descend this, which is initially steep and will be corniced over in winter. It’s then largely a pleasant path down, with a few steeper sections thrown in.
8 The path relents at Cwm Clyd for a while, the natural resting spot on the descent, before heading on down steps on a slightly steeper path that’s been repaired recently.
9 The decent ends naturally as the path relents and you can either head directly for Llyn Idwal and return the same way as you came, or head on along the moorland on a faint path and keep away from the masses.
10 The track is faint, but should be fine to follow if a little wet in places. It finishes off with a walk through the gully of “Tin Pan Alley” – which is a worthy finish to this fine walk!