The peak of the popular Mt. Snowdon is 1,085 metres, or 3,560 feet, above sea level and is a centre point of the beautiful Snowdonia National Park. Mt Snowdon, whose Welsh name is Yr Wyddfa, is Wales’ highest peak and one of Britian’s busiest mountains. Eight different paths and a railroad lead to the summit, which has an award-winning visitor centre where weary hikers are able to sit and enjoy a bite to eat and a cup of tea. When the skies are clear, impressive vistas are visible along the trail and from the peak, sometimes extending to Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and the area around Manchester, England.
1. The Llanberis Path
This path is a popular route to the Mt. Snowdon summit. It begins in the town of Llanberis, which itself is a popular base for many kinds of outdoor activities. The trail starts near the Snowdon Mountain Railway station in Llanberis. This railroad provides a route to the summit for those not physically able to attempt a mountain walk.
While the Llanberis path is the longest walk up Mt. Snowdon, its slope is gradual so it is considered the easiest of the paths. Although some sections become somewhat steep, this trail should be accessible to people and families having good health.
On the way up, the Llanberis path passes by the magnificent cliff walls of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu, which offer many technical climbing challenges. About halfway up, the path comes to a Halfway House, a small café selling refreshments when open.
Transportation and Car Park Information
After summit refreshment, hikers may desire to descend on one of the other paths. For transportation back to Llanberis, the inexpensive Snowdon Sherpa bus network travels the roads around Mt. Snowdon. Printed schedules show when the Sherpa bus arrives at the trailheads and car parks, which have limited spaces. Another option is to take a Sherpa bus from Llanberis to one of the trailheads described below and, after hiking that trail to the summit, descend the Llanberis path back to town.
2. The Watkin Path
This path has the greatest elevation gain, beginning at the Nantgwynant car park at an elevation of just 60m. It follows the the Afon Cwm Llan river to the commemorative Gladstone Rock. The trail then climbs the hillside between Y Lliwedd and Snowdon to Cwm Ciliau and on to the summit. Along the way, the Watkin path passes near waterfalls where many cool themselves down.
3. The Rhyd Ddu Path.
This trail starts near the village of Rhyd Ddu to the west of Snowdon. The path begins as a gradual climb. The trail follows an edge of Llechog that narrows and steepens. Then, after walking the south ridge, the trail broadens and joins the Watkin path to the summit.
4. The PYG Track.
This trail begins at the Pen y Pass car park, which has a high starting elevation of about 350km. It first winds along the lower Crib Goch slopes and then zig-zags above Lake Glaslyn between Garnedd Ugain and Snowdon and on to the summit.
5. The Y Lliwedd Route.
Also beginning at Pen y Pass, it starts up Y Lliwedd and then over Bwlch Ciliau, where it joins the Watkin path to the summit. This hike includes a sharp ridge and requires some scrambling.
6. The Miners Track.
This path, too, begins at Pen y Pass and follows an old mine road south of Crib Goch past two lakes and up to Glaslyn. From there is a steep scramble, though recent steps allow an easier ascent to PYG’s zig-zags and on to the summit.
7. The Cwm Glas or Crib Goch Route.
This route also begins at the Pen-y-Pass car park following the PYG track but heads around the north ridge of Crib Goch. It then heads over the top of Garnedd Ugain and on to the Snowdon summit.
8. The Snowdon Ranger Path.
This trail begins at the Snowdon Ranger station car park on the A4085. This path climbs gradually then route steepens toward the back of Clogwyn Ddu’r Arddu where it joins the Llanberis path near the Snowdon summit.
Please be advised that these brief descriptions are not trail guides. All hikers should wear appropriate clothing and gear and should know how to follow a detailed trail map and use a compass.