Cwm Idwal


Cwm Idwal is a spectacular hanging valley surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Snowdonia, serving as a classic example of a prospect dramatically sculptured by ice thousands of years ago.

Officially recognised in 1954 by the Nature Conservancy, Cwm Idwal was Wales’ first National Nature Reserve (NNR) and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Encircled by towering high crags, screes, moraines and wind shattered rocks, it is one of the finest places to see how glaciation and post-glacial processes shaped our landscape. 

A steep ride is initial but go over the bridge to see Afon Idwal in all its glory. 

Distance: 4.8 km / 3 miles
Approx time: 3 hours
Ordnance Survey Map: Landranger 115
Parking: Ogwen car park. Parking here and elsewhere in the valley can fill up very quickly, we advise that you consider parking in the nearby village of Bethesda and catch the regular T10 bus up to Cwm Idwal or the new Bws Ogwen. A regular daily (except Wednesday) service between 8:15am and 5:30pm (7:30 pm on weekends) between Bethesda and Llyn Ogwen. The 9 seater bus will make 3 consecutive trips every two hours and is powered by electricity. The scheme aims to reduce carbon emissions in the national park, reduce parking problems at Llyn Ogwen but also to try to get more visitors to support businesses in Bethesda.