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Yr Wyddfa o Crib Nantlle - Snowdon from Nantlle Ridge © Alun Fôn Williams

Snowdon - Your Ultimate Guide to the Six Walking Routes to the Summit

Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa in Welsh) is the highest mountain in Wales and England. It's one of our most famous and regonizable landmarks and is well worth a visit. Standing tall over the village of Llanberis, Snowdon is a part of a close-knit family of jagged peaks and can offer views of Snowdonia, Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Ireland. Choose from six different paths to conquer this 1085 metre giant: The Llanberis Path, Pyg Track, Miners’ Track, Watkin Path, Rhyd-Ddu Path or the Snowdon Ranger Path.

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE

Please read the information below before venturing out on the mountain.

7 Ways to Make a Great Adventure Even Better

1. Plan your route carefully before you set off by choosing a route that suits the fitness level of everybody in your group, not just your own. We recommend the Llanberis path if this is your first time climbing Snowdon. Reaching the summit is only half the battle so be vigilant as you descend the mountain, as you will become tired and are more likely to slip or trip at this point.

2. Keep to your planned route at all times and don’t follow others ahead of you – they may be taking a much more challenging and dangerous route than you. The biggest cause of mountain rescue incidents on Snowdon is of people getting lost, so make sure you take a good map. We recommend the Snowdon Map and Guide, which can be purchased at Pen y Pass as well as at Betws-y-Coed and Beddgelert Tourist Information Centres.

3. Wear comfortable, ankle-supporting walking boots and suitable clothing. The terrain can be uneven and the weather unpredictable. You'll need a waterproof and windproof jacket and over trousers. In wintry conditions you’ll need to take extra clothing such as a thermal base layer, fleece jacket, gloves and a hat. Often in winter the mountain can only be climbed using an ice-axe and crampons.

4. Carry a rucksack that can accommodate plenty of food and drink. It’s important to maintain your energy levels, as walking can be hard work. Remember that Hafod Eryri – the summit building may be closed at certain times of year. During the summer, make sure you carry extra water and sunscreen, as there is little shade to be found in the mountains.

5. Carry the right equipment. Make sure you pack an extra layer of clothing as temperatures can plummet high up in the peaks. It’s vital to carry a torch, compass, map, whistle, first aid kit and mobile phone, but remember – you’re not guaranteed a signal on the mountain so don’t rely on your phone if you get into difficulty.

6. Check the weather forecast before you set out and if the weather deteriorates, turn back. Conditions on the mountain can change quickly with fierce winds, low clouds and freezing temperatures making visibility and walking impossible. Visit the Met Office website for a detailed weather forecast before you set out. In winter you will also need to check the snow and ground conditions.

7. Tell someone reliable about your plans, which route you’re taking and what time you expect to return, so they can raise the alarm if you don’t make it back by your given time. Remember to let them know if your plans change at all.

Planning Your Walk Up Snowdon 

Snowdon’s terrain is challenging at the best of times therefore before heading out please make sure that you have checked all of your equipment. This short video is full of tips for planning the day and details on the Snowdon Sherpa Bus Service are at the bottom of the page.


Llanberis Path

Llanberis Path is the longest and most gradual of the six main paths to the summit of Snowdon and offers fantastic views. Originally, tourists were carried up this path on ponies and mules, and to this day it continues to be a pony path.

Distance: 9 miles (there and back)
Total Climb: 975m (3,199ft)
Time: Approx 6 hours (there and back)
Start and Finish: Far end of Victoria Terrace, Llanberis, off the A4086
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Numerous car parks in Llanberis (LL55 4TD) 
Sherpa Bus Stop: Llanberis Interchange 

Llwybr Llanberis Path Map © APCE_SNPA

Miners Path

Following the opening of the Llanberis pass in 1832, the Miners Path was built to carry copper from the Britannia Copper Works near Llyn Glaslyn to Pen y Pass, where it was then transported to Caernarfon. The mining came to an end in 1916, remains from the work can still be seen on the path to this day.

Distance: 8 miles (there and back)
Total Climb: 723m (2,372 ft)
Time: Approx 6 hours (there and back)
Start and Finish: Pen y Pass Car Park (SH 647557 / LL55 4NY)
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Pay & Display car park at Pen-y-Pass. If the car park is full, you can park in Nant Peris (SH 607582 / LL55 4UF) and catch the Sherpa bus back up to Pen y Pass.
Sherpa Bus Stop: Pen y Pass Car Park

 

Pyg Track

There is some uncertainty about the origin of the word Pyg. It is believed that the path was named after Pen y Gwryd Hostel by climbers who stayed there. Another possible origin is that the path was named after Bwlch y Moch (the pass of pigs) since the path crosses it, as it is sometimes spelled as Pig in English. Or it could have been named Pyg due to the fact that this was a path used to carry pyg (black tar) from the Britannia Copper Works in Cwm Glaslyn. The guessing continues! 

Distance: 7 miles (there and back)
Total Climb: 723m (2,372 ft)
Time: Approx 6 hours (there and back)
Start and Finish: Pen y Pass Car Park (SH 647557 / LL55 4NY)
Map: OS Explorer OL17 
Parking: Pay & Display car park at Pen-y-Pass. If the car park is full, you can park in Nant Peris (SH 607582 / LL55 4UF) and catch the Sherpa bus back up to Pen y Pass.

Sherpa Bus Stop: Pen y Pass Car Park 

Watkin Path

This path was named after Sir Edward Watkin, Liberal Member of Parliament and a railway entrepreneur. Watkin had a summer house by the start of the path and he was responsible for creating the path from South Snowdon Slate Quarry to Snowdon’s summit. Officially opened in 1892 by William Gladstone, the Prime Minister, on a boulder by the path which has been named after William Gladstone he addressed a crowd of over 2,000 people.

Distance: 8 miles (there and back)
Total Climb: 1,015m (3,330 ft)
Time: Approx 6hours (there and back) 
Start an Finish: Pont Bethania Bridge Car Park, Nant Gwynant, off the A498 (SH 627 507/ LL55 4NL)
Map: OS Explorer OL17 
Parking: Pay and Display Pont Bethania Bridge Car Park (SH 627 507/ LL55 4NL)
Sherpa Bus Stop: Nant Gwynant Car Park 

Rhyd Ddu Path

This path used to be known as the Beddgelert Path since it was from this village that walkers started their journey to the summit.

Distance: 8.5 miles (there and back) 
Total Climb: 895m (2,936 ft)
Time: Approx 6 hours (there and back) 
Start and Finish: Rhyd Ddu Car Park (SH 571526 / LL54 6TN)
Map: OS Explorer OL17 
Parking: Pay and Display Rhyd Ddu Car Park (SH 571 526 / LL54 6TN)
Sherpa Bus Stop: End of Rhyd Ddu Car Park

Llwybr Rhyd Ddu Path Map © APCE_SNPA

Snowdon Ranger

The path begins near the ‘Snowdon Ranger’ youth hostel, near Llyn Cwellyn. John Morton the self proclaimed 'Snowdon Ranger' used the path to guide Victorian tourists to the summit. He also opened a tavern where the youth hostel site stands today, and called it the ‘Snowdon Ranger Inn’.

Distance: 8 miles (there and back)
Total Climb: 936m (3,071ft)
Time: Approx 6 hours (there and back) 
Start and Finish: Llyn Cwellyn Car Park (SH 564551 / LL54 7YT) 
Map: OS Explorer OL17 
Parking: Pay and Display Llyn Cwellyn Car Park (SH 564 551 / LL54 7YS)
Sherpa Bus Stop: Llyn Cwellyn Car Park 

Llwybr Cwellyn Snowdon Ranger Path Map © APCE_SNPA



Maps © APCE/SNPA

Snowdon Paths and Sherpa Bus Service

Planning your transport and parking should form an essential part of your plan for climbing Snowdon. With over ½ a million visitors every year visiting the mountain, car parks can often be full in the warmer months by 7am! If you can we suggest coming during the week rather than on a weekend, and avoiding school holidays. Late September and early October can be a great time to visit.

Details can be found in our paths guide below on the best parking and transport options for each path. If you plan on walking up the Pyg or Miners track we highly recommend using the Sherpa bus. You can view and download the Snowdon Sherpa Timetable from the Gwynedd Council website.

The cost of a single fare on the Snowdon Sherpa Bus Service is £2 for adults, £1 for children and over 60s can go free. A £5 day ticket is also available, enabling you to hop on and off the Sherpa as you wish throughout the day. The service operates frequently at the most popular times, with regular services at other times.

Gwynedd taxi operators also offer services along popular routes and an example of the typical MAXIMUM costs of these services are outlined below:

MAXIMUM Taxi Tariffs from Nant Peris car park to Pen y Pass (2.9 miles):

MAXIMUM Taxi Tariffs from Nant Peris car park to Llanberis High Street (2.6miles)

1 passenger£7.80

2 passengers£8.50

3 passengers£9.20

4 passengers £9.90

5 passengers£10.60

6 passengers£11.30

7 passengers£12.00

8 passengers£12.70

MAXIMUM Taxi Tariffs from Pen y Pass to Llanberis (5.5 miles):

1 passengers£14.05

2 passengers£14.75

3 passengers£15.45

4 passengers£16.15

5 passengers£16.85

6 passengers£17.55

7 passengers£18.25

8 passengers£18.95

The Sherpa partnership wants you to enjoy your experience in this wonderful area and we welcome your feedback on bot the the Sherpa Service and taxi services that are on offer to you. Please share with us your experiences so that we can improve the services on offer:

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]mru


Secrets of Snowdon

1. In 1639 came the first recorded ascent of Snowdon, by Thomas Johnson. 
2. Morris Williams, a miner, was the first to sell refreshments at the summit in 1838.
3. Edmund Hillary trained on Snowdon before conquering Mount Everest. 
4. You can find a rare flower on Snowdon, The Snowdon Lily. The lily can only be found in a handful of location across the UK.
5. Snowdon is said to be the tomb of the giant Rhitta Gawr. Rhitta wore a cloak made of men’s beard and was killed by the legend King Arthur.  

Remember that there is a lot more walking on offer in Snowdonia.

Golygfa tua'r Copa / View towards the Summit

RELATED INTERNET LINKS 

Snowdonia National Park
Information Centres

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