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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Ashby

Walk Up Snowdon: The Best Way to Get to The Summit

Updated: May 4, 2023

Man admires the view from Snowdon.
The walk up Snowdon is well worth the effort on a clear day.

At 1,085 metres, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and England. If you’ve never climbed Snowdon before, you might be wondering about the best way to do it. Read on to help you decide on the best route for you.

Is it easy to walk up Snowdon?

There is no easy way to walk up Snowdon. There are at least six recommended paths to get to the top, but all are classed as hard, strenuous walks. You should therefore take the proper kit and allow 6 - 8 hours to get there and back, even if you’re pretty fit.

These are the most popular paths to the top of Snowdon. The distance shown is an approximate distance there and back.

The Llanberis Path - 14.5 km

This is the longest route, but also the easiest and most popular. People like the Llanberis Path because it offers a gradual climb to the summit. Be warned; it can be very busy! Park in Llanberis to start your walk - there’s lots of parking.

However, although it is described as the easiest route, remember, it is not easy. You should know that there is a section known as the Killer Convex when you get near to the top. The Killer Convex is a black spot in winter; one slip can be fatal.

The Snowdon Ranger Path - 13km

The Snowdon Ranger Path is a similar level of difficulty as Llanberis Path and it’s a lot quieter. Expect a straightforward path with a steep middle section. You’ll get views of the many lakes in the area. You start your walk from the Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel, so park in the Llyn Cwellyn Car Park.

The Miners’ Track - 13 km

This path starts from Pen y Pass car park. 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. Look carefully for the remains of the crushing mill and barracks along the way. It starts gradually, but don’t be fooled; it becomes steep for the second half around Llyn Llydaw.

The Rhyd Ddu Path - 12km

The Rhyd Ddu Path is one of the quietest paths. This path gives you a chance to see a different side of Snowdon and the views are stunning. Start at Rhyd Ddu Car Park and follow a narrow ridge near the top. It’s a quieter route, but you’ll need a good head for heights.

The PYG Track - 11 km

The PYG Track also starts from Pen y Pass. The distance and ascent are shorter than the Rhyd Ddu and Miner’s path, but it’s tougher underfoot and therefore harder. The PYG Track joins the Miners’ Track at Llyn Glaslyn before the final ascent to the summit.

The Watkin Path - 13km

The Watkin Path is a particularly challenging route with scree underfoot and a tough, steep final section. It starts from Pont Bethania Bridge car park near Nantgwynant so you start your climb from almost sea level. The path is named after Sir Edward Watkin, a Liberal Member of Parliament and a railway entrepreneur. The Watkin Path is one of the harder routes up Snowdon.

More difficult routes

The hardest route up Snowdon is Crib Goch and it’s classed as a grade 1 scramble. With a knife edge trail, Crib Goch claims eight fatalities a year! Other routes that are deemed more difficult are Snowdon South Ridge, Y Gribin, and Y Lliwedd.

And there is another way to get up Snowdon!

If you don’t want to walk, you can get on a diesel or steam train from Llanberis Station.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway takes you to the summit, or, as is the case in 2022, as far as Clogwyn Station. Clogwyn is 3/4 of the way up Snowdon, but this may be as far as you can go if track work is ongoing or there is a risk of ice or snow. A round trip, there and back, on the same train, takes about two hours, and that includes a 30-minute stopover. If you want to, you can walk to the summit of Snowdon from Clogwyn Station. But if you do, you won’t be able to get the same train back down the mountain. And, since you won’t be guaranteed a return journey on any train, you might have to walk back down Snowdon to your car.

There is a visitor centre on the summit called Hafod Eryri. However, it’s closed until 2023 for essential upper mountain track work.

Are you looking for a hiking or walking group in Coventry? Get in touch with us to ask about a walk up Snowdon, or check out our upcoming events.

Dean on the peak of Snowdon as the sun rises.
The summit of Snowdon as the sun rises.


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