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Paths Up Snowdon: From Family-Friendly to Challenging Routes

Standing at 3,560 feet, the highest mountain in Wales and England is guaranteed to reward you with unforgettable adventures and views, but… which way to go?

There are six different paths up Snowdon, so it’s important to find the right one for you based on your preferences and, most importantly, your hiking experience.

What are the 6 paths up Snowdon?

Please note that the distance of all the best routes up Snowdon consists of getting to the summit and back. While this also depends on experience levels and breaks, they all tend to take around six hours.

You can find the different paths up Snowdon on the OX Explorer OL17 map, too.

1. Llanberis path - best route up Snowdon for families & first-time climbers

Longer but much easier, this pony path is the wisest choice for a family day out and less experienced climbers.

You’ll start in the quaint village of Llanberis (ideal for amenities) and, if you’re lucky, you might find the small cafe along this path open, too.

Distance:
9 miles

Climb:
3,199 feet

Start and finish:
Victoria Terrace, Llanberis. There are several car parks, or you can take the Sherpa Bus to Llanberis Interchange

2. Snowdon ranger - a quieter, fairly easy option

This is a good compromise if you’re happy to swap the most dramatic views for a quieter experience without having to opt for the hardest routes (but be prepared for a steeper section in the middle).

Don’t worry: you’ll still get plenty of memorable sights, such as the Nanttle Ridge or Moel Hebog.

Distance:
8 miles

Climb:
3,071 feet

Start and finish:
Llyn Cwellyn Car Park, which is also a Sherpa Bus stop

3. Miners track - Most scenic route

Are you mainly in it for the views and not up for waiting until you reach the summit? Then this is one of the very best paths up Snowdon for you.

From Llyn Glaslyn to some miners’ ruins and the actual top, you won’t be disappointed.

The miners and Pyg tracks are fairly similar as they both start at Pen-y-Pass and run almost parallel, so you could even consider combining them.

Distance: 8 miles

Climb: 2,372 feet

Start and finish: Pen-y-Pass Car Park (must be prebooked). As it usually gets extremely busy, it’s probably worth taking the Sherpa Bus there

4. Pyg track - the shortest route

Combining the actual route with the fact that Pen-y-Pass is already 1177 feet above sea level, the Pyg track does cut you some slack to begin with... but be prepared for a rock scrambling section!

You’ll also get to enjoy beautiful views of Llyn Llydaw and the Snowdon Horseshoe.

Distance: 7 miles

Climb: 2,372 feet

Start and finish: Pen-y-Pass Car Park (must be prebooked as it gets really busy), which is also a Sherpa Bus stop

5. Rhyd Ddu path - A quiet but more challenging option

Also known as the Beddgelert path, this is one of the quietest amongst the best routes up Snowdon.

As long as you’re up for a bit of a challenge, you’ll certainly enjoy the Rhyd Ddu path, especially thanks to its views of Moel Hebog, Nanttle Ridge, and Crib Goch.

Distance: 8.5 miles

Climb: 2,936 feet

Start and finish: Rhyd Ddu (car park and Sherpa Bus stop)

6. Watkin path - Best path up Snowdon for experienced climbers

You’re not here for gentle paths and peaceful walks. You want to feel like you’ve actually climbed this mountain, don’t you?

Then the Watkin path is the best route up Snowdon to plant a virtual flag on its summit: you’ll be starting almost at sea level, going through woodlands, enjoying dramatic views of waterfalls and lakes, and doing a lot of scrambling.

Distance: 8 miles

Climb: 3,330 feet

Start and finish: Nant Gwynant (car park and Sherpa Bus stop)

Hike Mount Snowdon safely

With Snowdonia requiring 200 yearly rescues, it’s vital to be prepared when you walk up Mount Snowdon:

  • Plan ahead, and be realistic when choosing amongst these paths up Snowdon

  • Bring the right hiking clothes and gear, such as ankle-supporting boots, windproof and waterproof jacket and trousers, more thermal layers in winter (as well as gloves and a hat), and crampons and ice-axes if it’s meant to be icy

  • Pack your rucksack wisely. As well as snacks and water, it’s essential to bring sunscreen, a torch, map, compass, first-aid kit, whistle, and your phone. Keep in mind that you might not always have signal

  • Consider telling a friend or loved one about your plans and what time you’re thinking of heading back

  • Always check the weather forecast and the mountain’s conditions: Snowdon Live is especially helpful

Get ready to enjoy these paths up Snowdon safely!

Planning on returning to this breathtaking part of the country over and over again? Check out our lodges in North Wales.