There are 7 well marked paths that lead to the summit of Snowdon – each range in difficulty, so choose wisely!
The Llanberis Path
This is by far the most popular trip up to the Summit. It’s an easy trek of 5 miles that will take even the most leisurely of walkers around 3 hours to complete. Starting in Snowdon’s village of Llanberis, the track is a well defined straight shoot to the top – with the Halfway Cafe conveniently positioned to offer respite to those needing it.
Snowdon Ranger Track
One of the oldest tracks, long maintained by the Rangers of Snowdonia’s National Park, the Path is a mile shorter than the Llanberis route. Although it doesn’t offer any convenient cafe stops, there’s a lot more to see on the 2 hour hike. Beginning just a few hundred yards from the Snowdon Youth Hostel, the path is quieter and offers wonderful views of Llyn Du’r Arddu.
Shorter still is the Rhyd-Ddu Path, starting from the quaint village of Rhyd-Ddu – there’s not a huge amount of parking available here – but if you get there early you should be safe. Winding it’s way up the Western incline of Snowdon – the path gets a touch treacherous but is still perfectly safe The views from this route really have to be seen to be believed.
The Pyg Track
One of the more challenging ascents that Snowdon has to offer, you may find yourself needing to take a breather from time to time – which is no shame considering the stunning scenery. Don’t expect an easy start as the going gets pretty tough from the get go, as you leave the car park from the Eastern side of the mountain (near the Pen-y-Pass Youth Hostel) – take your time and just think about reaching the top!
The second track that begins from the Pen-Y-Pass YHA, the Miner’s Track starts with a steep ascent but soon evens out before hitting a sheer wall of rock – mercifully broken up by steps built in to the mountain. Although this is usually considered a good route down – you’re more than welcome to challenge yourself and take the hike up.
The Snowdon Horseshoe
A heady combination of several routes up to Snowdon, this is a hefty walk and definitely not for the faint hearted. You’ll need to be using all of your extremities on this lengthy hike and you might even consider taking the train back down once you’ve reached the top. Making the descent will induce vertigo in the hardiest of souls – you have been warned.
The Watkin Path
The Watkin Path is served by it’s own dedicated car park, so you’ll have no problem finding a space for the day – however, if you do choose it as a route to the top, you’ll be facing some difficult condition. If the weather’s against you, then you should avoid it at all cost, there’s steep drops, loose ground and rocks – only for the most experienced of hikers.
Ultimately, the ideal route will be the one best suited to your ability and those of your companions. If it’s your first time ascending Snowdon, it might be best to take one of the easier options and leaving the stickier challenges for another time. Either way, you’ll want to make sure that you’re well equipped for the journey!…
Snowdon – never Mount Snowdon.
One of the first things any Welsh native will tell you about Wales’ tallest peak is that it should never be referred to as a ‘Mount Snowdon’.
If you’re feeling particularly brave with your Welsh, you can attempt to refer to it in the language of it’s people…
Yr Wyddfa – Tomb of Rhita Gawr
Snowdon held great mythological significance for the Ancient Welsh people.
It’s name is said to be The Welsh word for ‘tomb’ – signifying the final resting place for Rhita Gawr, the ancient ruler of Wales.
Some accounts, fabricated by the English no doubt, portray Rhita as a giant or a troll. However, many more depict him as a fair and just King of Wales, in the times of knights, swords, quests and monsters.
The Legend goes that Rhita Gawr interfered in an ongoing war between two embittered English rivals. The issue had arisen through a small matter of livestock. Kings Peibiaw and Nynniaw had disagreed on where each other’s land started and finished – with stray sheep causing the chief of the issues.
Disgruntled by the childish arguments, Rhita Gawr stepped in solve the matter by killing both Kings and decimating their armies.
Angered that this Welsh upstart had deposed not one, but two Kings, the remaining 28 Kings of the Island of Britain brought war upon Rhita Gawr and Wales.
One after another, each King and their army was bested. With each victory, Rhita Gawr struck the killing blow and relieved each King of their beard. By the time the last King was defeated, Rhita has formed a cloak from these beards that was said to reach from his grand shoulders all the way to the floor.
Rhita’s victory over the Kings of Britain started a reign of pace and prosperity that stretched over the entire country, and the rest of the world.
This reign was ended, if the myths are to be believed, by none other than King Arthur. Hearing of the last remaining King in Britain, rising to power, Rhita eagerly rode into battle to claim one last beard for his hairy cloak – but it was not to be.