Walking Snowdon, the Highest Mountain in Wales
Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) is the highest mountain in Wales and has been described as "probably the busiest mountain in Britain." Located in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales, the mountain stands proud at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level. Along with some of the most extensive views in the British Isles, Snowdon also has a cafe and shop to greet you at the summit.
Snowdon has six ridges: these are steep and rocky to the north and east, shallower and grassy, but more remote to the south and west. There are many cwms formed by glaciation in the ice age, some filled with tarns (meltwater lakes). Subsidiary summits include Garnedd Ugain (1,065m), the knife-edge summit of Crib Goch (923m), Y Lliwedd (898m) and Yr Aran (747m).
On exceptionally clear days, Ireland, Scotland, England, and the Isle of Man (as well as Wales) are all visible, as well as 24 counties, 29 lakes and 17 islands. From here, it is also possible to see the mountains of the Peak District and South Pennines that surround Manchester.
There are a number of footpaths leading to the summit of Snowdon from all sides, and can be combined in various ways. These include:
- Crib Goch route (3.1 miles), Pyg Track (3.7 miles), Miner's Track and Lliwedd (both 4 miles). All of these start from Pen-y-Pass car park to the east of Snowdon. Crib Goch is challenging and exciting whilst Pyg Track is steadier with spectacular views. Miner's Track is one of the most popular, offering iconic view of Snowdon across Llyn Llydaw and Lliwedd, like Crib Goch requires some scrambling skills but it's a much easier route in comparison.
- Watkin Path from Nantgwynant car park to the south of Snowdon. This route offers the biggest ascent and the scree slope at the top is challenging. 4 miles - 3 hours.
- Rhyd Ddu Path from the village of Rhyd Ddu to the west of Snowdon. A quieter route. 3.7 miles - 2.5 hours.
- Snowdon Ranger Path from the shores of Llyn Cwellyn. Straightforward, interesting path. 4 miles - 2.5 hours.
- Llanberis Path from the village of Llanberis. One of the longer routes, also considered one of the easiest. 4.7 miles - 3 hours.
- Snowdon Mountain Railway from Llanberis - safe to say, the easiest route to the top!