If you are one of the many thousands who are thinking of climbing Yr Wyddfa, you might be wondering which path is best to take to the summit. Choosing the right path to the summit of Yr Wyddfa is essential.
Yr Wyddfa is Wales’ busiest mountain. Over 600,000 people reach its peak each year. During the summer months, the summit can get extremely busy between those who hike to the summit and those who arrive by train.
Choosing the right path
There are six routes to Yr Wyddfa’s summit, each with its unique attributes and challenges. Choosing the right path will mostly depend on your fitness level or, more importantly, the fitness level of your group.
You should not take climbing any route to Yr Wyddfa’s summit lightly. Each route to the summit is a challenging undertaking—if you are in any doubt that you will not be able to complete the routes, you shouldn’t attempt it in the first place. One way of getting familiar with your fitness levels is to try other, less challenging mountain routes. The National Park Authority promote several mountain walks that are graded as moderate.
Before setting off
You should also make sure that you have familiarised yourself with all the necessary information on the National Park Authority’s Climbing Yr Wyddfa page including information on what to expect, preparing for your hike and the best and most efficient ways of getting to your route.
For information on planning your journey to Yr Wyddfa, you can read the National Park Authority’s guide on getting to Yr Wyddfa.
The Llanberis Path is the most popular path to the summit of Yr Wyddfa. It is a 9-mile challenging hike with an ascent of over 3,000 feet. While the Llanberis Path has the most gradual ascent to the summit, it should by no means be considered an ‘easy’ hike.
The route begins at the village of Llanberis which has the best public transport connections. Making use of the Sherpa’r Wyddfa bus service to get to Llanberis is not only fast and efficient, but it will also lessen the impact of congestion in local communities during the busy spring and summer seasons.
The National Park Authority grades the Llanberis Path along with all the routes to Yr Wyddfa’s summit as Hard/Strenuous routes. These routes are only suitable for experienced mountain walkers with a good level of fitness and a thorough knowledge of mountaineering and navigational skills.
Rhyd Ddu and Snowdon Ranger Paths
The Rhyd Ddu and Snowdon Ranger Paths ascend the western slopes of Yr Wyddfa. The Rhyd Ddu path begins from the village of Rhyd Ddu and the Snowdon Ranger begins on the shores of Llyn Cwellyn, about a mile and a half from Rhyd Ddu.
The routes are often described as quieter routes, but they can still be busy during the summer. Both paths are challenging hikes to Yr Wyddfa’s summit fit for those with experience in strenuous mountain hikes.
You should always consider the effect of your visit on local communities in the area. Rhyd Ddu is a small village and the car park for the Rhyd Ddu Path has 60 spaces which can easily fill up by 8:00am during the busy spring and summer months. The car park for the Snowdon Ranger has even less spaces. Making use of the Sherpa’r Wyddfa bus service is a great way to reach both the Rhyd Ddu and Snowdon Ranger trailheads.
Miners’ and Pyg Tracks
While the Miners’ Track and the Pyg Track are shorter in distance they have much steeper ascents to the summit. You should be comfortable with hiking steep, rocky ascents before choosing any of these two paths.
The routes are popular paths to Yr Wyddfa’s summit during the spring and summer months. Both routes start at Pen y Pass which can get very busy in the peak season. Planning how to get to Pen y Pass is essential if you’re hiking the Miners’ or the Pyg Track.
The Sherpa’r Wyddfa bus service is one of the best ways to get to Pen y Pass. You can park in Nant Peris, Llanberis or even Bangor and Caernarfon and make use of the direct service to Pen y Pass.
The Watkin Path is a particularly challenging route to the summit of Yr Wyddfa. It is one of the longest routes and has the greatest ascent. Walkers considering their first hike up Yr Wyddfa might benefit from trying alternative paths.
Parking for the Watkin Path is very limited. During the busy spring and summer seasons, the car park can be full by 7:30am. Using public transport is essential to get to the trailhead. The Sherpa’r Wyddfa bus service is a fast and efficient way of getting to the Watkin Path trailhead.