The best mountains in Snowdonia – and how to climb them

Y Lliwedd Snowdonia

by live for the outdoors |

Everyone's heard of Snowdon, but not everyone knows the other great peaks of north Wales. This is our collection of the best mountains in Snowdonia and our recommended routes up them.

The collection of walks below includes 10 of the Snowdonia highlights from our Trail 100bucket list, with tips on the best routes to walk them by and an interactive map for each.

CLICK HERE to view our full collection of the best mountains in Snowdonia in Komoot, or scroll down for full descriptions, photos and routes for each peak.

Moel Siabod

Heading up Moel Siabod via the Daear Ddu ridge.

Moel Siabod is the eastern sentry to Snowdonia, standing guard over the village of Capel Curig. There are a wide variety of excellent ascent options including grass slopes, quarry tracks and a spectacular ridge scramble (see above) which all end on a summit with one of the best views of the Snowdon massif in the whole National Park.

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Cadair Idris

Near the summit of Cadair Idris with Llyn Cau below.

Cadair Idris is the superstar of southern Snowdonia: a craggy and complex mountain renowned for its sheer cliffs, ragged ridges and spectacular llyns. It is also a mountain shrouded in myth. Its name, meaning ‘Chair of Idris’, comes from the Welsh legend of a giant who created a mountainous seat for stargazing. There are many excellent approaches, including the ever-popular Minffordd Path circuit from the south.

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Tryfan

Tryfan summit
On the summit of Tryfan, looking towards Glyder Fach.

Tryfan is one of the most famous peaks in Wales and a past winner of Trail magazine polls to find Britain's favourite mountain. Every route up Tryfan requires you to use your hands at some point, but the standout approach is the Grade 1 scramble up its rocky north ridge. If you're feeling brave and energetic, an onward journey taking in Bristly Ridge and Glyder Fach is pretty much a perfect mountain day.

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Snowdon

Heading up Snowdon's more secretive South Ridge.

We can't talk about Snowdonia without mentioning Snowdon – the highest mountain in Wales and some say the busiest in the world. Hundreds of thousands of walkers tag its famous summit every year, but not many of them do it via the quiet yet excellent south ridge. A wonderful route for walkers wanting to see a more secluded side of the mountain.

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Pen yr Ole Wen

Heading up Pen yr Ole Wen's east ridge, with Tryfan and the Glyderau beyond.

An almost pyramidal mountain, Pen r Ole Wen looms over the Ogwen Valley, watching from above as screaming jets pull hard right to skim along the valley floor. It’s a gateway to the high plateau of the Carneddau, a viewpoint for the Glyderau, a hill of pinnacled ridges and secluded cwms, and a beauty of a mountain. We recommend the scrambly approach up the east ridge.

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Y Garn

Heading up Y Garn with the Ogwen Valley and its mighty peaks sprawling out behind.

This a mountain of two halves. On one side Y Garn drops in long green slopes to the Pass of Llanberis. On its other flank it’s a scooped cluster of cliffs, ridges, and buttresses, including the scrambling showpiece of Castell y Geifr. We recommend approaching from Cwm Idwal in an adventurous circular route that shows off Y Garn's star qualities.

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Cnicht

The unmistakable profile of Cnicht, as seen on the approach from Croesor.

Nicknamed the Welsh Matterhorn, albeit 3789m lower than its Swiss counterpart, what Cnicht lacks in height it makes up in shapeliness. It is a stunning pointy peak. Rising proudly above the hamlet of Croesor, it is the best of the Moelwynion range by far. It's steeped in history too, with impressive mine workings to explore in the foothills surrounding it.

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Yr Aran

Looking into the guts of the Snowdon range and remote Cwm Llan from Yr Aran's summit.

Yr Aran sits in an isolated position away from the main bulk of Snowdon, giving this pointy peak an impactful presence beyond its neighbour's South Ridge (the clear path up it is pictured on the left of the photo above). The unknowing masses invariably pass Yr Aran by, missing out on the spectacular and unique view of Snowdon from its summit.

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Mynydd Drws-y-Coed

Approaching the most exciting section of the Nantlle Ridge traverse.

The best and most interesting section of the Nantlle Ridge. Sandwiched between Y Garn to the east and Trum y Ddysgl to the west, Mynydd Drws-y-Coed’s summit is narrow, scrambly, and the standout highlight of the popular 9km ridge traverse. The views are magnificent too, offering a great aspect back towards Snowdon. But look where you're putting your hands and feet – because the drops are big and exposed in places!

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Y Lliwedd

Y Lliwedd Snowdonia
High on the undulating and rocky summit crest of Y Lliwedd. What a mountain!

Most people climbing Snowdon via the Pyg or Miners' Tracks will be stopped in their tracks by the sight of Y Lliwedd before they even catch sight of Snowdon's true summit. Y Lliwedd's close proximity to Wales' highest mountain probably diminishes its status as a mountain in its own right, but make no mistake – this is a masterpiece. With plunging cliffs, jagged edges and two lofty summits, it's a peak more than worthy of exploration. To turn your ascent into a day you'll never forget, bag it while doing a full round of the spectacular Snowdon Horseshoe.

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CLICK HERE to view the full collection of our best mountains in Snowdonia in Komoot.

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