The 10 best routes up Snowdon

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by Trail magazine |

Trail magazine picks out the 10 best routes up Snowdon, from simple family walks to knife-edged ridge scrambles.

We've teamed up with Komoot to create this collection of the very best routes up Wales' highest mountain, so you can pick the one that suits your level of experience and ability.

This 1085m peak is one of the world's busiest mountains and a star name on our Trail 100 bucket list. Everyone who loves hillwalking should climb Snowdon at least once in their lifetime, and the purpose of this guide is to help you plan your trip and find the most enjoyable and safe way up the mountain.

CLICK HERE to view our digital collection of the 10 best routes up Snowdon in Komoot, and scroll down for full descriptions and interactive route guides of each walk.

The Pyg Track

Start Pen-y-Pass | Distance 5.2km | Ascent 740m | Difficulty Easy

High on the Pyg Track, Snowdon
High on the Pyg Track, Snowdon

Allegedly named for the initials of the nearby hotel (the Everest-affiliated Pen-y-Gwyrd) the Pyg Track is considered Snowdon’s route of choice by many. High, rocky, short and spectacular, the path slings beneath Crib Goch and offers spellbinding vistas.

Best for walkers in a rush! This is the shortest walking route with the least amount of ascent (although it is quite steep).

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Crib Goch

Start Pen-y-Pass | Distance 4.8km | Ascent 830m | Difficulty Hard (Grade 1 scramble)

The third of Crib Goch’s pinnacle guardians, and the only one you have to climb.
The third of Crib Goch’s pinnacle guardians, and the only one you have to climb. ©Tom Bailey, Trail magazine

One of the UK’s most famous ridgelines, the Crib Goch arête is an exposed blade of rock within the technical remit of those with a stout head for heights and scrambling ability.

Best for: the sure-footed and scrambling savvy who thrive on adrenaline and are at ease with exposure. The views are fairly spectacular, too.

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Llanberis Path

Start Llanberis | Distance 6.8km | Ascent 965m | Difficulty Easy

Snowdon's Llanberis Path.
Snowdon's Llanberis Path.

Perhaps Snowdon’s most pedestrian route (certainly the busiest), the long Llanberis Path takes broadly the same line as the Snowdon mountain railway. A nice flip-side to a strenuous ascent, but something of a motorway – and home to a nasty black spot in winter, so take care.

Best for: a gently climbing ascent that’s easier on the legs than any other route up.

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The Miners' Track

Start Pen-y-Pass | Distance 6.2km | Ascent 760m | Difficulty Easy

SNOWDON: EVERY PATH WALKED
Looking up to Snowdon's summit from Glaslyn, which you pass on the Miners' Track.

For reasons linked to its name, the first 4km to Glaslyn are the easiest on Snowdon and filled with much in the way of industrial ruin. From there, a rocky ascent meets the Pyg Track and the two join hands to the top.

Best for its docile nature and the amazing view of Snowdon that welcomes you into the arms of the mountain.

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The Watkin Path

Start Nantgwynant | Distance 6.1km | Ascent 1020m | Difficulty Medium

Snowdon via the Watkin Path

Pleasingly green and staggeringly steep up top, the Watkin Path is a well-built route full of interest rising from pleasant Nantgwynant. Gorgeous views abound whichever way you tackle it, making it a splendid middle-of-the-road option.

Best for: enjoying the tranquility of forests and waterfalls before climbing into big scenery and steep rock trails.

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The South Ridge

Start Nantgwynant | Distance 6.7km | Ascent 1150m | Difficulty Medium

Route 1: Snowdon’s South Ridge, Snowdonia
Snowdon's south ridge

Combined with satellite peak Yr Aran and the initial stages of the Watkin Path, the final stage of the long, thrilling but do-able South Ridge of Snowdon is a stunning, if strenuous, undertaking. It feels like a big, big mountain when attacked from this angle.

Best for: those who like massive views, airy walks, and a distinct lack of crowds.

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Rhydd-Ddu Path

Start Rhyd-Ddu | Distance 5.8km | Ascent 900m | Difficulty Easy

The Rhyd Ddu Path heading for the summit on the South Ridge.
The Rhyd Ddu Path heading for the summit on the South Ridge.

This route has one big plus: it takes you on a high traverse around the edge of Cwm Clogwyn, the huge western corrie beneath Snowdon’s summit pyramid. The craggy rim of Llechlog is a particular highlight, and the path’s steady ascent has made it popular with mountain bikers.

Best for: walkers who enjoy a sense of exposure but aren’t keen on scrambling.

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Snowdon Ranger Path

Start Llyn Cwellyn | Distance 6km | Ascent 950m | Difficulty Easy

On the Snowdon Ranger Path, Mynydd Mawr beyond. Photo: Alamy
On the Snowdon Ranger Path, Mynydd Mawr beyond. Photo: Alamy

The oldest route on the mountain, and it shows. A slow crawl up or a leisurely meander down, it’s very similar in difficulty to the Llanberis Path, but has a more pleasant feel to it. It’s also popular with mountain bikers though, so be warned!

Best for: getting to know the quiet side of Snowdon (and travelling on two wheels).

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Y Lliwedd

Start Pen-y-Pass | Distance 6.1km | Ascent 880m | Difficulty Medium

Y Lliwedd from Snowdon Summit.
Y Lliwedd from Snowdon summit.

The mirror to Crib Goch across Llyn Llydaw, Y Lliwedd is a staggering mountain in its own right. A descent across its crest completes the Snowdon Horseshoe in grand (if knackering) style with a near-vertical cliff to your left and an absolutely extraordinary view everywhere else.

Best for: fans of airy scrambling not quite ready to tackle Crib Goch.

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The Big Dipper

Start Llanberis | Distance 12km | Ascent 1500m | Difficulty Hard

Moel Eilio from Foel Goch area, Snowdonia.

The route of choice to or from Llanberis, this rolling ridge (aka The Big Dipper) takes in several satellite tops including Foel Goch, Foel Gron and Moel Eilio. The highlight for connoisseurs is the summit of Moel Cynghorion, where a look back towards Snowdon rewards you with a view to stun.

Best for: the superb views and pleasing line over rarely trod hills.

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CLICK HERE to view our full collection of the 10 best routes up Snowdon in Komoot.

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