Snowdon by the Llanberis Path

On the Llanberis Path in winter

The Llanberis Path is the classic path up Snowdon, and by far the most popular. It is the gentlest route and consequently the longest of the paths to the summit, though no route up the mountain is easy.

I first walked the Llanberis Path in my school days, as a family walk, and it is popular with individual walkers and with families in season, if they are families of a rugged persuasion. Even so, it should not be underestimated and particularly in poor weather in its topmost section it has deadly hazards.

The path begins at Llanberis at the foot of the northern slope of Snowdon. There are capacious car parks here and the compulsory visitor centre and attractions: as Llanberis is also the base station of the Snowdon Mountain Railway it attracts more visitors than it would were it just catering for fell walkers. It is pretty village to visit in any case.

The path is some 4½ miles long, with an ascent of 3,100 feet. Guidebooks estimate that it will take 3-4 hours, though this may be an underestimate, depending on your fitness and tendency to stop for photographs.  It climbs at a fairly even gradient up the south slope of the mountain (pursued doggedly by the mountain railway).

Following the path from the hotel, it runs south-west above the River Arddu close to a little waterfall on the river, and follows the road for just a short while before heading south up onto the rough pasture.  Then it is a long haul up what is effectively a broad ridge.

Approaching the summit (Llanberis Path)
Approaching the summit (Llanberis Path)

Below Garnedd Ugain (‘the Peak of the Twenty’; no, don’t ask me but I do not follow the romantic frame of mind among of those who claim it was named after the Legio XX whose fort was at Segontium where Caernarfon now stands) – here the path runs over the narrow between crags and becomes much steeper until the final push to the summit.

Here at the summit it wild beauty and isolation to be found, if you can ignore a hundred other visitors and the café in Hafod Eyri just below the summit itself.

Maps for the walk:

The best maps for Snowdon are of course the Ordnance Survey maps; the ‘Explorer’ at 1:25 000 and the ‘Landranger’ at 1:50 000:

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