PLEASE NOTE: There can be a high demand for this area. Please do not travel without checking availability, and do not park anywhere other than a designated car park. Parking in unauthorised locations causes strain on local services and infrastructure, and can damage natural habitats. If you’re looking for things to do in Wales, check our Inspire Me section or use the Visit Wales site search for other options.
There’s something wild about the Eryri (Snowdonia) landscape, with soaring, sharp and magnificent peaks rising up high above the deep valleys. Picturesque and slate scarred villages scatter the region, and are excellent bases for exploring or just relaxing and enjoying the views. It is an ancient land of contrasts and breathtaking beauty.
Then there’s Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). Wales’ highest mountain dominates the skyline of North West Wales. Perhaps something is calling you to conquer this 1,085 metre (3,560 feet) peak. Maybe it’s on your bucket list, or you’re doing it for charity. Or you just fancy seeing the views from the top.
Whatever your reasons, you’ll need to be prepared. Unless you’re taking the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the top, whichever route you decide on is a challenging 6-8 hour hike, with little shelter from the elements. Adventure Smart UK has plenty of advice on how to ‘make a good day better’, and we recommend you read it before planning your days out.
Getting to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)
The Eryri National Park website has information on finding and booking parking spots, including an app providing information on available parking spaces. Please be considerate - only use designated car parks and don't park along the roadside.
Pen y Pass car park is pre-book only. You can book online using the JustPark website. The Nant Peris car park fills up rapidly in the main season, so plan to get there by at least 7am. The car parks for the Watkin and Rhyd Ddu paths may be quieter, and Llanberis (the village at the foot of the mountain) usually has plenty of parking.
The Sherpa'r Wyddfa bus links the various starting points and is a useful way to get around from Llanberis.
If you prefer to use public transport, you can catch a train to Bangor or stations along the North Wales Coast Railway, then onwards by bus or taxi. Traveline Cymru is a useful journey planner for public transport in the region. The Eryri National Park website has helpful information about visiting the area if you don't have a car.
Mountains are fickle things. What starts off as a sunny day at the bottom can rapidly turn into ice-cold winds, heavy rain and thick mist halfway up. There is usually a chilly breeze at the summit – welcome on a hot day, but not quite as pleasant in the rain. Be prepared for drastic changes in the weather and make sure you check the forecast before you go via the Met Office Snowdon Summit forecast.
Plan your route carefully and let people know where you are going, and what time you expect to be back. Check the opening times for Hafod Eryri, the café at the top, before you leave. The café is only open when the railway is running, and it also has the only toilet on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), so make sure you ‘go’ at one of the car park loos before you start your walk. When open, Hafod Eryri sells plenty of drinks, cakes and pasties but it does get busy at peak times. You can’t fill your water bottle at the top, though, as the tap water isn’t safe to drink, so make sure you take plenty of water with you for the whole walk, or buy some more at the café. You can find out where to refill your bottle with free tap water before you head up by visiting the Refill Wales website or download the free Refill app.
There’s a full list of recommended kit on the Eryri National Park website, however here’s our hiking basics list to get you started:
• Ankle supporting walking boots, not trainers and definitely no flip flops. Comfy walking socks. Look after your feet, they’ll be working hard!
• Walking trousers. Zip offs are good in the summer, and in colder months go for insulated ones
• Go for layers - moisture wicking t-shirt, long sleeved top and a fleece. Base layers in the colder months are ideal
• Waterproofs, even on a sunny day. You never know
• Hat and sunglasses for sunny days, warm hat, gloves and a scarf / chute in colder months
• Spare socks and a clean t-shirt. You’ll get sweaty!
• First aid kit, including an insulated foil blanket and any medication you might need
• Charged torch
• Map and compass, plus details of which route you plan to take
• Charged phone – although be warned there isn’t much signal until you get to the top
• Food – high energy snacks plus lunch
• Plenty to drink
Things to see
Some might say it’s not about the arrival; it’s about the journey to get there. We might beg to differ on the ‘arrival’ part. On a clear day the views from the top of Yr Wyddfa are absolutely breath-taking. But the journey is pretty epic too. As you climb higher, the views across the deep green valleys and sparkling lakes slowly unfold. You can watch other walkers follow the paths like tiny ants far below or above. There are loads of opportunities for an Instagram worthy ‘photo stop’ to catch your breath, so don’t forget your camera!
The scars of the mountain's industrial past sprinkle the slopes. Copper was once mined here, and you can see the jagged remains of the crushing mill and barracks along the Miner’s Path.
Colourful alpine flowers flourish on the mountainside, and the rare Snowdon Lily (Lloydia serotina) flowers in May, mainly in inaccessible crevices. Sheep, goats, cattle and birds of prey live on the mountain. The Eryri National Park website has more detailed information on the local flora and fauna.
There are six recommended paths. They are all classed as ‘hard, strenuous walks’ and you should allow at least 6 - 8 hours to get there and back, even if you're pretty fit. Plan ahead by downloading the Snowdon Walks app. This useful app covers the six main routes, providing maps and tracking your progress.
The Llanberis Path (9 miles/14.5 km) is a popular ‘first time’ path. It’s the longest route but provides a gradual climb up to the summit.
The Miners’ Track (8 miles/13 km)starts from Pen y Pass car park. It starts off gradually until you get to Llyn Llydaw. Then it’s a steep climb pretty much all the way to the top.
The PYG Track (7 miles/11 km) also starts from Pen y Pass. It’s a steep start but the views are worth it. It joins the Miners’ Track before the final ascent to the summit. A popular circular route is to go up one and come down the other.
The Rhyd Ddu Path (8.5 miles/12km) starts at Rhyd Ddu car park. It’s one of the quieter routes, but you’ll need a head for heights and sure feet as you’ll be following a narrow ridge near the top.
The Watkin Path (8 miles/13km) takes you from Nant Gwynant to the summit. Starting from Pont Bethania car park, you can see some of the old copper mine workings along the way.
From Llyn Cwellyn car park, the Snowdon Ranger Path (8 miles/13km) winds up the side of Snowdon, giving you views of the many lakes in the area.
If you're starting early and heading through residential areas, please be considerate and keep the noise and lights to a minimum. Please respect the mountain and keep to the paths for your safety, and also to protect the delicate ecological balance. Follow the Countryside Code.
There are no bins on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). Make sure you take all your litter home with you - including organic waste such as fruit peel, apple cores and tea bags. Kindly take it all away and recycle as much as possible and dispose of the rest responsibly. Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) is the jewel in Wales’ crown, and we want to keep it that way!
Well-behaved dogs (under control and in sight) are welcome - please follow the Dog Walking Code.
Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) summit weather webcam.