Snowdon from Llanberis

Snowdon

This is one of the most popular routes up the highest mountain in Wales starting from the old slate quarrying town of Llanberis. It is also the route most commonly used for those taking on the national Three Peaks Challenge. This popular route is one of the easiest ways up the mountain as despite being fairly lengthy it ascends a steady and fairly easy gradient. It follows the route of the Snowdon Mountain Railway which also takes advantage of the steady gradient. This is a busy route but don't let that put you off. There are several features you don't get to see on other ascent routes such as the Moel Eilio ridge, Clogwyn Du'r Arddu above Llyn Du'r Arddu and the fantastic views to the Glyderrau from Clogwyn. The mountain railway also adds something different to the walk. The summit of Snowdon now boasts the impressive multi million pound Hafod Eryri Summit Shelter with cafe, visitor centre and toilets. Snowdon is a serious mountain with changeable weather conditions at any time of the year. You should always be carrying the right gear and know how to use it, particularly your map and compass. Those taking part in the national Three Peaks Challenge should research and keep to the codes of practice that sets out guidelines to ensure that the potential negative effects of the Three Peaks Challenge are minimised.

Route Directions

  1. This walk starts from the Snowdon Mountain Railway station area in Llanberis on the side of the main A4086 road at grid reference SH 582 597. There are several car parks in this area of Llanberis. They can get full in summer so find a space where you can then make your way to this starting point.
  2. From the railway station head south along the main road for a hundred and fifty metres until you reach Victoria Terrace. Turn right and head along Victoria Terrace passing a row of terraced houses on the left.
  3. After the houses the road turns left and gets steep as it passes the tea rooms on the left. The road bends left again then takes a sharp right round a building.
  4. Two hundred metres after the sharp right bend, you will see the obvious start of the Llanberis Path leave the road on the left.
  5. Head up this obvious and often busy path. After two kilometres the path passes through a narrow bridge under the mountain railway line. Then after just under another kilometre you will reach the building known as Halfway House. A small cafe open on certain days during summer months with seating and refreshments.
  6. From the Halfway House continue along the obvious ascent path. As the path gains height towards Clogwyn there is a fantastic view down to Llyn Du'r Arddu and its impressive backdrop the cliffs of the Clogwyn Du'r Arddu ridge.
  7. After one and a half kilometres the path passes through another narrow bridge under the mountain railway at Clogwyn. On the other side of the bridge there is a fantastic viewpoint giving views over to the Glyderrau range of mountains.
  8. The path continues its ascent now flanking the northern side of Garnedd Ugain. After another kilometre and a half the path will reach the Finger Stone on Bwlch Glas marking the top of the Pyg Track and Miners Track.
  9. Continue south ascending the main path with the railway on your right. After just half a kilometre you will reach the summit. The modern Hafod Eryri Summit Shelter is of course the first thing that you will see. The actual summit point is reached by a few steps up to the wide stone cairn behind the building. The summit cairn has a fantastic brass plaque pointing out the surrounding mountains.
  10. No matter what your opinion is of this busy mountain there is no denying it has some incredible views on a clear day. From the summit on a really clear day you can see as far as the Isle of Man and even Ireland! The most impressive views are those close by though to the rest of Snowdonia and Snowdon itself with its many ridges and glacial cwms.
  11. To descend the mountain head north from the summit down the path for half a kilometre back to the Finger Stone on Bwch Glas. From Bwlch Glas continue north along the steady ascent of the Llanberis Path.
  12. Continue the descent passing under the bridge at Clogwyn, pass the Halfway House and then under the narrow bridge just after that. Retrace your steps along the obvious path and roads back down to Llanberis where there are many places to eat and drink including the famous Petes Eats.

Maps for this walk

Paper maps for this walk

Click to buy OS Explorer OL17 Map Click to buy OS Landranger 115 Map Click to buy Harvey Snowdonia Mountain Map Click to buy Pathfinder Snowdonia Walk Guides

GPS files for this walk

Route map of this walk

Photos & Trip Reports

Snowdon from Llanberis

Planning for a walk

Check the weather

The weather is a very important part of hill walking. Weather conditions and daylight hours will dictate where you walk, what gear you will need to carry, how far you walk, and may even decide if you go at all. The following links will help you gather information on weather conditions for areas of Britain...

Plan your journey

Planning your journey before you set off for your walk can save you vital hours on the day. You need to make sure you know the area surrounding your starting point as many factors can influence or change the place you park. Don't forget change for parking meters and fees.

Maintenance of your vehicle and being ready for breakdown situations when driving to remote areas is also vital. Pack a full spare petrol can in your boot, and take de-icing tools in winter, including a shovel. The Transport Direct website below is a great resource for anyone wanting to get to the start of their walk using public transport...

Pack the right gear

Carrying and wearing the right gear is essential for walkers to remain comfortable and safe while hill walking in Britain. However, the best gear in the world is of no use to anyone who doesn't know how to use and care for it. Knowing how to use your gear will give you a much more enjoyable experience. The following items are, in my opinion, the essential items to wear and carry for a hill walk in Britain. It would be foolish to head into the hills and mountains of Britain without these essential items and the knowledge of how to use them. Check out the gear section of this site for techniques and gear lists...


  • Footwear
  • Clothing
  • Rucksack
  • Warm Clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Map & Compass
  • Emergency Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food & Drink
  • Seasonal Gear

Know what to do in emergencies

It is good practise to tell someone where you are going, and when you expect to return. If you don't get in contact when you said you would on your return, and those you told can't get hold of you, at least they will be able to provide the search party with your general location.

Emergency equipment in the check list above means items such as a survival bag, whistle, and emergency food rations. This isn't anything special; any whistle will do, the orange emergency bags only costs a few pounds, and basic food rations can consist of a couple of chocolate bars. Carrying a head lamp is also an important component and a vital piece of kit used for signalling when you require rescuing.

You should always try and get out of a difficult or emergency situation using your own gear, knowledge and energy. If you cannot do this, then you should dial 999 and ask for the police. Use all the gear you have to keep any unwell or injured members of your party or yourself safe and warm, and use your signalling devices to let the rescuers know your whereabouts. To do this blow six good long blasts on your whistle, or flash six flashes of your torch. Stop for one minute. Repeat. Carry on with the whistle blasts until someone reaches you, and don't stop because you've heard a reply.

Never contact mountain rescue unless absolutely necessary, but on the other hand don't ever feel guilty for having to do so, especially if you are a prepared walker. The Mountain Rescue teams are full of fantastic like-minded souls who love nothing more than people who are prepared for being safe in the mountains.

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