Cwm Idwal view on Llyn Ogwen walk in Snowdonia National Park in Wales
Cwm Idwal view on Llyn Ogwen walk in Snowdonia National Park in Wales

Cwm Idwal Walk

Snowdonia
View Photos
Castell y Gwynt on Cwm Idwal walk in WalesLake Idwal on Cwm Idwal walk in Snowdonia, WalesPen yr Ole Wen on Cwm Idwal walk in Snowdonia National Park, WalesA misty Pen yr Ole Wen on Cwm Idwal walk in Snowdonia, WalesBeautiful scenery on Cwm Idwal walk in Snowdonia, WalesGlyder Fawr on Cwm Idwal walk in Snowdonia, United KingdomPath below Glyder Fawr on Cwm Idwal walk in Snowdonia, Wales, United KingdomStepping stones over the stream running into the lake on Cwm Idwal walk in Snowdonia, WalesEast shore of Llyn Idwal on Cwm Idwal walk in Snowdonia, WalesView towards Capel Curig during the hike, Snowdonia, Wales, UK

Cwm Idwal Walk

Distance: 2.7mi
Elevation: 312ft
Time: 1-2h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

Cwm Idwal is a short and super family-friendly walk that will challenge and delight everyone! A short climb unveils a spectacular hidden lake and multiple waterfalls. This feels like a wild and remote adventure despite the quick walk in. This is an excellent option for a mixed ability group. No one will be disappointed.

Cwm Idwal Map

Getting there

To get to the start of Cwm Idwal walk, from Bangor, travel on the A55 then turn onto the A5 towards Bethesda, continue on A5 to Ogwen Lake, upon arriving at the lake turn right into the car park at the Ogwen Cottage Ranger base, park costs £2.50 for 4 hours.

I’ve done this 16 people have done this
I want to do this 17 want to do this route

About

When to do

April - October

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

At trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Poor

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Loop


Cwm Idwal Walk
Elevation Graph


Cwm Idwal Route Description

To start the Cwm Idwal walk, from the Ogwen Ranger Base, take the steps to the left of the building. Follow the main footpath ignoring the right-hand fork that leads up through a rocky crevice. Continue ahead through the gate a short distance further and cross the wooden bridge over the small, but roaring stream. There is a nice viewpoint from here down to Llyn Ogwen, don’t forget to look!

The footpath climbs gently, winding away from the stream. Approximately 1640ft further up, the path again forks. Take the right-hand fork which follows the well-trodden stone path towards the lake.

Upon reaching the lake, Llyn Idwal, you can turn left or right depending which way you would like to go around the lake. We at 10Adventures prefer heading left, which is reflected on the map.The route around is pretty simple and extremely pleasant. The path is well maintained and it should be straightforward to follow. At the far end of the lake, you will need to drop off the main path and turn right to continue around the lake. This path leads you down to a levelled area where you will use stepping-stones to cross a gentle stream.

Follow the path around the lake shore, eventually crossing a slate bridge to finish the circular route of Llyn Idwal. From here, turn left to retrace your steps back to the Ogwen Ranger Base for a pick me up (ice-cream, tea and plenty more available)!

Walking Route Highlights

Cwm Idwal Cirque

Cwm Idwal Cirque is a unique mountain range, stretching across northern Snowdonia. While popular among hikers and cyclists, the area is of extreme significance to geologists and naturalists thanks to mountainous and rocky terrain, which is uncommon in the UK.

The Cwm Idwal Cirque is ranked the 7th natural wonder of Britain and hikers from across the globe come to discover this rare phenomenon, while taking in the beautiful views the mountain provides.

Llyn Idwal

Discover the tiny lake Llyn Idwal within Cwm Idwal in the Glyderau mountains of Snowdonia.It is named after Prince Idwal Foel, the grandson of one of the ancient Kings of Whales. Legend has it that the King’s son was murdered by drowning in the lake and the mystery continues to draw hikers to the lake.

During your hike, Llyn Idwal makes for a perfect spot to take a refreshing dip. The best place to dive in is the pebble beach on the north end. The lakebed eventually drops off, offering cool water to float and enjoy a warm, summery day.

Want to find more amazing walks in Snowdonia? Check out the Pyg Track to SnowdonLlyn Ogwen or the Moel Siabod walks.

Insider Hints

  • Waterproof footwear is a good idea, as there are several streams to negotiate (stepping stones available) and some boggy ground.

  • Great fun for kids - lots to see,explore and enjoy the outback nature.

  • Plas Curig Hostel is just a few miles east and is a great place to stay with the entire family (5* Hostel).

Comments

Felix Legrand 10 months ago

Fantastic place to visit, It feels like you are in the middle of the wilds. It's one of my favorite walks in Wales

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Kantinka B. 2 years ago

Easy hike with charming views.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
colormylife 2 years ago

Nice loop trails! Not that crowded and very peaceful!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Danielle v. 2 years ago

Exceptional views! A great adventure for all of us. Fun and easy to do.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
rosaline.oh 2 years ago

One of the 2 most beautiful experiences in Snowdonia is walking from Ogwen Cottage alongside Tryfan & Glyder Fawr to Llanberis. The other is on Tryfan itself... but I digress. Instead of just walking around the lake, I walked around the lake, up Devil's Kitchen, through the bog and went down the other side towards Llanberis. Sheer joy and beauty at every step. Devil's Kitchen is steep and slippery, requiring good scrambling shoes (or barefeet for agility and grip as I do, but I'm a strange one).

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
4h 00m Time Taken
Terrance Gyro 2 years ago

Perfect remote adventure for the whole family. One downside iwe don't like is the lack of signages though.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Roaming489er 2 years ago

A cool little hike to get some exercise before you hit the pub!

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Agnieszka P 2 years ago

Nice and easy hike. There were many families around, all enjoying the trail. Really great place to be.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Sammy89 2 years ago

I absolutely loved the waterfalls.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
9 Comments

Similar hikes to the Cwm Idwal Walk hike

Scenery of Rhaeadr Ddu and Coed Ganllwyd hike in Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Rhaeadr Ddu and Coed Ganllwyd

Difficulty:
1.3mi
381ft
1-1.5h

This is a spectacular riverside walk in Snowdonia that follows the River Gamlan from Ganllwyd up to the wild Rhaeadr…

Scenery of Llyn Ogwen walk in Snowdonia, Wales

Llyn Ogwen

Difficulty:
3mi
312ft
1-2h

This walk has stunning, mountainous views; the iconic summits of Tryfan and Glyderau will tower above you as you hike.…

Great scenery on Swallow Falls hike in Snowdonia National Park in Wales

Swallow Falls

Difficulty:
2.2mi
417ft
1-2h

Swallow Falls is a short but sweet hike that walks you along the Llugwy River, to Swallow Falls, and onwards…