Cwm Idwal Walk

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1-1.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
4.3 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
95 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.8
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Read Reviews
Directions to Trailhead
Cwm Idwal view on Llyn Ogwen walk in Snowdonia National Park in Wales

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.

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View Cwm Idwal Walk on Map

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Route Description for Cwm Idwal Walk

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 500 m 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 for Cwm Idwal Walk

  • 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).

Getting to the Cwm Idwal Walk Trailhead

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.

Route Information

  • 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

Weather Forecast

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Cwm Idwal Walk Reviews

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