Devil’s Kitchen to Llyn y Cwn
The Devil’s Kitchen is a favourite feature for visitors to Snowdonia National Park, and for good reason. The steep ascent boasts an impressive crack that splits the cliffs, with a waterfall tumbling over the rock face. To get there, start from the Ogwen visitor centre, and follow a good path to the serene shores of Llyn Idwal. A walk along the lake leads to the base of the mountain, where a steep push up through boulders and loose rock brings you to the top of the Devil’s Kitchen. A short ways away lies Llyn y Cwn, a lake well worth visiting for views of the neighbouring Y Garn and Glyder Fawr summits. Then it’s back down the way you came, taking a different path along Llyn Idwal’s opposite shore which leads to your initial approach from the visitor centre.
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Route Description for Devil’s Kitchen to Llyn y Cwn
The Devil’s Kitchen is a very popular walk, but don’t let the crowds fool you - the titular section is a difficult climb, with portions that are almost more of a scramble than a walk. Paths up and down the Devil’s Kitchen can be faint, and great care should be taken in poor visibility or wet conditions.
From the visitor centre, a well-marked path leads towards Llyn Idwal. The path starts on a southeast bearing, crosses a river, then turns to the right on a fairly direct approach to the lake. Upon arriving at the placid waters of Llyn Idwal, take the path on your left that leads directly along its eastern shores, keeping the lake on your right as you head towards the steep slopes and the Devil’s Kitchen.
The path continues past the lake, then curves around to the right as you begin to ascend through a boulder field. A bend to the left, and the path meets up with another trail leading from the opposite side of Llyn Idwal - this is the route you’ll be taking when you descend. Now you’re right into the teeth of the Devil’s Kitchen, and you may need to employ your hands as well as feet to conquer the steepest parts. A wall with a stile marks the top - a welcome sight!
The path continues on a southwest bearing to the shores of Llyn y Cwn. This marks the far point of the route, so take some time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere at this little alpine lake. The peak of Y Garn rises to the north, and Glyder Fawr looms to the southeast. You’re truly up in the mountains here!
When you’re ready to descend, take the same path that you came up on. This will lead down the steepest part of the Devil’s Kitchen before you arrive at that junction which you saw on the way up. This time, take the path on the left, which will bring you back to Llyn Idwal (this time on its western shore). The trail is not quite as close to the water as its eastern counterpart, but it makes for a lovely stroll nonetheless. Complete your circuit of the lake as the path loops around its northern end, then join the initial path you walked in on and follow this back to the visitor centre.
Insider Hints for Devil’s Kitchen to Llyn y Cwn
- There are several excellent accommodation options nearby for those on a budget (or if you just love to camp). The YHA Idwal Cottage offers clean dorms and a big shared kitchen with eco-conscious operating principles.
- Down the road, at the eastern end of Llyn Ogwen, the Gwern Gof Uchaf campsite provides plenty of space for tents with the basic facilities (showers and washrooms) that every camper needs. Do note that this site is a working farm, so dogs are strictly not allowed on property.
Getting to the Devil’s Kitchen to Llyn y Cwn Trailhead
To get to the Devil’s Kitchen, start your walk from the Ogwen visitor centre (officially called the Ogwen Partnership Centre), which is just off the A5 by Llyn Ogwen. There are some parking opportunities here and at the nearby Ogwen Cottage. If none are available, head just a bit further east down the A5, where several lay-bys provide space to pull over and park.
Devil’s Kitchen to Llyn y Cwn Elevation Graph
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