Rhyd Ddu to Snowdon
When choosing a route to ascend Snowdon, the Rhyd Ddu path scores major points for being quieter, less busy, and a heart-pumping trek. Rhyd Ddu offers stunning views over Snowdonia, especially of Moel Cynghorion right beside you, and lightly technical sections to help build your confidence in the mountains. While the end of the path can be a touch harder to follow, you have the option to take a more established route to make your descent a breeze.
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Route Description for Rhyd Ddu to Snowdon
The Rhyd Ddu path is easy to follow until the last portion, so it’s recommended that you download the GPS map to assist in route finding.
To begin, follow the car park heading left facing the railway station. You’ll cross the train tracks at a designated gate. The trail is wide and obvious. You’ll want to head right at the first junction and then left at the Pen-y-lon junction a kilometre later.
The path will narrow and then become covered with wide stones. When you come to a wall, climb over the top if the gate isn’t open. The next portion of the trail is known as Ros Boeth and is flat. It features some small ruins from days gone by. Rev. Williams Bingley described having to leave his carriage here as he ascended Snowdon in 1804.
The trail now becomes more of a slog as the grade increases and the trail becomes rockier. Enjoy the views starting to open up and push on to the top of Llechog, where you’ll be able to see the summit. You’ll zig-zag across a scree field before reaching Bwlch Main, an exposed ridge that calls for some extra care while crossing. If you’re not a fan of narrow ridges, bring some poles for this section.
The path then weaves through some larger rocks, where you’ll make some easy technical steps around larger rock formations. Not long after, you’ll reach the waymarker. Follow the arrow for Rhyd Ddu along a loose section of rocky path, and you’ll reach the summit shortly after that. Enjoy the views!
To descend, walk past the waymarker, taking care not to head down Watkin Path. When you notice the path towards the south ridge veer off, keep right.
While heading down, take care not to take the Ranger Path the entire way. You’ll need to watch for a ladder over the fence to the left before the gate, which leads to the Ranger Path. The path eventually peters out into a marshy, boggy area. Take a hard left here.
Alternatively, some hikers choose to take Ranger Path all the way down rather than dealing with the boggy section. If you choose to take this option, the route is well-signed and easy to follow. You will end up a bit further north on the highway, so perhaps take two cars if you’re planning this approach.
Wales’ highest peak is the most coveted objective in all of Snowdonia National Park, and the variety of routes leading to the peak make it a mountain hikers can enjoy over and over again. Designated as a national nature reserve, it draws over half a million visitors every year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Rhyd Ddu path dangerous?
The Rhyd Ddu path is generally safe. The most dangerous section of the trail is Bwlch Main, which is only unsafe in high winds or heavy snow.
Is Rhyd Ddu the hardest path up Snowdon?
The hardest path up Snowdon is Crib Goch. Rhyd Ddu is a leg-burner, but it’s not nearly as technically demanding as some of the harder ascents.
Could a beginner climb Snowdon?
While you don’t need any technical climbing skills to take routes like Rhyd Ddu up Snowdon, you should be fit enough to walk 15.0 km with substantial elevation gain and loss to complete the hike.
Insider Hints for Rhyd Ddu to Snowdon
- Cwellyn Arms Campsite is up A4085 at the foot of Llyn Cwellyn and makes for a nice place to rest your head if you’re staying in the area.
- There are public restrooms in the trailhead parking lot.
- You can stop for a cup of coffee and a snack at Ty Mawr or a pint at Cwellyn Arms just across the road from the trailhead after your hike.
Getting to the Rhyd Ddu to Snowdon Trailhead
The trailhead for the Rhyd Ddu path is in Rhyd Ddu. Heading southbound on A4085, you’ll turn right just after the outdoor activity centre. There is parking here, and the trail begins just past the lot.
Rhyd Ddu to Snowdon Elevation Graph
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