Panorama on Snowdon Horseshoe hike in Snowdonia, Wales
Panorama on Snowdon Horseshoe hike in Snowdonia, Wales

Snowdon Horseshoe hike

Snowdonia
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Start of the Pyg Track of Snowdon Horseshoe hike in WalesLlanberis Valley view from Pyg track on Snowdon Horseshoe hike in WalesSnowdon Horseshoe hike in Wales has beautiful views of Llyn LlydawLliwedd Ridge on Snowdon Horseshoe hike in WalesLliwedd as seen from Nant Gwynant on Snowdon Horseshoe hike in WalesSummit of Lliwedd on Snowdon Horseshoe hike in WalesSnowdon Horseshoe hike has beautiful scenery of Llyn GlaslynLliwedd on Snowdon Horseshoe hike in WalesLliwedd Bach view from Snowdon Horseshoe hike in WalesHorseshoe from above Llyn Llydaw on Snowdon Horseshoe hike in Wales

Snowdon Horseshoe hike

Distance: 7.6mi
Elevation: 3,517ft
Time: 5-7h

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This ridge hike is not for inexperienced hill walkers or those afraid of heights. Crib Goch is a phenomenal ridgeline - one of the best in Wales - but, it should not be underestimated. Be prepared, and avoid it in high winds and wintery conditions unless well equipped. Having said that, it is exceptional!

Snowdon Horseshoe hike Map

Getting there

From Capel Curig head southwest on the A498, turning right onto the A4086. Parking, toilets and refreshments are available at the Pen-y-Pass car park, situated on the A4086 just a short distance from the junction.

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About

When to do

April - September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

At trailhead

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Loop


Snowdon Horseshoe
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Snowdon Horseshoe

Cross the Pen y Pass car park to the left of the main café to find the start of the Pyg track. It is clearly marked with a sign at the trailhead. The path is well defined and easy to follow. After 0.9mi, follow the path marked for Crib Goch that leaves the Pyg track to the right. Crib Goch translates as red ridge and in the right conditions you will see where is gets its name.

The path up to Crib Goch is obvious to begin with but it soon becomes necessary to pick your own route as the path is less defined. Early on, advice tends to suggest a line slightly to the left is easier and as you near the summit of the ridge a line slightly to the right. Once on the ridge you will have views across to Snowdon, Lliwedd and down to the reservoir below.

Follow the ridge line to reach Bwlch Goch. This is easy to follow when the visibility is good as you stick to the ridgeline. The steepest drop is to your right, so stick to the left and use the higher rocks for support if you are feeling anxious. From Bwlch Goch, continue along the ridgeline to Crib y Ddysgi. There are arrows in places where the path disappears to provide some direction. At the summit, Crib y Ddysgi, there is a trig point signifying the second highest mountain in Snowdonia.

Heading southeasterly off Crib y Ddysgi, the route soon joins the Llanberis path. Turn left and follow the path up to the summit of Snowdon. Snowdon summit is somewhat unusual-café, train station and hordes of people.

After a short pit stop, head in a southwesterly direction to drop off the summit. This path is part of the Watkin and Rhyd Ddu paths. After 100m, at a standing stone, turn left and descend the ‘Snowdon scree’, part of the Watkin Path. This section is steep and the rock is loose, so care should be taken. Soon the path levels out above Llyn Glaslyn and follows a pretty ridgeline on a well-defined track. From here, the views across the horseshoe are spectacular and it is a good place to spot the route you have followed up Crib Goch.

The Watkin Path drops off to the right. Continue ahead to climb to the sharp peak of Lliwedd. The path disappears in places. Make your way to the summit (459ft of ascent). From the summit, follow the ridgeline over the east peak to Lliwedd Bach. Continuing on the ridgeline, the route descends gently. After 0.3mi follow the path to your left, heading down towards Llyn Llydaw (lake!) below.

Follow this path to join the Miner’s Track, turning left to return to the Pen y Pass car park.

Want to find more amazing walks in Snowdonia? Check out the Pyg Track up Snowdon, Llyn Ogwen or the Moel Siabod walks.

Insider Hints

  • Crib Goch is a knife-edge ridge; sensational but not for those with a fear of heights.

  • Best in good weather, the views make this special, so wait for a decent day and opt for a low-level hike when visibility is poor.

  • Mallory’s at the Pen-y-Pass is a good spot for a reflection and refuel after your day.

Comments

Melissa Schott 2 years ago

Stunning scenery. Great hike for veteran hikers who enjoy the thrill of the rush. It was pretty demanding, and hiking poles are essential.

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Byron Hermes 2 years ago

Thrilling hike! It was pretty tough, but I was surprised that lots of people still do it! Overall, this hike is so worth it, and there's no reason not to do it if you're capable of doing so.

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Isaac Hermit 2 years ago

The views are definitely rewarding! Picturesque in many angle. The steepest drop is moderately challenging but doable.

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Mustafa Subbaraya 2 years ago

The views from the summit were awe-inspiring. So happy to capture the panoramic views! Will definitely recommend this hike to my friends.

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Queen Coleman 2 years ago

It was a really tough hike, considering that it was very windy and the dust keeps on getting into my eye. Should have brought some goggles!

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Lalo Bose 2 years ago

The trail was in perfect condition. Even though it was really challenging it's still a sensational hike with remarkable views. I highly recommend it!

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Gabriela Villar 2 years ago

We arrived in the parking before 5am and there were very few spots left. We've figured that this hike is pretty popular and most of them are aiming for the sunrise. The views are gorgeous, so we don't really question why.

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Jorge Mulls 2 years ago

Nice hike. The weather was perfect and we were able to surpass the trails without any trouble. Really enjoyed the entire trip, but my favorite moment was reaching the summit.

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grahamjones 2 years ago

snowdon horseshoe was a bit scary for me. the part on the ridge, looking down.. also there's quite a few other people walking and when they try to overtake you or when you need to overtake someone. i really had second thoughts at that time but it was great at the end.

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9 Comments

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