Pyg Track to Snowdon and Miner’s Track
The Pyg Track is the shortest walk up Snowdon; however, it’s not the easiest one. Although busy, the trail will give you some exceptional views of the mountain and the pass below the tremendous Crib Goch Ridge. The Miner’s track is a taxing initial descent, but it provides a long, interesting, and gentle return to the start point.
To get to the starting point of Pyg Track, head southwest on the A498 from Capel Curig, 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.
|When to do|
April - October
Pyg Track to Snowdon and Miner’s Track
Pyg Track and Miner’s Track Route Description
Cross the Pen y Pass car park to the left of the main café to find the start of the Pyg Track to Snowdon. It is clearly marked with a sign at the trailhead. The path is straightforward to follow. Be sure to avoid the path to the right, signposted for Crib Goch, which ascends to the knife edge ridge and might be something you want to leave for another day!
The Pyg Track path climbs gently beneath Crib Goch and high above Llyn Llydaw (lake below!). The views of the summit and Crib Goch are particularly impressive from this viewpoint. The path is relatively easy for several kilometers. Where the Miner’s Track joins, the path becomes more scrambly and begins to climb steadily. Continue ahead on the Pyg Track following as the path zig-zags below the cliffs of Garnedd Ugain to the crest of the ridge of Bwlch Glas, where you will find a large finger post.
Turn left towards the summit just a short distance and 328ft ascent further from this point. The trig point is unfortunately often busy so you may have to wait your turn. A useful brass plate identifies the summits you can hopefully see (weather permitting)! All in all, Snowdon is a rather busy summit with a café and rail station; quite surreal, however, can you really say ‘no’ to a cup of tea?!
When you are ready to descend, initially follow the same route you ascended, following the tracks on the Llanberis path to the stone marker. Turn right here and follow the path to a second stone marker. Here the Miner’s Track veers off to the right. Follow the track. Initially, it involves a scrambly descent over steep ground which requires careful negotiation. After this section, the path levels out, followed by a gentle track along the shores of Glaslyn and Llydaw. Passing the old Britannia Copper Mine buildings, this broad track leads you all the way back to the Pen y Pass car park.
Walking Route Highlights
Snowdon is the highest mountain in England and Wales, towering over the region at a height of 3560ft. Loved for its drama and majesty, the mountain attracts swathes of visitors hoping to conquer it all year round, and there are many different routes to the top. For those unable to make the climb, there is even a railway to transport visitors to the peak by train!
Snowdon, like much of the Welsh countryside, is steeped in history and myth. Its name derives from the Old English meaning ‘snow hill’, but its Welsh name (Yr Wyddfa) means tumulus, or barrow – an ancient burial mound. It is said that the mountain was created as the burial mound for Rhitta Gawr, the legendary giant defeated by King Arthur. In another twist to the Arthurian myth, the nearby lake of Glaslyn is said to have been the final resting place of Excalibur, and the site at which Arthur himself was carried off to Avalon.
Snowdon is a mountain shaped by fire and ice. Its origins may be volcanic, but its distinctive peak was shaped by glaciers, like much of the Snowdonia range. Today it is an important area of conservation, home to a delicate ecosystem and populated by beautiful flora and fauna.
Frequently Asked Questions About climbing Snowdon
How high is Snowdon?
Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales and England, with a summit at 1085m above sea level.
How long does it take to climb Snowdon?
There are many routes to the summit of Snowdon. This route via Pyg Track and Miner’s Track takes between three and five hours, but it is the shortest path to the summit. Expect to take between five and seven hours for most of the other routes, depending on your level of fitness and the length of time you spend at the top.
Is the Pyg Track dangerous?
The Pyg Track is not the easiest route to the top of Snowdon, and the terrain is somewhat rocky and rugged. However, it’s a safe route for most walkers, with well maintained and well-signposted paths.
Do you have to be fit to climb Snowdon?
The ascent of Snowdon is a moderately challenging hill walk, but it’s perfectly manageable for most people in good health. The fitter you are, the more you’ll enjoy yourself, but even if you’re a little out of shape, you should be able to make it to the top (albeit at a slower pace). It’s a good day out and an excellent way to get some exercise!
Can beginners climb Snowdon?
Snowdon is an excellent moderate walk for beginner hikers, as you won’t need any special equipment or skills to make it to the summit. All of the paths are well-marked and properly maintained, and there are usually plenty of people on the trail so you’re unlikely to lose your way. If you’re a little unfit you will probably feel tired and wobbly once you’ve made it back down to the car park, but the experience and the views will make all the effort worthwhile!
Head out early to avoid some of the crowds!
If the car park is full, there is overflow parking available at Nant Peris and a Sherpa bus service is available to take you up and back to Pen-y-Pass car park.
Mallory’s at the Pen-y-Pass is a good spot for a celebratory drink; you will be unlikely to be the only Snowdon summitter in the building!
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