The Roman Steps
The Roman Steps

The Roman Steps

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The Roman Steps

The Roman Steps

Distance: 3.2mi
Elevation: 1,017ft
Time: 2-2.5h

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A walk along the Roman Steps is a wondrous adventure back in time. While the Romans may not have actually laid down the steps themselves, their medieval origins provide a historical complement to the stunning natural beauty surrounding them. This out-and-back walk starts from the car park at the eastern end of Llyn Cwm Bychan, travelling along a well-worn path to the edge of the Rhinog Natural Nature Reserve. Through wood and fields, over rivers and streams, this is an excellent choice for a straightforward outing with plenty of opportunities to extend the adventure.

The Roman Steps Map

Getting there

To get to the Roman Steps, head for Llyn Cwm Bychan, situated deep within the mountains. Several routes reach the lake, all taking narrow roads into the interior of Snowdonia. From the town of Harlech, take the Pen Dref Road on a southeast bearing. Just under 3.0mi along this road, it intersects with one coming northeast from Peter Gwynfryn. Turn left and follow this road as it runs along the Afon Artro. At a fork in the road, bear right and drive along the shore of Llyn Cwm Bychan until the road ends. A car park awaits next to a campsite.

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When to do


Backcountry Campsites


Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly

Older Children only

Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

The Roman Steps
Elevation Graph

The Roman Steps Description

From the car park, walk east and then find a turn right onto a well-established path. The path crosses a stream and continues through the woods. After roughly one kilometre, keep left at a fork in the path. You’ll quickly cross a stream as the path continues south. This follows another branch of the river closely, then crosses it twice more as the path bends to the east. It’s a steady ascent as you approach the Rhinog Natural Nature Reserve.

The Roman Steps themselves emerge from the path, large slabs of stone worn smooth by travel and time. Take care in wet weather as the steps can be rather slippery. Not far past Bwlch Tyddiad, the path reaches a clear fork. This is the endpoint of this route, where you should turn back and follow the path the way you came. If you’d like to extend the route, a right turn takes you towards the base of Rhinog Fawr, which significantly increases the difficulty and duration of your adventure.



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