Y Garn and the Glyderau

Difficulty
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Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
6.5-9h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
13.4 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
1,498 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Y Garn and the Glyderau

The Glyderau may be the most celebrated mountain range within Snowdonia National Park, and this full-day adventure visits the highlights! There’s plenty of scrambling involved, so make sure you have experience and a comfort level with steep terrain. Start with a summit of Tryfan via the North Ridge, jumping between the twin pillars of Adam and Eve. Then it’s down the South Ridge in order to ascend the gnarled Bristly Ridge. The wonderful summit of Glyder Fach awaits, leading to nearby Castell y Gwynt and Glyder Fawr. The final big peak is Y Garn, with panoramic views of the mountains in all directions. Make one last summit push at Foel Goch and descend back to the A5, having conquered the best of the Glyderau.

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Route Description for Y Garn and the Glyderau

Start this Glyderau walk by aiming for the Milestone Buttress at the base of Tryfan. The path leads up to the base of the North Ridge, where you can take your own approach towards the summit of Tryfan. This portion is mostly scrambling, with no set path to follow. The summit is crowned by the twin boulders of Adam and Eve, with plenty of fellow climbers sure to join you. Descend via the South Ridge to Bwlch Tryfan, where the striking Bristly Ridge rises from the earth. Aim for a gully to the left and start your next section of scrambling up the ridge. It’s quite exposed, but plenty of hand and footholds provide a range of options. At the Great Pinnacle Gap, descend and work around to the right of the Great Pinnacle ahead of you, rejoining the ridge path as it approaches the summit of Glyder Fach. Bear to the right as you pass the famed Cantilever Stone on your way to the top.

From the summit of Glyder Fach, walk in a western direction to the nearby rocky peak of Castell y Gwynt. The path continues west to the less exciting summit of Glyder Fawr. The descent bears northwest, bringing you along a path marked with cairns with a rather steep drop. Llyn y Cwn marks the low point between mountains, with Y Garn rising directly before you. Follow a path straight up to the summit, with spectacular views of the Glyderau all around you. Descend via the north ridge to Bwlch y Cywion, then make a final ascent up the easy slopes of Foel Goch. Now it’s time to finally get off the slopes. Turn back the way you came to start descending, then turn left at the Y Llymllywd ridge to walk to the bottom of Cwm Cywion. Continue on an eastward bearing over boggy terrain until you meet the old road that curves through the land. Follow this to the A5 and walk back to your lay-by.

Getting to the Y Garn and the Glyderau Trailhead

This circular adventure around Y Garn and the Glyderau starts from the A5 along the shores of Llyn Ogwen. There are multiple lay-bys on both sides which you can park at. Aim for the middle or the east end of the lake to shorten your start.

Route Information

  • When to do

    March-October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Y Garn and the Glyderau Elevation Graph

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