Yr Aran (Route 2) from Bethania
Nat Park - Snowdonia - Snowdon Crib Goch
County/Area - Gwynedd
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km Ascent - 2100 feet / 636 metres
Time - 4 hours 50 minutes Grade - moderate
|Ordnance Survey Explorer OL17
|Anquet OS Explorer OL17
|Ordnance Survey Landranger 115
|Anquet OS Landranger 115
Walk Route Description
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I read somewhere recently that Yr Aran is Snowdonia's (Eryri's) least visited mountain. Two reasons appear likely. Firstly, walkers are more likely to be drawn by the lure of the bigger attraction of nearby Snowdon and, secondly, it's isolated position means it does not readily link up with any other mountains along a ridge. Having walked up Yr Aran recently (May 2011) I found it to be a fine mountain in it's own right and somewhat undeserving of its "neglected" position. As often happens with an isolated peak, the minus point of it not linking up readily with other nearby peaks comes with a corresponding plus point, the all-round views, and Yr Aran's top does command a fine 360 degree view with Snowdon and Y Lliwedd especially apparent.
This Snowdonia walk starts at the car park at Bethania in Nantgwynant and heads up the Watkin Path across the road through woodland, the starting point of one of several routes up Snowdon. The path leads up through the trees, where horned goats may be seen, before emerging into the open. Continue along the Watkin Path as it goes to the left and then right past some waterfalls before leading to a valley with Snowdon ahead and Yr Aran to the left. Here a path leads off to the left and takes you up to the Bwlch Cwm Llan, the route becoming steeper and rockier as the bwlch draws nearer. At the bwlch (grid ref. SH605521), an even steeper path heads up Snowdon to the right. Ahead lie slate wastes and the remains of former quarry workings including a couple of small reservoirs. A walk across to the other side of the bwlch reveals a fine view of the Nantlle Ridge.
Looking towards Yr Aran from the bwlch, there appears to be no easy way up to the top. However, by following the dry stone wall ahead, a wooden stile over the wall marks a point where a clear path begins and which leads you all the way to the summit. The summit ridge is grassy with a few outcrops of rock, on one of which is a small pile of stones which marks the highest point. For the return route, by way of variation, descend down the steep rocky path to where the path forms "an elbow", but instead of turning left here to reverse the outgoing route, go straight ahead to follow a different path which broadly follows the line of a dry stone wall to the right. This path eventually disappears, but by now the Watkin Path can be seen below and it is a case of picking your own safe passage down steep, grassy, pathless slopes to rejoin it. Then follow the Watkin Path back down to the car park.
Other walks nearby
|Llyn yr Adar & Llyn Edno from near Bethania
|Craflwyn circular from near Beddgelert
|Llyn Dinas and Cwm Bychan from Beddgelert
|Moel Hebog, Moel yr Ogof & Moel Lefn from Beddgelert
|Beddgelert, Moel Hebog, Meol yr Ogof & Moel Lefn
|Moel Hebog, Meol yr Ogof and Moel Lefn from Beddgelert
|Aberglaslyn and Cwm Bychan
|Snowdon by the Pyg and Miner's Tracks
Recommended Books & eBooks
The Cambrian Way
Guidebook to the Cambrian Way, a challenging three-week mountain trek through Wales from Cardiff to Conwy. The 470km un-waymarked route is presented from south to north. Often sticking to long, beautiful ridgelines, it crosses wild and rugged terrain and visits many of Wales's highest mountains, including Snowdon.
The Wales Coast Path
A single guidebook to walking the whole Wales Coast Path - 1400km (870 miles) the length of Wales from Chester to Chepstow, including Anglesey, described in 57 stages. The route passes through the Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire National Parks and many AONBs and can be linked with the Offa's Dyke Path for a complete circuit of Wales.