Arenig Fawr from Arenig near Llyn Celyn
Nat Park - Snowdonia - Arenigs
County/Area - Gwynedd
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km Ascent - 2170 feet / 658 metres
Time - 6 hours 10 minutes Grade - moderate
|Ordnance Survey Explorer OL18
|Anquet OS Explorer OL18
|Ordnance Survey Landranger 124
|Anquet OS Landranger 124
Walk Route Description
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The Arenig Mountains are often ignored by walkers despite offering excellent walking within the boundaries of the Snowdonia (Eryri) National Park. Arenig Fawr (854 m.), the objective of this walk, provides an excellent short day in the mountains.Aided by its central location within the National Park, it offers spectacular views of nearly all the mountains in Snowdonia.
To reach the start of this Snowdonia (Eryri) walk take A4212 northwest from Bala to just before where the B4391 heads north to Ffestiniog. Turn left down a minor road for about a mile. On your left is large area of waste ground (Grid ref. SH831392) with more than ample space for parking. After parking continue along the lane in an easterly direction for a further mile passing a number of houses on the way. Just after Pant-yr-Hedydd take the rising grassy track (Grid ref. 845395) that initially heads south west.
The track climbs gently before turning southeast and levels off with the waters of Llyn Arenig Fawr soon coming into view. Continue on the track until you see a small building near the dam outflow. Turn right down a path and through a gate at the rear of this building. Cross the outflow stream and continue ahead following the clear path that rises along the crest of ridge with the reservoir on your right. The climb is steady, with a couple of steeper sections, and the path easy to follow. You soon reach a fence. Cross this and continue in the same direction until a fence is approached at an acute angle. Cross this fence where convenient and make sure you follow the path, which in places is not too clear.
This path does not climb directly onto the ridge ahead. Instead it trends left and contours across the southeastern flank of Arenig Fawr. Almost imperceptibly, the path climbs. As you approach the area beneath the summit, there are a number of small paths trending right and heading uphill. All of these take you onto the ridge from where it is a short walk to the summit.
Besides the obligatory OS trig point there is a wind shelter and a memorial to a bomber crew that crashed here during World War II during poor weather. If you have chosen your day carefully, then the view is superb. To the north you can see all the high mountains of Snowdonia (Eryri) including Snowdon, Crib Goch, the Glyders, Tryfan and the Carneddau. Looking west there are the Rhinogs while in southwestern sector lies Cadair Idris. Almost due south the final range in this grand panorama is the Arans, which rise to almost 3000 feet.
The return follows the ridge before dropping down to pick up the outward route. Leave the summit in a northeasterly direction following the remains of the ridge fence. There is a path which is easy to follow. Continue beside the fence for about 600 metres before turning right off the ridge into a clear hollow. It is worth consulting the map as there are many crags ahead and care is needed to avoid these hazards. As you descend you will pick up the path used in the ascent. The remainder of the descent follows the outward route.
Other walks nearby
|Moel Emoel from near Bala
|Castell Carndochan near Bala
|Aran Benllyn & Aran Fawddwy from Llanuwchllyn
|Traverse of the Northern Rhinogs from Trawsfynydd
|Rhinog Fawr and tarns
|Cnicht from Tanygrisiau
|North West of Blaenau Ffestiniog
|Rhobell Fawr and Ddualt from near Rhydymain
|Rhobell Fawr and Dduallt from Llanfachreth
|Aran Fawddwy northern approach
Recommended Books & eBooks
Mountain Walking in Snowdonia
Guidebook to 40 of Snowdonia's best day walks, with routes up Snowdon and Tryfan, including the Snowdon Horseshoe, Cadair Idris, Y Garn and The Rhinogs. The routes range from Grade 1 scrambles like Crib Goch or Bristly Ridge, to riverside and forest walks. Includes details of a 2-day traverse of all 15 of Snowdonia's 3000ft peaks.
Snowdonia: 30 Low-level and easy walks - North
Guidebook describing 30 walks in Snowdonia, Wales. Routes are mostly low level and on clear paths and showcase the region's beautiful scenery and rich history and culture. Part of a 2-volume set, this northern volume includes the Snowdon area, the Ogwen and Conwy Valleys, Betws-y-Coed, Beddgelert, Ffestiniog and the coast.