logo Walking Britain

Snowdonia Walk
Nantlle Ridge Walk from Rhyd Ddu (Route A)

Nat Park - Snowdonia - Moel Hebog Nantlle Ridge

County/Area - Gwynedd

Author - Paul Gasson

Length - 6.0 miles / 9.8 km    Ascent - 2300 feet / 697 metres

Time - 5 hours 20 minutes    Grade - moderate

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL17Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL17Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 115Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 115Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Nantlle Ridge Walk from Rhyd Ddu (Route A)
Click image to see photo description.

This Nantlle ridge walk is a fairly short but spectacular route, and visits the best parts of the ridge, itself a classic route in the area. It is best done in clear weather to enjoy the extensive views, but if low cloud or fog descends, careful navigation is required, particularly to locate the descent from Trum y Ddysgl.

Park in the car park alongside the A4085 Beddgelert to Caernarfon road at Rhyd Ddu (Grid ref. SH571526). Cross the main road, taking care as there is fast traffic on this section, to a footpath leading downhill across marshy ground. The path is partly paved with slate slabs, which can be slippery when wet.

Turn left at the Afon Gwyrfai to a footbridge. Cross this and follow the signs to the exit onto the B4418 road. Turn left off the road immediately and follow a track. After passing the farm of Drwsycoed Uchaf, a footpath with stiles starts to climb uphill towards the ridge. The route of the Nantlle ridge walk is clear and well marked, soon becoming very steep as the path skirts steep crags to your right. Finally the gradient slackens and easy slopes lead, via another stile, to the stony summit of Y Garn (or Garn II in some guide books). This will probably have taken about 75 minutes.

After regaining your breath and enjoying the 360 degree views, follow the narrowing ridge, just West of South, towards the imposing spire of Mynydd Drws-y-coed. The path is reasonably clear running between the remains of a stone wall and precipitous crags. It leads to the foot of the spire where easy but in places very exposed grade 1 scrambling leads to the summit of Mynydd Drws y Coed. As you cross a 'notch' right on the summit, watch out for the notorious 'head banger' boulder which can give you a nasty bump on the head while you concentrate on crossing the notch!

A downward slope leads to a small col. The path then climbs quite steeply upwards, but with no difficulties, to the summit of Trum y Ddysgl and the end of ascent for the day.There are fine views all around, particularly eastwards to the Snowdon massif, and South to Moel Hebog.

An almost level, grassy plateau with no very clear path leads onwards. Follow the edge of the steep ground to your left. The route soon turns almost southeast onto a broad, grassy ridge which descends quite steeply at first before continuing at an easier angle into the valley.

As the ridge ends, follow the edge of the Forestry plantation down to Bwlch-y-ddwy-elor (Pass of the Two Biers) that formed part of the ancient route between Cwm Pennant and Rhyd Du. The rough path drops down steeply to meet the Bwlch at a gate close to a boggy patch that will need to be crossed.

Turn left on the clear pathway dropping down through the forest to join a forestry road. Turn right here, then left onto another forestry road and then continue easily through (currently felled) forestry to eventually rejoin your outward track at the boulder marked with a white arrow where the steep climb to the ridge began. Follow your outward path back to the car park where you can reflect on completing the Nantlle ridge walk.


Other walks nearby

Walk 2797 Yr Aran and Snowdon from Rhyd-Ddumod/hard8.5 miles
Walk 3509 Nantlle Ridge from Rhyd Ddu (Route B)mod/hard8.3 miles
Walk 3198 Snowdon via the South Ridge & Rhyd-ddu Pathmod/hard7.5 miles
Walk 1951 Mynydd Mawr from Rhyd-Ddumoderate6.0 miles
Walk 2729 Snowdon by Rhyd-Ddu and Snowdon Ranger Pathsmod/hard7.5 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

The Wales Coast Path

The Wales Coast PathA 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.
More information

Snowdonia: 30 Low-level and easy walks - South

Snowdonia: 30 Low-level and easy walks - SouthGuidebook 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 southern volume includes Trawsfynydd, Bala, Dolgellau, Machynlleth, the Harlech Coast and the valleys of the Mawddach and Dyfi.
More information

Navigation

NavigationThis pocket handbook to navigation will help you master the necessary map and compass skills for mountain walking. Chapters include map scales, symbols and contours, grid references, map reading, bearings, route planning and night and bad-weather navigation, as well as navigating with a GPS.
More information

Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

Snowdonia Walking

The Snowdonia National Park is much more than the highest mountain in England and Wales. Mainly mountainous, it encompasses a large area of beautiful and often spectacular wild landscapes. Located in North Wales, the National Park offers a tremendous variety of walks with many challenging mountain routes. More Information

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Glyn Peris
Llanberis
5.3 miles / 8.5 km away
Black Boy Inn
Caernarfon
8.6 miles / 13.8 km away
Tyn Y Berth Talsarnau
Talsarnau
10.7 miles / 17.2 km away
Gwrach Ynys Country Guest House
Harlech
11.5 miles / 18.5 km away
Dinas Caravan Park & Camping
Llanbedr
14.0 miles / 22.4 km away

Self Catering & Cottage Holidays - Properties throughout the UK & Europe

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news. Facebook Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.